Forty Hadiths or Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad about Compassionate Living

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The world appears to be a more dangerous place since September 11, 2001, more so than any time that I can remember. Our human family appears to be in dire need of mutual love and compassion. In this pursuit I had made a collection last year, titled, Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran.

Today, I propose to collect 40 Hadiths or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, on the theme of compassion, mutual love, kindness, mercy and altruism.

1. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Allah will say to his servant when He will be taking account of him on the Day of Judgment, ‘O’ son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I feed you? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so who is the son of so and so felt hunger, and you did not feed him. Alas, had you fed him you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink.’ He will reply: ‘How could I give You drink? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so was thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas, if you had given him, you would have found that (i.e. reward) with me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I became sick and you did not visit Me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I visit You? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so became sick and you did not visit him. Alas, had you visited him, you would have found Me with him (Bokhari).

Our Christian readers will recall that similar teachings are also found in the Gospel of Matthews.

2. Now, I quote a Hadith, which can be considered to be an expression of the Golden rule.

The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim,[1] ethical code or morality[2] that essentially states either of the following:

  • One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (directive form).[1]
  • One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (cautionary form, also known as the Silver Rule).[1]

This concept describes a “reciprocal”, or “two-way”, relationship between one’s self and others that involves both sides equally, and in a mutual fashion.[3][4]

Here is the Hadith with the directive form of the Golden rule:

Anas relates that the Holy Prophet said: No one believes truly until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself (Bokhari and Muslim).

This Golden rule can be explained from the perspective of psychology, philosophy, sociology and religion. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor as also an “I” or “self”.[3][4] Sociologically, this principle is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. (For example, a person living by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group.)

Other narrations of the Golden rule can also be found in Hadiths:

Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and to enter paradise should treat other people as they wish to be treated themselves (Muslim).

Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourself (Abu Dawud)

3. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet kissed his grandson Hasan ibn Ali Aqr’a ibn Habis, who was with him at the time, and he said: I have ten sons and have never kissed any of them. The Holy Prophet looked at him and said: He who has no compassion will receive none (Bokhari and Muslim).

4. Ayesha relates that some desert Arabs came to the Holy Prophet and asked: Do you kiss your children? He answered: Yes. They said: We never kiss them. He said: Can I help it if Allah has stripped your hearts of compassion (Bokhari and Muslim)

5. Jarir ibn Abdullah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Allah has no mercy for him who has no mercy for his fellows (Bokhari and Muslim).

6. Abu Qatadah Harith ibn Ribi’ relates that the Holy Prophet said: I stand up to lead the Prayer having it in mind to lengthen it. Then I hear the cry of an infant and I shorten the Prayer fearing lest I should make it burdensome for its mother (Bokhari).

7. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must speak beneficently or keep quiet (Bokhari and Muslim).

8. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Allah will cover up the faults on the Day of Judgment of him who covers up the faults of another in this world (Muslim).

9. The Prophet said that a kind word or even a smile is a form of charity.

10. Ibn Umar and Ayesha relate that the Holy Prophet said: Gabriel kept exhorting me about the neighbor till I imagined he would include him in the category of heirs (Bokhari and Muslim).

11. Abu Dharr relates that the Holy Prophet said: Abu Dharr, when you prepare broth put plenty of water in it and take care of your neighbors (Muslim). Another version is: My friend advised me: When you prepare broth put plenty of water in it, then find out about the families of your neighbors and share it with them as may be suitable.

12. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet called out: By Allah he does not believe, by Allah he does not believe, by Allah he does not believe. He was asked: Who does not believe, Messenger of Allah? He said: He whose neighbor is not secure against his mischief (Bokhari and Muslim). Muslim’s version is: That one will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure against his mischief.

13. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: O Muslim women, disdain not doing a kindness to a neighbor, even if it were sending her a lamb’s shank (Bokhari and Muslim).

14. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Let no one forbid his neighbor placing his rafter on his wall. Abu Hurairah added: Now I see you turning away from this, but I shall continue to proclaim it (Bokhari and Muslim).

15. Abu Shuraih Khuza’i relates that the Holy Prophet said: He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be benevolent towards his neighbor; he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his guest; he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak beneficently or should keep quiet (Muslim).

16. Ayesha relates that she asked the Holy Prophet: I have two neighbors; to which of them shall I send a present? He said: To the one whose door is nearer to yours (Bokhari).

