Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran
RELIGION, 25 May 2015
As only the Islamophobes, who hate Islam or those Muslims, who want to enforce Shariah Law, of their imagination, by hook or crook, make headlines, the compassionate teachings of the Holy Quran are lost to the ordinary, non-Muslim observer.
The Holy Quran talks about One God and one human family.
Here I want to stress the Quranic message of compassion, love and kindness by cataloging as many verses as I can, realizing that it can never be an exhaustive list as other readers will continue to find new ideas of mercy and grace in other verses of the Holy Quran.
I will count the verses, in this post, as I go along.
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The Quran stresses that righteousness is not in precise observance of the rituals but in acts of compassion and kindness. It says that the litmus test for true belief and genuine worship is that it leads to compassionate living:
- It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and spends his money for love of Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity, and for ransoming the captives; and who observes Prayer and pays the Zakat; and those who fulfill their promise when they have made one, and the patient in poverty and afflictions and the steadfast in time of war; it is these who have proved truthful and it is these who are the God-fearing. (Al Quran 2:178)
Every Friday in the second part of the sermon, Muslims all over the world hear a verse, which stresses, justice, kindness and natural mutual love as among the closest blood relatives:
- Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Al Quran 16:91)
Allah says that to be godly is to be compassionate. He makes His relationship or His Providence to the common man, conditional to common human compassion, by claiming that those, who wish to find Him, will succeed only if they are kind and compassionate to the common people:
- And as for those who strive in Our path — We will surely guide them in Our ways. And Indeed, Allah is with those who are of service to others. (Al Quran 29:70)
- Indeed, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good. (Al Quran 16:129)
Allah says that we should be the first and take initiative to do good to others, but, if others have been kind to us, in the first place, we have no choice, but to return the favor:
- The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness. (Al Quran 55:61)
In one of the verses, which is recited at the time of marriage ceremony, Allah links the responsibility owed to Him to kind treatment of the in-laws relationships:
- O ye people! fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and be mindful of your duty to Allah,particularly respectingties of relationship. Verily, Allah watches over you. (Al Quran 4:2)
In the very beginning of every chapter or Sura of the Holy Quran, except one, we read, “In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.”
Allah is not only the Gracious and the Merciful, but, also wants humanity to be gracious and merciful, to each other, in their spheres and this can be inferred from many verses of the Holy Quran.
As this verse is in the beginning of 113 chapters, except for Sura Taubah and in the middle of one Sura, it really sky rockets my count of verses here.
7-120. In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
Let me make a suggestion here, now, that we have 120 instructions from the All Knowing God, to be kind, merciful and compassionate.
Anyone, who has conscious or unconscious desire to benefit from political Islam, should first try this repeated teaching of being compassionate for a few decades. May be it will assuage his or her political ambition and bring him or her to true teachings of Islam.
The Holy Quran suggests compassion and kindness to be a recipe to turn ones enemies into bosom friends:
121-122. And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend. But none is granted it save those who are steadfast; and none is granted it save those who possess a large share of good. (Al Quran 41:35-36)
Now, I am going to catalog all occurrences of the word “Mohsin,” in Arabic, in the Quran, in singular or plural form, as it means, one who does good and is of service to others. Two of these occurrences have already been counted above and I will not repeat those here:
- It shall be no sin for you if you divorce women while you have not touched them, nor settled for them a dowry. But provide for them — the rich man according to his means and the poor man according to his means — a provision in a becoming manner, an obligation upon the virtuous. (Al Quran 2:237)
- Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good. (Al Quran 3:135)
- So Allah gave them the reward of this world, as also an excellent reward of the next; and Allah loves those who do good. (Al Quran 3:149)
- And who is better in faith than he who submits himself to Allah, and he is a doer of good, and follows the religion of Abraham, the upright? And Allah took Abraham for a special friend. (Al Quran 4:126)
- So, because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them, and have hardened their hearts. They pervert the words from their properplaces and have forgotten a goodpart of that with which they were exhorted. And thou wilt not cease to discover treachery on their part, except in a few of them. So pardon them and turn away from them. Surely, Allah loves those who do good. (Al Quran 5:14)
- So Allah rewarded them, for what they said, with Gardens beneath which streams flow. Therein shall they abide; and that is the reward of those who do good. (Al Quran 5:86)
- On those who believe and do good works there shall be no sin for what they eat, provided they fearGod and believe and do good works,and again fear God and believe, yet again fear God and do good. And Allah loves those who do good. (Al Quran 5:94)
