Exploring Acts of Kindness in Islamic Teachings

by 18 January 20242 comments

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Speaking about kindness in Islamic teachings, we cannot overlook the role of the Quran. The Quran itself has various names to refer to kindness, including al-Hasanah, al-Khair, al-Ma’ruf, al-Maslahah, and al-Birr. While they all generally imply kindness, each has its specific meaning.

From Nawwas bin Sam’an from the Prophet s.a.w, he said: “Kindness is good character, and evil (sin) is something that troubles your soul, and you dislike people knowing about it.” (Narrated by Imam Muslim)

Kindness in the Quran

The diverse names used in the Quran to mention goodness are unique because of the underlying meanings. For instance, the use of the name al-Hasanah refers to everything perceived as good, based on conscience. Al-Khair stands for everything liked and beneficial. Al-Ma’ruf refers to goodness related to obedience and submission to Allah SWT. Meanwhile, Al-Mashlahah leans toward goodness related to nature and the environment.

muslim men reading from the quran

The Quran guides humanity toward good character, as reflected in the use of the term al-Birr for genuine goodness, illustrating the integrity of intellect, feelings, and determining what is right and wrong. This encompasses and integrates all goodness from various dimensions.

As mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:177:

Righteousness is not in turning your faces towards the east or the west. Rather, the righteous are those who believe in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Books, and the prophets; who give charity out of their cherished wealth to relatives, orphans, the poor, ˹needy˺ travellers, beggars, and for freeing captives; who establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and keep the pledges they make; and who are patient in times of suffering, adversity, and in ˹the heat of˺ battle. It is they who are true ˹in faith˺, and it is they who are mindful ˹of Allah˺.”

The essence of al-Birr in this verse is faith and righteous deeds. Al-Birr is not just goodness; it is a name encompassing all goodness. Whether in creed, worship, or the pinnacle seen in noble character.

Benefits of Doing Acts of Kindness

There are numerous benefits to doing acts of kindness. It is not only felt by the recipient but also by the one doing the good. Besides receiving great rewards, doing good deeds has transformative effects on individuals and others, including being more grateful, having a peaceful heart, enhancing happiness, strengthening social relationships, reducing stress, and serving as an investment in righteous deeds.

muslim family having dinner on the floor 2023 11 27 05 20 58 utc min Exploring Acts of Kindness in Islamic Teachings

Even for those who encourage kindness, meaning those who inform others of opportunities to do acts of kindness, they will receive commensurate rewards. Insha’Allah.

Narrated by Abi Mas’ud al-Anshari, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said: Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a reward like one who did it. (Narrated by Imam Abu Dawud)

Exemplary Kindness from Prophet Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is the true exemplar of kindness. His character is considered the most noble as it is an implementation of Sharia and various etiquettes in the Quran. This is why Allah SWT praises him in Surah Al-Qalam verse 4.

The kindness of the Prophet that we can emulate is indeed abundant, reflected in his four obligatory qualities and other attributes such as humility, gentleness, compassion, generosity, tolerance, and more.

Based on the narration of Anas bin Malik, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said: I start prayer and I want to make it long, but then I hear an infant crying, so I make my prayer short, because I know the distress caused to the mother by his crying. (Narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim)

Narrated By Anas bin Malik: “Once I was walking with Allah’s Apostle and he was wearing a Najram Burd with thick margin. A Bedouin followed him and pulled his Burd so violently that I noticed the side of the shoulder of Allah’s Apostle affected by the margin of the Burd because of that violent pull. The Bedouin said, “O Muhammad! Give me some of Allah’s wealth which is with you.” Allah’s Apostle turned and looked at him, and smiling, ‘he ordered that he be given something’.” (Narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim)

digital quran in the muslim pro app

The Quran as a Guidance for Acts of Kindness

Several Quranic verses can be further explored and practiced to realize acts of kindness:

  • Remembering the kindness Allah has bestowed upon us (Al-Qashash 28:77 and Al-Baqarah 2:122)
  • Being close to Allah’s mercy (Al-A’raf 7:56)
  • Allah promising greater rewards (Al-Qashah 28:84)
  • Being loved by Allah (Al-Baqarah 2:195)
  • Allah always with the righteous (At-Taubah 9:40)
  • Allah promising good news (Al-Hajj 22:37)
  • Kindness is essentially for ourselves (Al-Isra 17:7)
  • Kindness erases evil (Hadith Arba’in 18). Even when you only intending to do good, even if not yet done, it is already recorded for reward.

If only every human realizes the essence and substance of kindness and manifests and implements it in their daily lives, surely the world will feel secure and peaceful. InshaAllah.

Written by Eka Budhi Setiani

Ustazah Eka Budhi Setiani, Lc, is an Indonesian shariah advisor at Muslim Pro. A servant of Allah who has studied at Ushuluddin Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Currently, she is devoting her knowledge by teaching at an Islamic school under the provincial government. Together with her husband, she also managed her own boarding school in a small town in the province of Banten called Ponpes Balonk Faidhul Barokaat.

 

About The Author

Ustazah Eka Budhi Setiani

Ustazah Eka Budhi Setiani, Lc, is an Indonesian shariah advisor at Muslim Pro. A servant of Allah who has studied at Ushuluddin Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Currently, she is devoting her knowledge by teaching at an Islamic school under the provincial government. Together with her husband, she also managed her own boarding school in a small town in the province of Banten called Ponpes Balonk Faidhul Barokaat.

2 Comments

  1. Ms. Anwer Fathima Ali

    Excellent

    Reply
  2. Aisha Muhammad Salihu

    Masha Allah,may Allah continue to bless and reward you, thank you so much

    Reply

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