17. Sahl ibn Sa’ad relates that the Holy Prophet said: He who takes care of an orphan and me will be like this in Paradise; and he raised his forefinger and middle finger by way of illustration (Bokhari).

18. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: He who takes care of an orphan, whether related to him or a stranger and me will be like these two in Paradise; and the narrator raised his forefinger and middle finger by way of illustration (Muslim).

19. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: He who exerts himself on behalf of widows and the indigent is like one who strives in the cause of Allah; and the narrator thinks he added: and like the guardian who never retreats, and like one who observes the fast and does not break it (Bokhari and Muslim).

20. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: The worst food is the food served at a walima (marriage party) from which those are excluded who would like to come and to which those are invited who refuse to come and he who declines an invitation disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Muslim). Another version is:

The worst food is the food served at a walima to which the rich are invited and from which the poor are excluded.

21. Anas relates that the Holy Prophet said: He who brings up two girls through their childhood will appear on the Day of Judgment attached to me like two fingers of a hand (Muslim).

22. Ayesha relates: A poor woman came to me with her two daughters. I gave her three dates. She gave one to each girl and raised the third to her own mouth to eat. The girls asked her for it. So she broke it into two parts and gave one to each of the girls. I was much struck by her action and mentioned what she had done to the Holy Prophet. He said: Allah appointed Paradise for her in consequence of it; or he said: Allah freed her from the Fire on account of it (Bokhari and Muslim).

23. Abu Shuraih Khuwailad ibn Amr Khuza’i relates that the Holy Prophet said: Allah, I declare sinful any failure to safeguard the rights of two weak ones; orphans and women (Nisai).

24. Mus’ab ibn Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas relates: Sa’ad had a notion that he had a superiority over those who were not so well off as he was. The Holy Prophet said: You are helped and are provided for because of the weak and poor ones among you (Bokhari).

25. Abu Darda’ relates that he heard the Holy Prophet say: Look for me among the weak ones, for you are helped and provided for on account of the weak ones among you (Abu Daud).

26. Nu’man ibn Bashir relates that the Holy Prophet said: The believers in their love, kindness and compassion towards each other are like the human body; when one of its limbs is afflicted the whole of it is involved both in waking and in fever (Bokhari and Muslim).

27. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Charity is incumbent upon every human limb every day on which the sun rises. To bring about just reconciliation between two contestants is charity. Helping a person to mount his animal, or to load his baggage on to it is charity. A good word is charity. Every step taken towards the mosque for salat is charity. To remove anything from the street that causes inconvenience is charity (Bokhari and Muslim).

28. Umm Kulthum relates that she heard the Holy Prophet say: He who brings about peace between people and attains good or says that which is good is not a liar (Bokhari and Muslim).

29. Ayesha relates that the Holy Prophet heard two men contending with one another in loud voices outside his door. One of them begged the other to agree to reduce the amount of the debt he owed him and to deal kindly with him. The other said: By Allah, I shall not do it. The Holy Prophet went out to them and asked: Which is the one who swears by Allah he will not act kindly? The man said: It is I, Messenger of Allah, and for him is whatever he prefers (Bokhari and Muslim).

30. Anas relates that the Holy Prophet said: Go to the help of your brother whether he commits a wrong or is wronged. Someone asked: Messenger of Allah, I would help him if he is wronged, but tell me how shall I help him if he is committing a wrong? He answered: Stop him from committing the wrong; that is helping him (Bokhari).

31. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Should a Muslim owe an obligation to his brother in respect of his honor or anything else, let him obtain a release of it today before the time comes when he will have neither dinars nor dirhems. Else, if he should have good deeds they will be taken away from him in proportion to his obligation, and if he should not have good deeds he would be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he wronged in the same proportion (Bokhari).

32. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him said: As long as a Muslim occupies himself with helping a brother, Allah, the Exalted, occupies himself with helping him (Muslim, Tirmidhi and Nisai).

34. The Prophet also said: He who directs another towards good will have such merit as the one who follows his direction; and has said: If a person calls another towards guidance he will have as much merit as the one who follows his direction, without there being the least diminution in the merit of either (Muslim and Abu Daud).

35. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn ‘As relates that the Holy Prophet said: A Muslim is one against whose tongue and hands the Muslims are secure (Bokhari and Muslim).

36. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet asked: Do you know who is a pauper? He was told: Among us a pauper is one who has nothing, cash or property. He said: A pauper from among my people would be one who faces the Day of Judgment with a record of salat and fasts and Zakat, but who will have abused this one, and calumniated that one, and devoured the substance of a third, and shed the blood of a fourth and beaten a fifth. Then each of them will be allotted a portion of his good deeds. Should they not suffice, then their sins and defaults will be transferred from them to him and he will be thrown into the Fire (Muslim).

37. Umm Salamah relates that the Holy Prophet said: I am but a human being. You bring your disputes to me for decision. It might happen that one party might be better versed in presenting his case than the other and I might decide in his favor according to what I hear. But if I decide in favor of one contrary to the right of the other, I merely allot a brand of fire to him (Bokhari and Muslim).

38. Abu Musa Ash’ari relates that the Holy Prophet said: The relationship between one believer and another is like that between different parts of a building, one part strengthens another. Then he gripped the fingers of one hand between those of the other by way of illustration (Bokhari and Muslim).

The Prophet’s compassion was not limited to the fellow human beings, his mercy and kindness extended to all living beings.

39. Once the Prophet of Mercy passed by an animal branded on his face. He said to the owner, “Has it not reached you that I have cursed the one who brands an animal’s face or hits it on its face?”

40. Once, the Prophet of Mercy spoke of God’s forgiveness due to the humane treatment of animals. He told his companions the story of a man who got thirsty on his way. He found a well, climbed down inside it to the water, and quenched his thirst. When he came out he saw a panting dog licking on mud out of extreme thirst. The man thought to himself, “The dog has become as thirsty as I was!” The man went down the well again and got some water for the dog. God appreciated his good work and forgave him. The companions asked, “O Prophet of God, do we get rewarded on humane treatment of animals?” He said, “There is a reward in (doing good to) every living being.”

Need we say any more for love and compassion for fellow human beings.

Additional Reading

A collection of Hadiths by Imam Nawawi translated into English by Sir Zafrulla Khan

A Collection of Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad with Foreword by Mahatma Gandhi

79 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Progressive Islam. and commented:

    Millions people have already suffered, displaced and killed in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa and Rohingya Myanmar.

    Always if there is disaster of conflict, Islamic Clerics blame other parties, and NEVER blame themselves. Whereas Al Quran already say that when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was defeated by enemy, Allah said to Prophet; you lost the battle because of you, or your followers who did not obey your order. That is why, not because of Me (Allah).

    So as long as Islamic Clerics never correct themselves, Allah will NOT help Muslims.

    The largest deviation of Muslims today is that Muslims believe in idols ( Ancient Scholars. Muslim, Bukhari, Hanafi, Safei, Hambali, etc ) blindly rather than God’s law alone.The pure Islamic teaching have been contaminated with the ancient Arab tradition, Arab history and some false Hadith. )

    Allah said in His Books
    They have taken their Rabbis and their monks as gods ( idols) beside Allah,QS 9;31

    Do not trust in human leaders; no human being can save you. When they die,they return to the dust; on that day all their plans come to the end.Psalm 146:

    There is no one in this earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.Ecc.7:20

    O humankind, follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and do not follow any masters ( i.e; the ancient scholars such as (Imam Muslim, Imam Bukhari, Hurrairah, other narrators), Osma bin Laden, ISIS’s leader blindly etc.) other than Him.( al Quran ) . Little you heed to advice! (How many a town We have destroyed! Our punishment came upon them at night or when they were having a nap at midday.QS 7;3-4.

    Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed. QS 4;48.

    Allah warn Muslims that thousand years ago Allah destroyed and killed millions Jews and drove away from their house and become refugee in other countries. Because Allah say Jews turned away from Tourat ( Allah ) to their Rabbis ( idol, god).

    In 21 Century, Islamic Clerics do not take a lesson from that verses above, they try to hide the truth of Islam, They really deceive the ummah, their followers. That is why Allah curse and punish Muslims around the world. Islamic clerics repeat again what Jews did in the pass.

    The Roots of violence and terrorist in Islam today are because the Extremist Muslims believe in scholars such as Muslim-Bukhari who wrote the book of Hadith beside the Holy Quran. Muslim-Bukhari, to them, are regarded as if an idol without doubt at all. So whatever Muslim-Bukhari wrote in His book are come from Prophet and Allah.

