One of the most beloved qualities of good character to Allah is kindness and gentleness. Allah has reserved a special reward for those who are kind and gentle.
The Honourable wife of Nabi ﷺ, Aisha RA reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
يَا عَائِشَةُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَفِيقٌ يُحِبُّ الرِّفْقَ وَيُعْطِي عَلَى الرِّفْقِ مَا لَا يُعْطِي عَلَى الْعُنْفِ وَمَا لَا يُعْطِي عَلَى مَا سِوَاهُ
O Aisha, Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness and He does not reward anything else like it. [Sahih Muslim 2593]
Kindness and gentleness are traits that are inherently good, and whoever has them has been given his portion of goodness.
Jareer RA reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
مَنْ يُحْرَمْ الرِّفْقَ يُحْرَمْ الْخَيْرَ
He who is deprived of kindness is deprived of goodness. [Sahih Muslim 2592]
There is yet a third Hadith narrated by Abu Darda RA that the Prophet ﷺ said:
مَنْ أُعْطِيَ حَظَّهُ مِنْ الرِّفْقِ فَقَدْ أُعْطِيَ حَظَّهُ مِنْ الْخَيْرِ وَمَنْ حُرِمَ حَظَّهُ مِنْ الرِّفْقِ فَقَدْ حُرِمَ حَظَّهُ مِنْ الْخَيْرِ
Whoever is given his portion of kindness has been given his portion of goodness, and whoever is deprived of his portion of kindness has been deprived of his portion of goodness. [Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2013]
Allah loves kindness and gentleness in all matters, so we should manifest these qualities even when we face abuse and cruelty. On one occasion, the Prophet ﷺ was insulted and cursed by his enemies but he did not return their curse. Rather, he showed patience and forbearance and encouraged his companions and even his own household, to be kind.
اسْتَأْذَنَ رَهْطٌ مِنَ الْيَهُودِ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالُوا السَّامُ عَلَيْكَ. فَقُلْتُ بَلْ عَلَيْكُمُ السَّامُ وَاللَّعْنَةُ. فَقَالَ ” يَا عَائِشَةُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَفِيقٌ يُحِبُّ الرِّفْقَ فِي الأَمْرِ كُلِّهِ ”. قُلْتُ أَوَلَمْ تَسْمَعْ مَا قَالُوا قَالَ ” قُلْتُ وَعَلَيْكُمْ ”
Aisha RA narrates: A group of Jews asked permission to visit the Prophet ﷺ (and when they were admitted) they said, “As- Samu ‘Alaika (Death be upon you).” I said (to them), “But death and the curse of Allah be upon you!” The Prophet ﷺ said, “O `Aisha! Allah is kind and lenient and likes that one should be kind and lenient in all matters.” I said, “Haven’t you heard what they said?” He said, “I said (to them), ‘Wa ‘Alaikum (and upon you). [Bukhari 6927]
Small acts of kindness, although it might be trivial in the eyes of people, are an important means for us to be saved from Jahannum and admitted into Jannah.
Ibn Mas’ud RA reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
أَلَا أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِمَنْ يَحْرُمُ عَلَى النَّارِ أَوْ بِمَنْ تَحْرُمُ عَلَيْهِ النَّارُ عَلَى كُلِّ قَرِيبٍ هَيِّنٍ سَهْلٍ
“Shall I not inform you of whom the Fire is unlawful and he is unlawful for the Fire? Every person who is near (to people), amicable, and easy (to deal with).'” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2488]