- And We gave him Isaac and Jacob; each did We guide aright, and Noah did We guide aright aforetime, and of his progeny, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 6:85)
- And remember the time when We said: “Enter this village and eat therefrom — wherever you will — plentifully; and enter the gate submissively and say: ‘God! forgive us our sins.’ We shall forgive you your sins and We shall give increase to those who do good. (Al Quran 2:59)
- And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order, and call upon Him in fear and hope. Surely, the mercy of Allah is nigh unto those who do good. (Al Quran 7:57)
- And when it was said to them, “Dwell in this town and eat therefrom wherever you will, and say, ‘God! lighten our burden,’ and enter the gate in humility, We shall forgive you your sins, and surely We shall give increase to those who do good.” (Al Quran 7:162)
- No blame lies on the weak, nor on the sick, nor on those who find naught to spend, if they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger. There is no cause of reproach against those who do good deeds; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. (Al Quran 9:91)
- It was not proper for the people of Medina and those around them from among the Arabs of the desert that they should have remained behind the Messenger of Allah or that they should have preferred their own lives to his. That is because there distresses them neither thirst nor fatigue nor hunger in the way of Allah, nor do they tread a track which enrages the disbelievers, nor do they cause an enemy any injury whatsoever, but there is written down for them a good work on account of it. Surely, Allah suffers not the reward of those who do good to be lost. (Al Quran 9:120)
- And be thou steadfast; for surely, Allah suffers not the reward of the righteous to perish. (Al Quran 11:116)
- And when he attained his age of full strength, We granted him judgment and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good. (Al Quran 12:23)
- And with him there entered the prison two young men. One of them said, ‘I saw myself in a dream pressing wine.’ And the other said, ‘I saw myself in a dream carrying upon my head bread of which the birds are eating. Inform us of the interpretation thereof; for we see thee to be of the righteous.’ (Al Quran 12:37)
- And thus did We establish Joseph in the land. He dwelt therein wherever he pleased. We bestow Our mercy on whomsoever We please, and We suffer not the reward of the righteous to perish. (Al Quran 12:57)
- They said, ‘O exalted one, he has a very aged father, so take one of us in his stead; for we see thee to be of those who do good.’ (Al Quran 12:79)
- They replied, ‘Art thou Joseph?’ He said, ‘Yes, I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah has indeed been gracious to us. Verily, whoso is righteous and is steadfast — Allah will never suffer the reward of the good to be lost.’ (Al Quran 12:91)
- Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. Thus has He subjected them to you, that you may glorify Allah for His guiding you. And give glad tidings to those who do good. (Al Quran 22:38)
- And when he reached his age of full strength and attained maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge; and thus do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 28:15)
- A guidance and a mercy for those who do good. (Al Quran 31:4)
- And he who submits himself completely to Allah, and is a doer of good, he has surely grasped a strong handle. And with Allah rests the end of all affairs. (Al Quran 31:23)
- ‘But if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter, then truly Allah has prepared for those of you who do good a great reward.’ (Al Quran 33:30)
- Thus indeed do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 37:81)
- ‘Thou hast indeed fulfilled the dream.’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 37:106)
- Thus do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 37:111)
- And We bestowed blessings on him and Isaac. And among their progeny are some who do good and others who clearly wrong themselves. (Al Quran 37:114)
- Thus indeed do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 37:122)
- Thus indeed do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 37:132)
- They will have with their Lord whatever they desire; that is the reward of those who do good. (Al Quran 39:35)
- “Or lest it should say, when it sees the punishment, ‘Would that there were for me a return to the world, I would then be among those who do good!’” (Al Quran 39:59)
- And before it there was the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy; and this is a Book in the Arabic language fulfilling previous prophecies, that it may warn those who do wrong; and as glad tidings to those who do good. (Al Quran 46:13)
- Receiving what their Lord will give them; for they used to do good before that. (Al Quran 51:17)
- Thus surely do We reward those who do good. (Al Quran 77:45)
- Nay, whoever submits himself completely to Allah, and is the doer of good, shall have his reward with his Lord. No fear shall comeupon such, neither shall they grieve. (Al Quran 2:113)
- And spend for the cause of Allah, and cast not yourselves into ruin with your own hands, and do good; surely, Allah loves those who do good. (Al Quran 2:196)
When it comes to the specifics, as to who is most deserving of our compassion and kindness, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, advised in favor of the mothers. There is a popular Hadith that almost every Muslim knows. A companion of the Prophet, asked him, “Who is most deserving of my good treatment?” “Your mother,” said the Prophet. Companion asked and then after her? “Your mother,” repeated the Prophet. It was only on the fourth query that the Prophet said, “Your father.”
Those who accuse Islam of gender inequality have perhaps not heard of this Hadith!