    This Book of Hadith Sahih Muslim-Bukhari gives a license to Extremist Muslims, fanatics, mullahs and terrorists to take the law into their own hands and issue edicts as to punish or kill infidel, khafir, blasphemer, apostate, gay lesbian, and those who do not follow their Caliphate (Isis ).

    The brief history of Hadiths
    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) never knew and never read the book of Hadith. The Sunnah which was the practice of the prophet (saw) started from the very first day and many watched and copied it from very first day. There were no books of Hadith in those days and everything (salah, Kaabah, zakaat, fasting, hajj) was being done very well without any resource to any Hadith that was due to the Sunnah and it is continued till this day in the Ummah without any break, generation to generation.

    As we know that the Hadith had to be collected and compiled with great effort by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim-Bukhari after hundreds years Prophet Muhammad’s death. However, prophet Muhammad (saw) never had a chance to examine and confirm the book of Hadith. Allah never gives guarantee the purity of the book of Hadith as Allah did to Al Quran. This is the critical point. If there is 1 or 2 the false Hadith, Muslims will go astray from the truth of Islamic teaching as we see today.

    Some extremist Clerics gave a reason why Muslims need to read the book of Hadith, because Al Quran does not explain how to pray 5 times a day. Their reason is not logic at all.

    Al Quran are God’s words, promote peace, harmony, love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, justice for all, freedom of religion, speech, expression and prosperity. Allah guarantee the purity of Al Quran.

    But the Hadith are men’s words.
    but Allah does not guarantee the purity and the holiness of the book of Hadith.

    The book of Hadith contains thousand of Hadith.
    Beside the sahih Hadith there are also the false Hadith that I found.

    1. The sahih Hadith
    2. The false Hadith
    3. The ancient Arab tradition Hadist.

    The book of Hadith is defective. If Muslim follows the false hadith, he/she will go astray and kill people. So Extremist Muslim use the false Hadith to justify to kill apostates, Blasphemous, gay-lesbian and those who are accused “Kafir”.

    These some of examples of false and violent Hadiths.

    Imam Muslim-Bukhari command Muslim to kill those who insult Islam, or make a division of Islam (Blasphemy) written in the book of Hadith sahih Muslim-Bukhari;

    When the end times will appear young people and bad attitude. They said word by using the word of GOD , when they had come out of Islam as an arrow from his bow slipping .
    Wherever you meet them , then kill them . Because real people are killed they will get a reward on the resurrection day ” HR Bukhari.

    Anyone of you who saw heresy, apostasy, let is changing with your HANDS, if not able, let the verbal, if not able to let the heart. However, such is weak as weak faith..HR.Muslim ( changing with your hand means to harm, destroy, kill )

    ” That there is a Jewish woman who often denounce and vilify the Prophet . (Due to the offense ) , then the woman had been strangled to death by a man. It turns out that the Messenger of Allah justifies his blood ” . (Abu Dawud )

    The extremist Muslim kill the apostasy will get reward from God, because Imam Muslim Bukhari command us to do so;

    Anyone who changes his religion (out of Islam, apostasy) then kill. Wherever you meet them, then kill them. Because real people are killed they will get a reward at the Judgment Day (HR. Bukhari) –(Honor killing )

    The extremist Muslim kill Gay-Lesbian (homosexual), because Imam Muslim Bukhari command us to do so;

    “If you have people who do act like the people of Lut (liwath) then kill the perpetrators.” (Narrated by Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

    If anyone sincerely supplicates to Allah for martyrdom, Allaah will elevate him to the rank of martyrs even if he died on his bed. [Sahih Muslim (4695) ].
    May Allah swt give us courage to supplicate Him (to humbly ask Him) for Martyrdom! #Aameen…

    Ahmadiyyah should lead Muslim to NOT believe in the book of Hadith as second guidance of islamic teaching.

    All love ❤️

    • Interesting thoughts, however, there is one thing missing in Somi’s deliberations, which unfortunately leaves him ‘out in the cold’ ‘wandering in the desert’. And that is that Allah in His infinite mercy sent the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi to correctly interpret Islam for this day. And the Khalifas are rightly guided and continue this work. Somi is a good example how people with good intentions and a lot of studies still cannot find peace and the straight path. Allah has intended that we should follow the Imam of this time and the Khalifas of this time and therefore without following them and studying them properly we are still lost. Please visit and ‘take in’ the multitude of knowledge.

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