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Empathy – Mufti Yusuf Moosagie

Empathy is considered to be one of the highest human qualities.

Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand:

(1)what other people are feeling,
(2) see things from their point of view and
(3) put yourself in that person’s position.

60% of thoughts are self-directed. My goals. My problems. My feelings.

Another 30% are directed towards relationships, but how they affect me. What does my wife think of me? How will my boss evaluate my performance in the next review? Do my friends like me or see me as irritating?

Only 10% of the time is spent on empathy.

Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had the highest level of empathy for the Sahaba Radiyallahu Anhum and the Ummah.

In a verse of the Noble Quraan, Almighty Allah described the empathy of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam in the following way:

لَـقَدۡ جَآءَكُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ مِّنۡ اَنۡفُسِكُمۡ عَزِيۡزٌ عَلَيۡهِ مَا عَنِتُّمۡ حَرِيۡصٌ عَلَيۡكُمۡ بِالۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ رَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِيۡمٌ‏ ﴿9:128﴾ فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَقُلۡ حَسۡبِىَ اللّٰهُ ۖ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ ؕ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلۡتُ​ ؕ

وَهُوَ رَبُّ الۡعَرۡشِ الۡعَظِيۡمِ‏ ﴿9:129﴾

“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.” [Surah 9 – Verse 129]

How To Attain Empathy?

1) Listen
We all have a desire to express ourselves. So listening doesn’t come naturally to us. We need to suppress the urge to cut the person off.

2) Acknowledge the other person’s feelings. Do not be judgmental.

3) Ask insightful, relevant questions.

4) Recall a similar situation in your life and how you felt about it

If you meeting someone who lost a child – think about how you felt when you lost someone close to you.

5) Visualize Yourself in Their Situation

Imagine you were in that situation. Think about the emotions you would experience.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

Empathy is to see with the eyes of another
To hear with the ears of another
And to feel with the heart of another.

Empathy is the medicine the world needs.

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