Islam loves gentleness and hates harshness and extremism

By: Imam Lavdrim Hamja – Kenosha, November 25, 2011

All praise and Glory be to God, the Creator of the universe, who says in the Glorious Quran:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ ﴿١٥٩﴾

“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And if you had been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Al-Imran: 159)

God’s peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet, the gentle and merciful messenger, Muhammad, which has told us saying:

إن الله رفيق يحب الرفق، ويعطي على الرفق ما لا يعطي على العنف، وما لا يعطي على ما سواه

“Allah is gentle and loves gentleness. He gives for gentleness that which He does not give for cruelty and that which does not give for something else, except that.” (Muslim)

Peace and blessings be upon his pure family, upon his companions and upon all of those who walk in his path until the Day of Judgment.

Whenever something appears in the media on Islam, or about Muslim always is accompanied or associated with some kind of a view, or some kind of a comment giving the image that in this there is extremism.

The influence of the media in this aspect is so great that not only non Muslims have created the idea that Islam is a religion of extremism, but also among of Muslims there are people who are affected by this type of propaganda.

Indeed, let us ask with sincerity and openness: Is Islam an extremist religion? Does Islam order Muslims to be extreme, or to be gentle and kind? What does God say, He who sent this Islam in the Quran for the methods as how the caller, or a Muslim to invite and behave with non Muslims?

First thing that we must clear is to distinguish between Islam as a religion sent by God and Muslims as people, which are in different levels of understanding and implementing Islam.  So, we will speak of the nature of Islam, which is revealed by God and it has guaranteed its integrity and validity until the Day of Judgment but not so for the nature of Muslims, which were created by God but gave them freewill and have told us: “If indeed you are correct in implementing Islam, He will help you.”

And, when people claim something or talk about something, God has taught us in The Quran to tell them: “Say: Bring forth your arguments if indeed you are truthful (in what you say).

God Almighty has made it clear in the Quran saying: “There is no force or compulsion in religion.” So it is forbidden to use force to make people to accept Islam. Furthermore, in order to further reinforce this principle God says again:

وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآمَنَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ أَفَأَنتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٩٩﴾

“And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you (O Muhammad) then compel mankind, until they become believers?” (Younus: 99)

Brothers and sisters, extremism and violence are not qualities of Islam; God has excluded them from Islam. And if there is a person who says that there are verses in the Quran that speak of war, or jihad while speculating much on this word, we say to them that these verses are for the state of war, just like any nation on earth which has laws regarding the state of war and peace and no thinking man should mix the laws of peace with that of war. So, a man cannot be judged in the time of peace with the laws of war, as when a nation enters a war the laws of peace have ceased and the laws of war take effect.

Gentleness, mercy, peace, kindness, good dialogue and good advice are the essence and the heart of Islam. Every Muslim, who believes in God, and follows His Messenger, that should be the principles of his manners.

When God tells the Prophet:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ

“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And if you had been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you.” He has told him and made it clear that gentleness and mercy brings people close and makes them to like you.

Furthermore, towards transgressors and dictators, God Almighty teaches us that even to those we must speak gently, because in this manner it could make them think, or to repent and become devoted. God sent Musa and his brother Haroon to the Pharaoh and He ordered them to speak mildly to him saying:

اذْهَبَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ ﴿٤٣﴾فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ ﴿٤٤﴾

“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: 43-44)

Islam goes even further, even if a person behaves harsh, God orders the Muslim to respond kindly and gently, because this principle, gentleness and kindness can turn your enemy into the closest friend.

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ ﴿٣٤﴾

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better. Then verily! He, between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a close friend”. (Fusilet: 34)

Allahu Ekber, this is Islam with its teachings, which Muslims have forgotten and have thrown them behind their backs, rather than to add an increase in friendship, they make enemies and opposition. God, tells us as how to win the hearts of the people and to make them friends, while Muslims today follow their own desires and the whispers of Satan returning evil with evil, or even with a grater evil. Then, what kind of success, prosperity and help one should attain, he which does not follow the word of God rather he listens to the whispers of Satan?

وفي الصحيح أن النبي قال: “ما كان الرفق في شيء إلا زانه، وما نزع من شيء إلا شانه”.

“Whenever gentleness enters into something, it adorns it and whenever is removed from it disfigures it.” (Saheeh)

Let us listen as what our beloved Prophet has ordered us, as how to behave with people, with those that like us, but also with those who hate us.

