Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
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. The numbering of the verses of each Surah is with counting Bismillah as the first verse.
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:
1. Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West. The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travelers and beggars and to liberate those in debt and bondage; those who keep up the prayers and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God. (Al Quran 2:178)
This verse talks about a set of beliefs and then a set of good deeds, the intricate relationship between the two escapes many if not most. Many take a set of beliefs as dogma or a magical wand that if believed in will lead to certain success here and in the hereafter. But, see if we believe that Jesus died for our sins or for that matter Moses or Joseph died for our sins or Muhammad, may peace be on him, went to heaven in his physical body, such ideas or deeply held beliefs are no different from knowing or believing that the table I am looking at in the center of my room right now is made of wood. This belief has no trans-formative value on my character. But, a belief gathered through life long experience, in All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Merciful and Gracious God, who loves us and has revealed Himself through prophets and scriptures and taught us accountability on the Day of Judgment, has the ability to jolt our psyche and make our character compassionate, truthful and honest. Such a deeply held and experienced belief and not any set of dogmas is implied in this verse of Surah Baqarah. In short, religion is about leading an honest life of compassion demonstrating kindness and not about obsession over dogma or ritual or who has the religious authority.
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:
2. 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:
3. 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)
4. 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:
5. 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:
6. 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 respecting ties 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.