Sunday, November 20, 2011

10 Reasons to Strive for Generosity of Spirit and Kindness in Speech

Right understanding is the foundation for developing a proper sense of values, so sorely lacking in our age. Without right understanding our vision is dimmed and the way is lost; all our efforts will be misguided and misdirected, all our plans for individual and social development must flounder and fail. Such plans will have to be based on the Eightfold Path with its emphasis on self-effort, self-control, and respect for the individual. 

When wrong views prevail we will operate with a perverted sense of values: we will fling ourselves into the blind pursuit of wealth, power, and possessions; we will be obsessed by the urge to conquer and dominate; we will pine for ruthless revenge; we will dumbly conform to social conventions and norms. Right views will point us towards an enlightened sense of values: towards detachment and kindness; towards generosity of spirit and selfless service to others; towards the pursuit of wisdom and understanding. The confusion and moral lunacy now prevalent in the world can be eased, if not eliminated, if the path of the Buddha is followed. Right livelihood and right action, for instance, can help us avoid the conflicts that result from a wrong way of life and wrong action, thereby enabling a society to live in peace and harmony.

In The Light of Qur'an & Hadith:

1) The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t)
(Peace & Blessings be upon him) said, “Kind speech and feeding (the hungry) guarantee you Paradise." [Al-Tabarani]

2) “And speak nicely to people." [Surah Al-Baqarah Ch:2 V:83]

3) “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally." [Surah An-Nisa’, Ch:4 V:86]

Ibn Abbas commented on this and said, “He who greets you return his greeting in better words. He also said, “If Pharoah were to speak nicely to me, I would do so to him."

) Anas (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.w.t) (Peace & Blessings be upon him) said, “Verily there are chambers in Paradise; their insides and outsides can be seen – for him who spoke kindly and fed (the hungry)." [Al-Tirmidhi]

) Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings be upon him) also said, “A good word is also a charitable deed." [Sahih Al-Muslim]

) “Ward off the Fire even if by giving half a date in charity. If you could not afford that then utter a kind word." [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim]

) `Umar (ra) said, “Generosity is an easy thing. It is a smiling face and kind words."

) Some wise men said, “Do not be stingy with a word that does not arouse your Lord’s wrath yet it pleases your brother. It may happen that Allah (s.w.t) gives you the reward of those who do good works."

) “And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give to their kinsmen, the poor, and those who left their homes for Allah (s.w.t)’s cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not wish that Allah (s.w.t) should forgive you?" [Surah An-Nur Ch:24 V:22].

Abu Bakr (ra) had cut off his financial support of his relative Mustah because Mustah had participated in the slander against his daughter `A’ishah (ra). After this verse was revealed, he resumed and even increased the amount he gave Mustah in financial support.

) “Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish." [Surah Al-‘A’raf Ch:7 V:199]