Ethics In Islam
Kindness is not confined to giving of financial aid or relieving one from a difficulty. There are many other fields in which kindness exhibits itself. A single kind word spoken in sympathy or a courteous remark both amount to kindness if done with sincere intention.
Among the many acts of kindness, forgiving of a fault and the suppression of anger in moments of excitement rank high before Allaah. Forgiveness is an attribute of Allaah, which saves man from disappointment and despair and ensures continuity of life. Suppression of anger is a great restraint on the evil of the 'self' which protects both family and the society from disintegration. As such these acts of kindness are of special significance and reward. Giving the tiding of Paradise, to those who perform these noble acts, Allaah has enjoined on mankind the duty to make efforts in this direction. In the Qur'aan it is clearly stated:
"Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous, - Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; - for Allaah loves those who do good;..."
(S. 3: 133-134)
Kindness has a great bearing on the relations of husband and wife. Man has been commanded to treat his wife and children with kindness. Even in case of great bitterness between husband and wife, when all openings of mutual conciliation have been closed and there remains no solution but separation, the best way we have been commanded to follow is to separate from the wife with kindness. It is a matter of common experience that both men and women, specially men in whom vests the authority to retain or divorce the wife, adopt various tactics to persecute each other in devious ways during the period of estranged relations. Allaah has forbidden both husband and wife from indulging in such vicious deeds and has ordered man that if he does not want to retain his wife, he shall separate from her with kindness and courtesy:
"A divorce is only permissible twice; after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms or separate with kindness." (S. 2: 229)
Beside the emphasis on kindness in separating the verse also speaks of the privilege of reunion after divorce. If the wife has been divorced only once, she can be retained without re-marriage; if divorced twice, then the only way of re-conciliation is re-marriage. In the case of divorce being given a third time all chances of conciliation end. In case of great bitterness therefore where there is no hope of reconciliation, it will be an act of great kindness to separate from wife courteously and honourably.
Kind and courteous treatment should always be given to others and mere trifles should not restrain us from being kind to them. If a poor relative acts against our wish or pleasure or a person commits a fault, we should forgive and continue our courteous treatment and kindness to him. We should not discontinue our kind treatment in revenge. Allaah has commanded man to forgive the faults and continue his good and kind treatment. In the Qur'aan it is stated:
"Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want, and those who have left their homes in Allaah's cause; let them forgive and overlook..." (S. 24: 21)
Kindness shall also be practised in our daily life. Every man is surrounded by wants in this world and sometimes he is so hard pressed that he has to take loans from others for satisfaction of his wants. The conditions may take such a turn that if the creditor demands interest as profit on the amount advanced as loan, the needy may not care for the interest on loan; but after taking the loan, the amount of interest accumulates to such an extent that he cannot rid himself of from the usury of the money lender. It is a great kindness of Islam on mankind that it has condemned interest, and has declared it 'Haraam'. Islam appreciated the giving of loans to the needy without interest and calls it 'Qarz-i-Hasna' (a good loan). Calling it charity, Allaah gave the tiding of blessings on it and condemned interest as a means of destruction. The Qur'aan declares.
"Allaah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity." (S. 2: 276)
Before the advent of Islam, people had become so merciless and cruel that those who failed to repay loans were placed at the mercy of the lender and were often sold out in the market as slaves. The money so received was adjusted against the loan advanced to them and the interest accruing thereon.
(Continued) Kindness IV.
Continuation from: Kindness I, Kindness II.