What do compassion and tolerance mean? How should we use those feelings?
Compassion: An exalted attribute present in great persons. It is the forerunner of exalted characters such as mercy, patriotism, benefaction and generosity<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
One of the four fundamentals of the servitude of belief and Quran which Ustad Badiuzzaman describes as impotence, poverty, compassion and reflection is compassion. Compassion is the greatest means which leads to the Name of All- Compassionate.
Receiving the manifestation of the name the Compassionate in the perfect meaning is possible by helping people in terms of belief which is the greatest favor and by doing all one can in order to save them from eternal punishment and to cause them to attain eternal happiness. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is the highest representative of that meaning. He used to invite the idolaters to affirm the unity of Allah and used to make efforts under the most difficult and unbearable circumstances so that they would be saved from Hell. Yet, he was a strict enemy of assigning partners to Allah.
It is known that enmity to unbelievers is due to their disbelief. By the expression of Ustad Badiuzzaman, A person is not loved for his own self but for his attributes. (Munazarat) According to that rule, a person is treated as an enemy not for his own self but for his bad attributes. In that case, we will be an enemy of the disbelief attribute of an unbeliever and we will not love him because of his disbelief attribute. However, we will endeavor with compassion so that he will get rid of disbelief.
Let us give some point to tolerance which seems to be analogous to compassion and which is frequently confused with it. Tolerance is usually used with an unusual meaning, a mixture of patience, forgiveness, endurance to severity and compassion.
Tolerance should be understood as putting up with spiritually sick persons whims, treating them well and working with patience for their salvation. Tolerance is a branch of compassion in that sense and it is an exalted attribute.
Unfortunately, nowadays those who take up tolerance from that aspect are very few. When tolerance is considered, ridiculous meanings, humanistic apparently but expressing egoism in reality such as not interfering with anybodys mistakes, not being concerned with peoples sins and disobedience, not bothering and disquieting ourselves by being busy with them are understood. I say ridiculous because it seems to be politeness, gentlemanliness but its reality is watching smilingly his collocutors going to eternal Hell.
A point should be stated momentously: Tolerance has limits like everything. We do not have the right to be tolerant beyond that. Events we meet in the daily life are concerned with either Allahs rights (such as prayer, fast) or rights of servants. Human beings do not have the authority of tolerance for crimes, sins and harams (forbidden) performed against Allah. On the contrary, the duty of warning people in such situations is considered to be sacred and it is notified in Quran as the greatest cause why the ummah (community) of Muhammad (pbuh) is better than the other ummahs. You are the best of people, evolved for mankind. Enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. (the Quran, The Family of Imran (Aal Imran); 110 (3: 110))
According to that, we will not tolerate a behavior that Allah does not consent and that He forbids and we will make effort to remove it as far as possible.
Considering the rights of servants, we cannot be tolerant against someones trespassing of anothers physical or spiritual rights either.
Crimes committed against the person himself remain. That is the field of tolerance. We have the authority of forgiving someone who damages our properties or backbites us. It is better for us to use that right than taking revenge.
We should be compassionate to Allahs servants so that we could expect mercy of Him.We should be forgiving and tolerant towards people so that we could have the face to hope for Almighty Allahs forgiveness and remission.
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