In fact, the Prophet (PBUH) has been sent by Allah (SWT) to teach people good morals and abstain them from bad characters and behaviors. One of the greatest morality, which the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has recommended to us, is gentleness and kindness.
This highly praised manner solves all matters and affairs, corrects all errors, adjusts our conduct, and guides us to excellent morals and virtues in a better way and with impressive and effective methods.
What Quran Says About This Virtue?
There are many verses in the Noble Quran, in which Allah (SWT) recommends us to act upon this excellent virtue. He says:
“Go, both of you, to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed. And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].” (Ta-Ha 20: 43, 44)
The latter verse contains a great lesson. Even though Firaun (Pharaoh) was the most insolent and arrogant of people and Musa (AS) was the Messenger and the friend of Allah among His creation at that time. Musa (AS) was still commanded to speak to Firaun (Pharaoh) with mildness and softness.
Therefore, their invitation to him was with a gentle, kind, soft, and easy speech that is used by one who is a close friend. This is so that the message may have more effect on the souls, and so it would have deeper and more beneficial results. This is as Allah, the Glorious, says:
“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad SAW) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Quran) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better.” (An-Nahl 16:125).
The Prophet (PBUH) taught us, gentleness and kindness, and he was himself the most gentle and kind of all. Allah (SWT) mentioned his kind and gentle behavior in His Book. He says:
“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you,” (Al-‘Imran 3:159).
Examples of the Gentleness and Kindness in Sunnah
The Prophet (PBUH) greatly emphasized kindness and said:
“There is no gentleness in a thing but it adorns it, and it is not removed from something but it mars it.” (Muslim 2594).
This shows the significance of this virtue and how people need it in all their affairs and matters.
Showing Kindness to the Family Members:
It is narrated that ‘Aishah (RA) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) never hit anyone with his hand, nor any woman or servant, except when fighting in Jihad in the Cause of Allah. And if he was offended in some way he never took revenge for his own sake, unless one of the sacred limits of Allah had been transgressed, then he would take revenge for the sake of Allah.” (Muslim 2328).
Showing Kindness to the Servant and Slave
Anas (RA) said:
“By Allah, I have served him (the Prophet PBUH) for nine years, and I never knew him to say for something I had done; ‘Why did you do such and such?’ Or for something I had failed to do: ‘Why did you not do such and such?’” (Muslim 2309).
Showing Kindness to Children
Anas (RA) narrated that:
“The Prophet (PBUH) used to visit Ansar, and greet their children and rub his hand over their heads (because of kindness).” (Sahih Ibn Hibban 459).
Showing Kindness to the Beggar
Anas (RA) narrated:
“While I was going along with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), who was wearing a Najrani Burd (sheet) with a thick border, a Bedouin overtook the Prophet (PBUH) and pulled his Rida (sheet) forcibly. I looked at the side of the shoulder of the Prophet (PBUH) and noticed that the edge of the Rida had left a mark on it because of the violence of his pull. The Bedouin said, “O Muhammad! Order for me some of Allah’s Property which you have.” The Prophet (PBUH) turned towards him, (smiled) and ordered that he be given something.” (Al-Bkhari 6088).
Showing Kindness While Teaching the Ignorant
It was narrated that Muawiyah bin Al-Hakam As-SulamI said:
“While I was praying with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), a man among the people sneezed and I said: ‘Yar,amuk Allah (may Allah have mercy on you).’ The people glared at me and I said: ‘May my mother be bereft of me! Why are you staring at me?’ They started striking their hands on their thighs, and when I realized that they were telling me to be quiet, (I felt angry) but I kept quiet. When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had completed his prayers – may my father and mother be sacrificed for him; by Allah, I have never seen a better teacher or better teachings before or since; he did not rebuke me, hit me, or revile me – he said: ‘This prayer is not the right place for any of the people’s speech, rather it is Tasbih, Takbir, and recitation of Quran.” (Muslim 537).
Showing Kindness While Commanding Good and Forbidding Evil
Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA):
“A Bedouin urinated in the mosque, and the people rushed to beat him. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered them to leave him and pour a bucket or a tumbler (full) of water over the place where he had passed urine. The Prophet (PBUH) then said, “You have been sent to make things easy (for the people) and you have not been sent to make things difficult for them.” (Al-Bukhari 6128).
Showing Kindness To A Sinner Who Wants To Repent
Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA):
“A man came to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I am ruined!” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Waihaka (May Allah be Merciful to you)!” The man said: “I have done sexual intercourse with my wife while observing Saum (fast) in the month of Ramadan.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Manumit a slave.” The man said: “I cannot afford that.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Then observe Saum (fast) for two successive months.” The man said, “I have no strength to do so.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Then feed sixty Miskin (poor persons).” The man said, “I have nothing (to feed sixty persons).” Later a basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet (PBUH) and he said (to the man), “Take it and give it in charity.” The man said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Shall I give it to people other than my family? By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, there is nobody poorer than me in the whole city of Al-Madinah.” The Prophet (PBUH) smiled till his premolar teeth became visible, and said: “Take it.” (Al-Bukhari 6164).
Gentleness in Dealing with Infidels
It is narrated that ‘Aishah (RA) said:
“A group of Jews asked permission to enter upon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and they said: ‘As-Saamu ‘alaikum (death be upon you).’ ‘Aishah (RA) said, ‘Rather may death be upon you, and curses.’ The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: ‘O ‘Aishah, Allah has enjoined kindness in all things.’ She said: ‘Did you not hear what they said?’ He said: ‘I said: “And also upon you.” (Muslim 2165).