Importance of KINDNESS?Kindness is a pure-white flower that can bloom unexpectedly in the most trying situations. We should always be grateful to those who go out of their way to be kind. It is well known that investing in others rather than accumulating more and more for oneself leads to long-term wellbeing. Researchers have discovered that kindness is the most significant indicator of marital stability and satisfaction. Many colleges, including Harvard, are now emphasizing kindness on applications for admission.
How can one practise KINDNESS?
Kindness can take many forms, such as a kind word, a smile, opening a door, or assisting with a heavy weight. Helping an elderly neighbor with food or yard work, writing an email of gratitude to someone, celebrating those you love, providing sincere compliments, sharing homemade food, refusing to gossip, donating useful items and treating other people the way you would like to be treated.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “None of you believes (completely) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” Kindness is also about telling the truth in a gentle way when doing so is helpful to the other person. Kindness includes being kind to yourself as well.
Concept of KINDNESS in ISLAM
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective.” (Sahih Muslim)
Kindness and gentleness are qualities for which Allah has set aside a special reward. Anyone who possesses kindness and gentleness has received their fair share of goodness because these qualities are intrinsically wonderful. One of the most cherished and worshiped traits of a good character is kindness. Allah, the most merciful and kind says in the second chapter of the Holy Qur’an:
قَوۡل مَّعۡرُوفوَمَغۡفِرَةٌ خَیۡرمِّن صَدَقَةیَتۡبَعُهَاۤ أَذىۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَنِیٌّ حَلِیم
To speak a kind word and to forgive people’s faults is better than charity followed by hurt. Allah is All-Sufficient, All-Forbearing. (2:263)
When dealing with parents and close family members, kindness is required at all times. According to Islamic teachings, kindness and compassion should serve as the cornerstone of all of our relationships. Islam itself has encouraged people to be moral and considerate of others. Kindness facilitates human understanding and reduces the chances of friction and conflict, which abound in practically every walk of life. Islam enjoins kindness towards all individuals, but more so towards certain categories, such as parents and orphans.
Allah, the Most Gracious says in the Holy Qur’an, Surah Bani-Israel, chapter 17, verse 80:
وَٱخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ ٱلذُّلِّ مِنَ ٱلرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ٱرْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًۭا
And, out of kindness, lower to them (parents) the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them (parents) Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The best of the deeds or deed is the (observance of) prayer at its proper time and kindness to parents.” (Muslim)
Islam teaches us to be kind, to not expect the same from others, and to always keep our deeds private between ourselves and Allah. Never do good to expect something in return. Nowadays, although the majority of people lack the quality of compassion, it is possible to inculcate it in them with a little effort. This can be accomplished by outlining its benefits from the very beginning. Workshops and awareness programmes can be held explaining the importance of kindness.
If we remember to be kind – and follow it up by doing something for others – the world will eventually be a better place.
– Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)