the prophet peace be upon him was gentle with his ummah. he was never given a choice between two things but that he chose the easier of them in order to avoid difficulty for his people. he peace be upon him said,
"allah did not send me to cause difficulty or complexity but he sent me as a teacher and to make things easy."(muslim) and he said, "indeed, allah is kind and loves kindness. he grants for kindness what he does not grant for harshness."(abu dawud – graded as saheeh by al-albani)
almighty allah described his prophet peace be upon him as having compassion and mercy, saying:
there has certainly come to you a messenger from among yourselves. grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you, and to the believers is kind and merciful. (9:128)
an example of this is in the following narration: a man came to the messenger of allah peace be upon him and said, "i am destroyed, o messenger of allah."
he asked,"and what destroyed you?"
the man said, "i had intercourse with my wife during [a day of] ramadhan."
he said, "can you find a slave to free?"
he replied, "no."
he said,"can you fast two months of consecutive days?"
he replied, "no."
he said,"can you find food to feed sixty poor people?"
he replied, "no," and sat down.
the prophet peace be upon him went and brought a basket of dates and said, "give this in charity."
the man said, "is there anyone poorerthan we are? there is no household in madinah more in need of it than us."
the prophet peace be upon him smiled and said, "go and feed it to your family." (al-bukhari and muslim)
notice how lenient the prophet peace be upon him was with this man who had sinned by having relations with his wife during a day of ramadhan. he peace be upon him kept on gently reducing the penalty until he actually gave him the means to expiate his sin and even allowed him to give it to his family on account of their poverty and need. how great was the kindness and compassion of the prophetpeace be upon him.
mu`awiyah ibn al-hakam as-sulamimay allah be pleased with him reported: "while i was praying with the messenger of allah peace be upon him a man sneezed, so i said, 'yarhamoka-allah' (may allah have mercy on you). the people gave me angry looks so i said, 'what's wrong with you that you are looking at me?' then, they started slapping their thighs, and i understood that they meant to silence me so, i kept quiet. the prophet peace be upon him finished the prayer, and i have never before or since seen a better teacher than him. for by allah, he peace be upon him did not distress me, strike me or insult me, but merely said,
'this prayer is not for anything of people's speech. it is only for praising and glorifying allah and recitation of the qur'an.'" (muslim)
an-nawawicommented: this shows the greatness of the messenger's peace be upon him character, to which almighty allah testified, and his gentle manner with the ignorant man, his kindness and sympathy toward him. it is his example [for us] of leniency with an uninformed person, of how to teach him gently and convey the correct information to his mind.
another example is in his prohibiting people to continue the fast without a break at night for fear it might have been made obligatory upon them. the same is true when he prayed night prayers during ramadhan for a few nights until, after many people had begun to assemble, he stopped going out to lead them for fear that this prayer might become obligatory on muslims.
and another was when he peace be upon him entered the masjid and found a rope stretched between two pillars. he peace be upon him said, "what is this rope?" they said, "it is for zaynab; when she becomes tired she holds onto it." he peace be upon him said,
"untie it. let one of you pray when he has energy, but when he becomes tired he should sit down."(al-bukhari and muslim)