KINDNESS TO UNBELIEVERS
Sheikhul Hadith Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya Sahib رحمه الله states in Fazā’ile Sadaqāt that in the early days of Islam, the Sahaba رضوان الله عليه اجمين did not like to give Sadaqah to their non-Muslim relatives until the following Āyah was revealed:
ليس عليك هداهم ولكن الله يهدي من يشآء . وما تنفقوا من خير فلانفسكم .
“Their acceptance of Islam is not thy duty (O Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم), but Allah Ta’ala grants whom He wills. And whatsoever good thing you spend (as Sadaqah, etc) it is for yourselves, when you spend not except for seeking Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure.” (Al Baqarah:272)
The āyah implies that whatever a man spends as Sadaqah, etc for the sake of Allah Ta’ala may be given to any needy person, Muslim or non Muslim. Hazrat Imām Ghazaali رحمه الله writes: “Once a fire worshipper (Magian) came to Sayyidina Ibrāhīm عليه السلام and requested to be entertained as a guest. Sayyidina Ibrāhīm عليه السلام refused to entertain him saying, ‘If you embrace Islam, I shall be pleased to entertain you.’ The Magian went away but revelation came to Sayyidina Ibrāhīm عليه السلام from Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله saying, Ibrāhīm, you would not feed a non Muslim for a night until he accepted your creed, while I have been feeding him for the last seventy years, notwithstanding him being a non believer. It would not have mattered much if you had given him a meal.’ Sayyidina Ibrāhīm عليه السلام got up at once and went in search of the Magian and asked him to come back and share a meal with him. The Magian came back and after having taken the meal, asked Sayyidina Ibrāhīm عليه السلام what had made him go out and search for him. At this, Sayyidina Ibrāhīm عليه السلام told him about the revelation. On hearing this, the fire worshipper embraced Islam and said, ‘As He had been treating me so kindly, I accept Islam. Please give me the necessary instructions.'” (Ihya)
Hazrat Sheikh رحمه الله has said all creation includes Muslims and non Muslims (all mankind) and animals. An unchaste woman was granted forgiveness by Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله by virtue of an act of kindness shown to a thirsty dog. An often quoted Hadith:
ارحمو من في الارض يرحمكم من في اسمآء
“Show mercy to those who are on earth; He Who is in the Heavens will have mercy on you.”
We need to realise that Sayyidina Rasoolullah صلي الله عليه وسلم was and still is a mercy for mankind. Each and every incident of his blessed life bears testimony to him being merciful. Therefore, it is vital that we, as the Ummah who believe in the Prophethood of Sayyidina Rasoolullah صلي الله عليه وسلم, should endeavour to learn the details of his blessed life and follow his example. Hazrat Sheikh رحمه الله quotes a Hadith to the effect that: “Feed those of your servants who are under your control from what you eat; clothe them as you wear; dispose of them when they do not suit you, but do not punish them, for you have no right to do so.” (Targheeb)
C O N T E M P L A T E ! ! !
At this juncture, let us carefully analyse our interaction with our servants in particular and the public in general who are disbelievers. Have we shown mercy and compassion in our temperament or have we been haughty? A beautiful point we learn in the Hadith is feeding our servants the same food that we eat. One will never really realise the impact of this kindness because in all probability, our servants will not be able to afford the type of food we eat. We should thus reflect on the human aspect and share the compassion as shown by Sayyidina Rasoolullah صلي الله عليه وسلم – again, let us remind ourselves that by showing mercy will result in Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله showing mercy to us. The hearts of creation are in His Absolute Control, our behaviour with creation will give an indication as to how we will fare….may Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله guide us towards the correct and appropriate action in every aspect of our lives.
امين يا رب العالمين
Hafez z Qasim Paruk