Monday 31 July 2023

Empathy in Islam


Empathy is a profound human quality that transcends cultural, religious, and geographical boundaries. In Islam, empathy holds a central position as one of the core values that fosters compassion, understanding, and unity within the Muslim community and beyond. This blog post explores the concept of empathy in Islam, its significance, and how it is expressed in various aspects of a Muslim's life.

Understanding Empathy in Islam

Empathy in Islam is deeply rooted in the belief that all human beings are interconnected, created by Allah (God) with inherent dignity and worth. The Arabic term for empathy is "tafakkur," which means to contemplate and deeply understand the feelings, experiences, and struggles of others. It involves the ability to place oneself in another's shoes, perceive their emotions, and respond with genuine care and concern.

The Quranic Perspective on Empathy

The Quran, the holy book of Islam, contains numerous verses emphasizing the importance of empathy and compassion towards others. One of the most cited verses is Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13), which states: "O mankind, indeed, We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted."

This verse highlights the divine wisdom behind human diversity and encourages mutual understanding among people from different backgrounds, thereby promoting empathy.

The Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Exemplary Empathy

The life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) serves as a remarkable example of empathy in action. Throughout his teachings and actions, he consistently demonstrated empathy towards all, regardless of their status or beliefs. He displayed compassion towards orphans, the poor, the sick, and even those who opposed him.

An anecdote that showcases his compassion is when a Bedouin man urinated in the mosque, an act that infuriated others. Instead of responding with anger, the Prophet (PBUH) calmly explained that the mosque was a place of worship and purity and gently advised the man. This incident exemplifies how empathy can dissolve hostility and ignorance and foster a sense of understanding and harmony.

Empathy in Social Interactions

In Islamic teachings, empathy is encouraged in everyday interactions. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "None of you will have faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." This Hadith emphasizes the golden rule of treating others as we wish to be treated. By empathizing with others, Muslims are encouraged to build strong bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood within their communities.

Empathy in Acts of Charity and Support

Islamic teachings also emphasize the significance of empathy in acts of charity and support. Zakat, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, requires Muslims to give a portion of their wealth to those in need. The practice of giving alms helps believers to empathize with the less fortunate and recognize their responsibility to uplift the vulnerable members of society.

Additionally, Muslims are encouraged to visit the sick, console the bereaved, and provide assistance to those facing hardships. These acts are rooted in empathy and reflect the belief that by alleviating the suffering of others, one earns the pleasure of Allah and strengthens the community.

Empathy as a Catalyst for Peace and Unity

In today's interconnected world, empathy is more critical than ever in bridging divides and promoting peace. By embracing empathy, Muslims can break down stereotypes and misconceptions that surround their faith, paving the way for interfaith dialogue and understanding.

Empathy in Islam goes beyond mere understanding; it is an active and compassionate response to the joys and struggles of others. By cultivating empathy, Muslims can enrich their relationships, strengthen their communities, and contribute to a more harmonious global society. In a world often marked by strife and division, the Islamic concept of empathy offers a powerful antidote – one that promotes unity, compassion, and love for all of humanity.

Saturday 29 July 2023

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Eid al-Adha Sermon: A Day of Gratitude by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf


In this powerful Eid sermon, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf recounts the miraculous story of our father, Abraham, peace be upon him, which serves as an important reminder of our responsibility as the standard-bearers of God’s covenant with the believers.

Tuesday 25 July 2023



Today, I want to share some valuable advice with you. It's about reducing our dependence on and expectations from people as we go through different phases of life. Oftentimes, hurt, resentment, cynicism, and detachment arise because we place too much trust in others and expect too much from them. Instead, let's shift our focus and place our ultimate trust in Allah alone.

The wise words of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) remind us that seeking relief from people in times of difficulty will not bring true solace. However, when we seek relief from Allah, He will provide for us, either by quickly fulfilling our needs or bringing us peace through our trials.

So, let's take this advice to heart:

-Avoid asking people for money; instead, seek help from Allah.
-Don't rely on others to find a life partner for you; trust Allah's plan for your future.
-Refrain from coveting what others possess; be content with what Allah has provided for you.
-Limit excessive complaining to others; turn to Allah in prayer and seek His guidance.
-Stop seeking constant appreciation, love, and comfort from people; find solace in Allah's love and mercy.
-Don't expect others to treat you exactly as you treat them; instead, focus on being kind and selfless for Allah's sake.
-Release the fear of losing people; remember that Allah is always with you.

Ibn al-Qayyim wisely said that for everything a slave loses, there is a substitute, except when one loses Allah; nothing can replace Him.

The key is to strive for self-sufficiency and dependence on Allah alone. The Angel Jibreel reminded the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that the nobility of a believer lies in prayer at night and independence from relying too much on others.

When we prioritize seeking Allah's help, love, and guidance, people will naturally be drawn to us. The more we ask Allah and depend on Him, the more He will love us in return.

Instead of relying on others for every need, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised that it is better to work diligently and earn a living for oneself, without burdening others.

So, let's cut the rope of dependence on people and firmly hold onto the rope of Allah's support and love. Make sincere dua (supplication) to Allah to free you from the need for others, and focus on being a giver, a healer, and a helper to those around you. As long as you help others, Allah will continue to support and help you.

Remember, whoever relies on Allah, Allah is sufficient for them (Quran, Surah At-Talaaq 65: Verse 3). Allah also aids His servants when they help their fellow human beings (Hadith, Sahih Muslim).

Let us pray to Allah to protect us from worry, grief, laziness, and other hardships and to grant us strength and contentment. May Allah guide us to live a life of faith, compassion, and reliance on Him. Ameen.