Ethics In Islam
In the Eminent Qur'aan, the description of the Attributes of Allaah has been made at numerous places. At one place it is stated:
"...My Mercy extends to all things..." (S. 7: 156).
People who follow the Path of Islam sincerely obey the Commands of Allaah and His Prophet and when they commit any sin they express repentance; for them the angels who are holding the Throne of Allaah pray in the following words:
"Our Lord! Your reach is over all things, in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive them, those who turn in Repentance, and follow Your Path; and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire. (S. 40: 7).
In the Qur'aan, while describing His Grandeur of Mercy and Compassion, Allaah has commanded His devoted servant Hazrat Muhammad (sal-lal-laa-hu 'alai-hi was al-lam) and all believers to supplicate in their prayers in the following way:
"O my Lord! Grant your forgiveness and mercy! For You are the Best of those who show mercy." (S. 23: 118).
Besides this, Allaah, the Lord of the worlds, has made mention of His Grandeur of Compassion along with His Unity in the Sacred Qur'aan. He says:
"And your Allaah is One God: there is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful." (S. 2: 163).
God is one and there is no god but Allaah. He is very Kind and Compassionate.
Among mankind, the great symbols of ethical virtues and good conduct are the Prophets of Allaah and among them the noblest and the greatest rank is that of Hazrat Muhammad (Sal-lal-laa-hu 'alai-hi wa aa-li-hi wa-sal-lam). Allaah has so liberally adored the person of the Kind Prophet with ethical virtues. He addresses the Kind Prophet in the Qur'aan:
"And you (stand) on an exalted standard of character." (S. 68: 4).
Among the ethical virtues he possessed, the best virtue was his gentle behaviour and compassion, which won many shrewd and staunch unbelievers to the fold of Islam. It was his virtuous qualities that so large numbers of Arabian population embraced the religion presented by the Kind Prophet. According to the Eminent Qur'aan the ethical virtues and Mercy possessed by the Prophet was the blessing of Allaah. It is stated in that Divine Book:
"It is part of the Mercy of Allaah that you also deal justly with them." (S. 3: )
The Prophet was so kind, gentle and merciful that to his bitter enemies he bestowed his cloaks and gave shelter to those who were thirsty of his blood and provided assistance and help to those who persecuted him by all means. In the history of the world, these realities have been engraved in golden letters for the knowledge and guidance of the coming world. Those tyrant and stony-hearted people of Makkah who made the Kind Prophet and the faithful the target of their tyranny and novel cruelties; who laid down the believers on the burning sand then dragged them on it; who laid them down on the burning coals; who hanged them upside down and then ignited fire just below their faces to scorch it; who martyred many of them by piercing spear; who threw the guts of a camel on his back and held him from offering prayer and injured him by pelting stones at him, were treated with kindness, mercy and compassion. Even those polytheists who compelled the Kind Prophet and the faithful to migrate to the holy city of Makkah, who invaded Madina to root out Muslims from the surface of the Earth, who ignored the Treaty of Hodaibya and violated its conditions, were forgiven by that great personality when, at the conquest of Makkah, they were standing before him as prisoners. Although simply a winking of an eye by the Prophet would have ended the life of the infidels yet he did not let his virtues of mercy and kindness leave even at this time of success and victory, and spared the lives of the staunchest enemies of Islam and Muslims. By his kindness those enemies were not only spared their lives and saved from the torment of Hell but they were bestowed the wealth of Faith and thus they established their right on Paradise. Whenever the Prophet was persecuted by enemies, and his disciples or companions prayed him to curse them, he said that Allaah had sent him to the world as mercy. He never cursed the infidels but always prayed to Allaah to show them and enable them to recognise the Path of Truth.
It was his kindness and Mercy that after the conquest of Taif he showed mercy to the tyrants of that town and forgave them, although they had once injured the Prophet very seriously and then the Prophet had to take shelter in an orchard to save his life.
The Kind Prophet always behaved with kindness and mercy because of his noble ethical virtues. Even in his valuable teachings, he stressed on the Ummat to adopt kind and merciful behvaiour. Hazrat Usama (razi-yal-laa-hu 'an-hu) reported that the Kind Prophet seated him on one thigh and and Hazrat Hasan (razi-yal-laa-hu 'an-hu) on the other and then moved the thighs to let them enjoy and be pleased; and then prayed to Allaah:
"O Allaah! Mercy on them because I treat them with kindness."
Once a man with his son went to the Kind Prophet and said he loved the child before the Prophet. The Kind Prophet asked him:
"Do you treat him with kindness?"
That man replied in affirmative. Then the Kind Prophet remarked that Allaah would treat him with more love and kindness than the love and kindness with which he was treating his own child because Allaah is Most Merciful and All-Compassionate among all merciful and kind people.
Once the Kind Prophet kissed his grandson. A Companion of the Prophet, who was present there, said:
"I have ten children but I have never kissed any one of them."
Gazing at him, the Kind Prophet remarked:
"One who does not show mercy to others, he is deprived of mercy."
Once a woman came to Ummul Momineen Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (razi-yal-laa-hu 'an-ha). She had her two children with her, Hazrat Ayesha gave the mother three dates. She distributed two among the two children and kept the third for her. The children after eating their dates looked towards their mother. Mother understood their desire. She made two pieces of the date she had kept for her and distributed between them. She herself did not eat the date. Hazrat Ayesha recounted this event to the Kind Prophet who remarked:
"She was kind to her children, in return Allaah will be kind to her."
The Kind Prophet always treated his servants and slaves with mercy and kindness. He commanded the Muslims to be kind to their servants and never get such works from them which were beyond their capacity and strength. If they ever entrusted them with such heavy works they should extend their helping hand to that work.
Once the Kind Prophet said:
"Allaah has made your brothers your subordinates, you must remember that when Allaah makes any of your brothers your subordinate then it is incumbent on you to feed him the meal you eat, give him the clothes which you wear."
He also said:
"If any of your servants prepared any food for you then it is incumbent on you to feed him along with himself or give little of that food to him."
If we consider the demand of age, then we conclude that children seek the love and kindness of their parents and guardians. For this reason, Allaah adorned the hearts of parents, relatives etc. with love for children. The spirit of love is present in every living being. When these parents grow old, they deserve the good treatment and service by their sons and daughters. The Kind Prophet had ordered the faithful to treat well their old parents and render all help to them. They should be polite in their dealings with them, try to ameliorate the pain and pangs of old age and pray to Allaah for mercy on them. The Qur'aan commands us in this respect as under:
"And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." (S. 17: 27)
In fact it is mercy which persuades a man to be courteous in his dealings and treatment with others. If there is no mercy in ones' heart, then he cannot pity the poor, needy, indigents etc. Then he will not possess the spirit of doing good deeds and helping others. Such a man is called stony-hearted in the society, and he is deprived of Allaah's Kindness and Mercy. The Kind Prophet said:
"One who does not feel mercy, he will not be shown mercy."
Contrary to this, a man who is merciful and kind and behaves courteously with people, and helps the indigents, poor and needy he is honoured in the society and Allaah bestows upon him His recompense and bounties by His Kindness, Mercy and Grace. The Qur'aan states:
"But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allaah." (S. 9: 72)
O Allaah! Bless us with the ethical virtues and good manners; enable us to treat well and extend all help to those who deserve our attention and grant us Your Pleasure.