It is a common perception that the strictest, harshest person in the masjid or community is often mwenye kushika deeni (the righteous), but is this really the example of the Prophet (SAW)?
In the Quran Allah says: “So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” (English Translation of the Qur’an, 3.159).
This ayah clearly shows that a key reason for the Prophet’s (SAW) success was his kind demeanour. And if we are to be righteous people who love the Prophet (SAW), then we should follow his sunnah and show kindness to others.
Furthermore, angry reactions such as chasing someone away from the masjid just because they are not dressed correctly, for example, works to push away that person rather than correct them. Therefore, our actions are counterintuitive.
It was narrated by Abu Huraira that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Do not help Shaytan against your brother” (vol. 8, bk. 81, nr. 772). Most times, being harsh with someone who has done something wrong unknowingly, or even knowingly, will push them further away from the right path.
As an ummah, we need to change our approach and ensure that we have a kinder and a more welcoming face in order to be more successful in showing the beauty of this deen.
May Allah make us among the successful. Ameen.
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