Let me, now, tabulate a few verses about the parents:
- And remember the time when We took a covenant from the children of Israel: ‘You shall worship nothing but Allah and show kindness to parents and to kindred and orphans and the poor, and speak to men kindly and observe Prayer, and pay the Zakat;’ then you turned away in aversion, except a few of you. (Al Quran 2:84)
- They ask thee what they shall spend. Say: ‘Whatever of good and abundant wealth you spend should be for parents and near relatives and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatever good you do, surely Allah knows it well.’ (Al Quran 2:216)
- And worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbor that is a kinsman and the neighbor that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful. (Al Quran 4:37)
- Say, ‘Come, I will rehearse to you what your Lord has forbidden: that you associate not anything as partner with Him and that you do good to parents, and that you kill not your children for fear of poverty — it is We Who provide for you and for them — and that you approach not foul deeds, whether open or secret; and that you kill not the life which Allah has made sacred, save by right. That is what He has enjoined upon you, that you may understand. (Al Quran 6:152)
‘164. Our Lord, grant forgiveness to me and to my parents and to the believers on the day when the reckoning will take place.’ (Al Quran 14:42)
- Thy Lord has commanded, “Worship none but Him, and show kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, never say unto them any word expressive of disgust nor reproach them, but address them with excellent speech. (Al Quran 17:24)
- And We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; but if they strive to make thee associate that with Me of which thou hast no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return, and I shall inform you of what you did. (Al Quran 29:9)
- And We have enjoined on man concerning his parents — his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning takes two years — ‘Give thanks to Me and to thy parents. Unto Me is the final return. (Al Quran 31:15)
- And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents. His mother bears him with pain, and brings him forth with pain. And the bearing of him and his weaning takes thirty months, till, when he attains his full maturity and reaches the age of forty years, he says, ‘My Lord, grant me the power that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do such good works as may please Thee. And make my seed righteous for me. I do turn to Thee; and, truly, I am of those who submit to Thee.’ (Al Quran 46:16)
There are additional verses about the parents in the Holy Quran, but, as I am feeling more comfortable about my target of 200, I am going to leave those and talk about the teachings about spouses:
- It is made lawful for you to go in unto your wives on the night of the fast. They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them. (Al Quran 2:188)
- Consort with them in kindness; and if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing wherein Allah has placed much good. (Al Quran 4:20)
What does the Quran says about the weakest in our society, the orphans? Here, are a few vereses:
- And they ask thee concerning the orphans. Say: ‘Promotion of their welfare is an act of great goodness. And if you intermix with them, they are your brethren. And Allah knows the mischief-maker from the reformer. And if Allah had so willed, He would have put you to hardship. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise.’ (Al Quran 2:21)
- And if you fear that you will not be fair in dealing with the orphans, then marry of women as may be agreeable to you, two, or three, or four; and if you fear you will not deal justly, then marry only one or what your right hands possess. That is the nearest way for you to avoid injustice. (Al Quran 4:4)
- And when other relations and orphans and the poor are present at the division of heritage, give them something therefrom and speak to them words of kindness. (Al Quran 4:9)
- And they seek of thee the decision of the Law with regard to women. Say, Allah gives you His decision regarding them. And so does that which is recited to you in the Book concerning the orphan girls whom you give not what is prescribed for them and whom you desire to marry, and concerning the weak among children. And He enjoins you to observe equity towards the orphans. And whatever good you do, surely Allah knows it well. (Al Quran 4:128)
- So the orphan, oppress not. (Al Quran 93:10)
The Holy Quran advises us to be compassionate to any one who asks for our favor:
- And him who seeks thy help, chide not. (Al Quran 93:11)
Continuing with verses about kindness and compassion in general:
- Those who believe and do good deeds — the Gracious God will create love in their hearts. (Al Quran 19:97)
One of the attributes of Allah is ‘The Merciful,’ Arabic word رحيم (Raheem) and the believers are required to emulate the attributes of Allah in their limited spheres. I just searched the word رحيم in Arabic search for the Quran in Alislam website and found that it occurs at least 227 times, including the first verse of each of the chapters of the Holy Quran, except for one. As we highlighted before, there are 114 mentions of “In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful,” in the Quran, which we have already counted.
This gives me 113 additional mentions for being kind and merciful: 177 + 113 = 290.
I saved one of the most important verses in this regards, for the very end,
“And We (Allah) have sent thee (Muhammad) not but as a mercy for all peoples.” (Al Quran 21:108)
Now our count here is 291.
I rest my case!
May Allah give us true understanding of our faith. Ameen!
Zia H. Shah MD is a physician practicing in Upstate New York. He joined Ahmadiyya Muslim Community during his medical school. He is the Chief Editor of the Muslim Times, an international blog to foster Universal brotherhood. He is also the Chief Editor of the monthly, Alislam eGazette that has a subscription of more than 40,000. He has authored more than 400 articles about ’Religion & Science,’ Islam and Christianity.
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