Where Mercy Begins
The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) kissed Al-Hasan bin ‘Ali while sitting with the chief Al-Aqra‘ bin Habis At-Tamimy, who remarked,
“I have ten children, but I have never kissed any one of them.” The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) looked at him and said, “The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.”1
Mercy to be had must first be given. Merciful gestures such as a kiss, a hug, a pat, or a smile do not go against the dignity of fatherhood, but they establish secret ties of mutual love, mercy, and understanding between a father and his children never to be had without these tender expressions of affection. Their blessed influence is beyond human understanding; their absence hardens the hearts.
Lady ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “Some Bedouins came to the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh)and asked,
‘Do you kiss your children?’ He (Pbuh) said, ‘Yes.’ They said, ‘But, by Allah, we do not kiss them.’ The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh)said, ‘Do I have any power if Allah has removed mercy from you?’”2
Upon seeing the eyes of the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) overflowing with tears when his dying grandson was placed on his lap, Sa‘d exclaimed, ‘What is this (tears), O Messenger of Allah?’ He (Pbuh) said, ‘This is mercy which Allah places in the hearts of whomever He wishes of His servants. Allah shows mercy only to those among His servants who are merciful.’”1
From there mercy begins, grows, and ultimately elevates the soul to its noblest attributes. The Messenger (Pbuh) taught this, saying:
- “They are not of us, those who do not show mercy to our young ones and do not revere our elders.”3
- “The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.”4
- “Show mercy, and mercy will be shown to you. Forgive, and Allah will forgive you.”5
- “The All-Merciful One has mercy on those who are merciful. Show mercy to those on the earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy to you.”6
- “Mercy is only plucked from one who is wretched.”7
- “Verily, Allah is kind and loves kindness in all affairs.”8
- “Verily, kindness whenever it exists in a thing graces it, and whenever taken away from a thing disgraces it.”
- “The one deprived of kindness is deprived of all good.”9
- Abu Hurairah, Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Adab, Hadith no. 5538.
- Sahih Muslim, Book of Al-Fada’il, Hadith no 4281.
- Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Aiman wa Al-Nudhur, Hadith no. 6163.
- Ibn ‘Abbas, Sunan At-Tirmidhy, Book of Al-Birr Waslah (Benevolence and Upholding the Ties of Kinship), Hadith no. 1844.
- Jarir bin ‘Abdullah, Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Adab, Hadith no. 5554.
- ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As, Musnad Ahmad, Book of Al-Mukthrin min As-Sahabh, Hadith no. 6255.
- ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As, Sunan At-Tirmidhy, Book of Al-Birr Waslah, Hadith no. 1847.
- Abu Hurairah, Sunan Abu Dawud, Book of Al-Adab, Hadith no. 4291.
- Lady ‘Aishah, Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Astitabht Al-Murtadin (Dealing with Apostates), Hadith no. 6415.
- Lady ‘Aishah, Sahih Muslim, Book of Al-Birr Waslah Waladab (Benevolence, Upholding the Ties of Kinship and Good Manners), Hadith no. 4698.