the prophet, peace be upon him, was treating people gently and kindly and was considering their psychological and physical conditions. he said: ((whenever kindness is used in dealing with any matter, everything will be fine, and whenever kindness is not used in dealing with any matter, everything will be defective)). he said also: ((allah the almighty loves that you deal kindly with all matters)). kindness means leniency, forbearance, tolerance and facilitating everything for others. it is totally against violence. the human beings, by nature, like to be treated kindly and gently. all people hate toughness and severity. therefore, the teachers should take this into consideration while teaching their students.
dealing severely with the students will cause negative results, especially for children because severity makes the students feel compulsion and uneasiness. such feeling will make the student inactive and liar because he will say things against the truth in order to avoid the severe treatment of the teacher.
the prophet, peace be upon him, was the best example in dealing kindly and gently with his companions, and here are some examples:
anas, may allah be pleased with him, said: while we were in the masjed with the prophet, peace be upon him, a bedouin man came and urinated in the masjed. seeing that, the companions of the prophet, peace be upon him, said: stop! stop! the prophet, peace be upon him, said: "don't interrupt him, let him finish". the companions let him until he finished. then the prophet, peace be upon him, called him and said: "these masjed's are not meant to be places for urinating or dirt, it is places for remembrance of allah, prayers and reading koran". then the prophet, peace be upon him, ordered a man to bring a bucket of water and poured it over. narrated by muslim. in another narration by ahmad and ibn majah, the following addition was mentioned: "after the bedouin man understood the matter, he said: the prophet, peace be upon him and may my life be a sacrifice for him, did not scold, blame or beat me.
this hadith demonstrates how the prophet, peace be upon him, treated the bedouin man with kindness and tolerance. the bedouin man was ignorant about such issue; therefore, the prophet, peace be upon him, did not deal with him severely or blame him; contrary, he taught him the right manner kindly.
seeing such human and kind treatment, the bedouin man felt how great was the prophet, peace be upon him, because although he committed a wrong action, the prophet, peace be upon him, treated him with so much kindness and taught him the right manners with high tolerance.
al-hafiz bin hajar said: this hadith demonstrates that we should be kind enough with the ignorant people and we should teach them the right things with tolerance following the example of the prophet, peace be upon him, who was tolerant and lenient with the ignorant people.
2. mu'awiyah bin al-hakam as-salami said: while i was praying with the prophet, peace be upon him, a person sneezed, so i said "may allah grant you mercy" during the prayer. hearing that, the people who were praying with us stared at me as a sign to stop speaking during the prayer. seeing that, i feared them and said: why you look at me like this? but they began knocking their thighs as a sign to stop talking again during the prayer. at this time, i kept silence and continued the prayer. when the prophet, peace be upon him, finished the prayer, he did not scold, beat or abuse me; contrary, he called me and said: "it is not allowed to speak during the prayer other than glorifying allah and reading koran … etc). mu'awiyah said also: i was having a maid shepherding my sheep in uhud and jowaniyah. once a day, a wolf ravened a sheep of my cattle. knowing that, and as a human being, i felt anger and slapped her face. then i felt sorry and told the prophet, peace be upon him: shall i free her (as a penance for slapping her)? he said: bring her first. i brought her to the prophet, peace be upon him. the prophet then asked her: where is allah? she replied: over the heaven. he asked her: who am i? she replied: you are the prophet of allah. the prophet, peace be upon him, said: free her, she is a believer"
an-nawawi said, in explaining this hadith, the prophet, peace be upon him, was of high morals, high tolerance, and high mercy when dealing with people. he was very kind in teaching the ignorant people and rectifying their manners.
by comparing the two cases of mu'awiyah, we find that the prophet dealt with him in different ways in both cases:
in the first case, the prophet, peace be upon him, did not reproach or scold him because he was ignorant at that time. the evidence for that is the hadith narrated by al-bukhari and abu dawood, in which mu'awiyah said: i came to the prophet, peace be upon him and i learnt some of the islamic teachings. some of the things which i learnt were that the prophet told me: "if you sneeze say "all praise be to allah" and if you hear someone sneezing and praising allah, tell him "may allah grant you mercy". once a time, i was praying with the prophet, peace be upon him… etc).
in the second case, the prophet, peace be upon him, treated him in different manner. the prophet denied the action of mu'awiyah regarding slapping the maid. the reason of such different treatment may be one of the following:
first: mu'awiyah is no longer ignorant and has good knowledge about islam and its teachings; therefore, the prophet, peace be upon him, did not treat him in the same manner of the first case, when mu'awiyah was ignorant.
second: the action of mu'awiyah may be one of things which are known as forbidden by all people; therefore, the prophet did not consider him ignorant and treated him accordingly.
1) the teacher should treat his student kindly when he is ignorant about any matter.
2) the teacher has the discretion to evaluate the mistake or wrong action of the student and he can judge whether such action can be excused for ignorance or not.
3) the teacher should follow the example of the prophet, peace be upon him, upon rectifying the actions or manners of the students. the prophet, peace be upon him, told the companions not to interrupt the bedouin man while he was urinating in the masjed so that he will not be harmed. then he ordered a man to bring a bucket of water and poured it over. afterwards, he called the bedouin man, explained to him the wrong action and told him how to behave correctly with high tolerance. the prophet, peace be upon him, treated mu'awiyah in the same manner and taught him how to pray correctly with high tolerance.
the teacher should exert all out efforts to help the student to rectify his actions by explaining the wrong action and guiding him to the method of correcting it as the prophet, peace be upon him, did with mu'awiyah. he encouraged mu'awyiah to free the maid in order to correct