It is transmitted that some Hebrews came to the Prophet and greeted him saying “Es-samu alayk” which it means: Death be upon you. The Prophet returned the greeting by saying: “Wa alaykum”, also upon you. While, Aisha responded to them: “Death be upon you, also may the curse and the anger of God be upon you. The Prophet told Aisha: “Slow O Aisha. You should be soft and not harsh with bad words.” She said: Did you not hear what they said? He said: ” Yes, but did you hear what I told them? I returned the greeting and my prayer is answered towards them, while their prayers towards me is not accepted. Then the Prophet again said: “O Aishe, God is soft and loves gentleness. He gives for gentleness that which He does not give for harshness and for anything else, except that.” (Muslim)

Lets us listen to few more examples from our wise devoted forefathers, which they practiced gentleness and good words in their behavior.

مر أبو الدرداء رضي الله عنه يوما على رجل قد أصاب ذنبا ، والناس يسبونه ،فنهاهم وقال : ( أرأيتم لو وجدتموه في حفرة ألم تكونوا مخرجيه منها..؟ قالوا : بلى قال رضي الله عنه : فلا تسبوه إذا ، وحمدوا الله الذي عافاكم قالوا : أنبغضه..؟قال رضي الله عنه : إنما أبغضوا عمله ، فإذا تركه فهو أخوكم” مصنف عبد الرزاق 11/180 والزهد لأبي داود 1/248 وشعب الإيمان للبيهقي 5/290.

Ebu Darda he passed in front of a person, who had committed a sin and some people who were gathered around were yelling at him, Ebu Darda said to them: “If you were to find this person in a pit or a hole were you going to help him to get out?  They said: Yes. Then he said: Then, don’t yell at him, but thank God that He has protected you from any sins. They said to him: Should we hate him? He said to them:  Hate his actions and if he leaves those bad actions then he is your brother.

ويروى أن الخليفة المأمون وعظه واعظ فأغلظ له في القول فقال : يا رجل ارفق فقد بعث الله من هو خير منك إلى من هو شر مني وأمره بالرفق . فقال تعالى : { اذْهَبَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى }{ فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَيِّنًا لَعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى } .

It is transmitted that a person went to the Khalif Mem’un and began to advice him harshly, with harsh words. Khalif said to him: O man, be softer. God sent someone better then you for a person worst than me and ordered him to speak gently, saying to him:

اذْهَبَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ ﴿٤٣﴾فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ ﴿٤٤﴾

“Go, both of you, to (Pharaoh), verily, he has transgressed.”And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.” (Ta-Ha: 43-44)

خفف أعرابي صلاته فقام إليه علي رضي الله عنه بالدرة وقال أعدها، فلما فرغ قال: أهذه خير أم الأولى؟ قال: بل الأولى، قال: لم؟ قال: لأن الأولى صليتها لله عز وجل، وهذه فرقاً من الدرة نضحك علي.التذكرة الحمدونية لابن حمدون 3/209.

A nomad performed hi prayer too quick. After he prayed Ali went to him holding a stick in his hand and said. Repeat the prayer again. The nomad prayed again and Ali asked him: Which prayer was better, this one or the first one? The nomad said: Without a doubt the first one. Ali asked: Why? Because the first one I prayed for the sake of God, but the second one I prayed because of the fear of your rod.

While Umer ibn Abdulaziz would tell his son, which suggested to his father to be harsh to the people: “O my son, there is no kindness in any kindness that comes from the sword!”

Respected brothers and sisters, God has forbidden us to speak, or to act harshly. Also the Prophet has forbidden to us this thing. Therefore let us soften our actions and our hearts with the two most revered things in our religion, with the Quran, the word of God and the Sunnah of His Prophet, actions of the Prophet and in this we will never be lost. Let us start with gentleness with our people who are most beloved to us, then with other people, weather Muslims or non Muslims whoever they might be, then towards every creature that God has created in this world. The Prophet have said: “Indeed religion is easy but anyone who makes it difficult for themselves, he has over done it and will not be able to keep it. That is why try to do that which is accurate and right and rejoice….”

وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ ۖ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلَّا الْعَالِمُونَ ﴿٤٣﴾

“And these examples We put forward for mankind, but none will understand them except those who have knowledge.” (Anekbut: 43)

O God, soften our words and our hearts and guide us in the straight path! Amin


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