On gentleness and responsibility

We are such passionate beings we forget the message of Allah is one that encourages the best of manners. But it is more than a superficial gesture. We have to recall the gentleness that the Prophet always carried. We forget the strength of being kind and gentle. The refinement it carries. The respect it brings upon the personhood of the gentle being.

One day a man said something abusive to the Prophet (PBUH). `Aa’isha (RA) was standing there and heard it and she returned it in kind! The Prophet (PBUH) promptly said to her, “Easy now, `Aa’isha, God loves gentleness in everything.” Narrated by `Aa’isha and reported by Al-Bukhaari.

Indeed, the Prophet (PBUH) was gentle and friendly even to his enemies. God says in the holy Quran, “So by mercy from God, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech], thick-hearted (harsh), they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them, ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon God. Indeed, God loves those who rely [upon Him].” (3:159)

A major role for gentleness is in the call to Islam. God emphasizes that calling people to Islam must be done with “wisdom and good preaching” and that arguing with them must be “in the most beautiful manner” (16:125). Yet, you find some Muslims today that drive away potential converts by the way they behave, by the way they talk and even by the way they look! Why would anybody in their right mind consider giving Islam a first look after seeing what these Muslims do?

That is the opposite of Da`wa (proselytizing)! The Prophet’s advice to his missionaries has been, “Make things easy and don’t make them difficult. Give good news and don’t repulse.” Narrated by Anas ibn Maalik and reported by Al-Bukhaari, and also narrated by Abu-Moosa Al-Ash`ari and reported by Muslim. See how beautiful the Prophet’s advice has been and how many Muslims do the exact opposite!

Most major figures in history are either remembered for being gentle or ruthless. But, we forget that a major component of piety is gentleness.

Did you notice that the gentle are far more remembered? How many people remember Abraham (PBUH) and are named Abraham? How many people remember Nimrod, if that’s even his name?

And my major thought; the one that makes me write to you is our lack of understanding of the covenant we have made with Allah. The one we forget so easily. We proclaimed to Allah subhana wa taala, and let me know if I am wrong, that we would take care of His Earth and all its inhabitants. Is not the English word vicegerent? I wish I knew the Arabic word.

The Arabic word is Khaleefa, which means deputy. A deputy’s job is to take care of things on behalf of the King. God made it clear that man’s job on earth was to be His deputies (2:30). When God appointed David (PBUH) King of Israel, He said to him, “O David, We have made you a deputy in the land, so judge between people with the truth and do not follow desire.” (38:26)

As I mentioned in a previous post, all suffering, misery and imbalance in the world is a direct, predictable result of injustice, which comes from not abiding by the truth and following desire instead.

God praises people who cultivate and improve the earth and chastises those who ruin it and spread mischief.

We do not recall that we are the ones who are responsible for the contents of the Quran. We have forgotten that we are responsible and accountable.

Excellent point. In fact, God vowed to preserve the text of the Quran, but left to us the preservation of its teachings. But even the text of the Quran would not have been preserved if it weren’t for the righteous people who did the work! There were attempts early on to have differing versions of the Quran, however slight, but they all failed, thanks to upstanding leaders such as Uthmaan ibn `Affaan, may God have been pleased with him.

You are indeed correct that we have a covenant with God. I talked about that in this earlier post. God expects us to fulfill all covenants we make. Consider:

“O you who have believed, fulfill contracts.” (5:1)

“And fulfill [the terms of] a treaty. A vow will be accounted.” (17:34)

“And remember the favor of God upon you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said, ‘We hear and we obey’; and watch out for God. Indeed, God knows well what is within.” (5:7)

“They fulfill their pledges and fear a Day whose hardship flares up.” (76:7)

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