Gentleness only beautifies
We often comment in amazement at a person, "He is clam, he is un-flustered, and he is composed." When we would like to criticize a person, we would say, "He is hasty ... he is weak..."
Messenger of Allah Peace be Upon Him Said “Gentleness beautifies everything. Harshness disfigures." (Muslim)
It has come in a Hadith, "If Allah decides well for a family, he blesses them with gentleness. If Allah decides evil for a family, he deprives them of gentleness:'
Another Hadith states, "Allah is gentle and loves gentleness, and gives due to gentleness what He does not give to harshness or anything else:' (Muslim)
A gentle person who is easy going and soft is beloved to all people. People feel comfortable with such a person and trust him, especially if gentleness is accompanied with beautiful speech and the skill of dealing with people correctly.
AI-Imam Abu Yusuf, the judge, was from the most famous Hanafi scholars. He was the most prominent student of Abu Hanifah. Abu Yusuf was very poor during his childhood and his father would forbid him from attending Abu Hanifah's lessons and instead order him to go to the marketplace to earn a living. Abu Hanifah was very keen for him, and would reprimand him if he missed his lessons.
One day, Abu Yusuf complained to Abu Hanifah about his father. Abu Hanifah called his father and asked him, "How much does your son earn in one day?"
He replied, "Two dirhams:' Abu Hanifah said, "I will give you two dirhams if you allow him to study:'
Thus, Abu Yusuf studied with his teacher for years. When Abu Yusuf grew into a young man and became distinguished amongst his colleagues, he became afflicted with an illness that left him bedridden. When Abu Hanifah visited him he noticed that his illness was very severe, he became sad and feared that he may die. He left Abu Yusuf saying to himself, "Alas, Abu Yusuf! How I wished that you would serve the people after me!" Abu Hanifah went along dragging his feet to his study circle where his students were waiting. After a couple of days, Abu Yusuf recovered. He took a bath, wore his clothes and went off to attend his teacher's lessons. Those around him asked, "Where are you going?"
"To the Shaykh's lesson", he replied.
They said, "Even now you are studying? You don't need to. Haven't you heard what the Shaykh has said about you?"
"What did he say?" he enquired.
They said, "He has said: 'I wished that you would serve the people after me', meaning, you have acquired all the knowledge of Abu Hanifah, and if the teacher were to die today, you would have sat in his place."
Abu Yusuf felt amazed at him, and went to the Masjid where he saw Abu Hanifah's study circle in a corner, so he went to another corner and began to teach and pass verdicts!
Abu Hanifah noticed the new study circle and asked, "Whose study circle is this?
They said, "Abu Yusuf's."
"Has he recovered?" he asked.
"Yes", they said.
Abu Hanifah then asked, "Why didn't he come to our lessons.”
They replied, "He was informed of what you had said, so he began to teach the people, since he isn't in need of you anymore."
Abu Hanifah then thought about how to deal with this case in a gentle manner, and came up with an idea to teach Abu Yusuf a lesson. He turned to one of his students and said,"0 so-and-so, go to the Shaykh sitting over there Abu Yusuf - and say to him, '0 Shaykh! I have a question.' He would be very happy with you upon you asking him questions, for he has only sat there to be asked questions!
Say to-him, 'A man gives his garment to a tailor to-get it shortened. When he returns to him after a few days to collect it, the tailor denies that he ever had his garment. The man goes to the police to complain, and the police enter the shop and recover his garment for him.
The question is: Does the tailor deserve the payment for shortening the garment or not?'
If he says to you, 'Yes, he deserves it', tell him he is wrong.
And if he says to you, 'No, he does not deserve if, tell him he is wrong,'
The student was pleased to learn this complex question and went off to Abu Yusuf and said,"0 Shaykh! I have a question."
Abu Yusuf said, "What is your question?"
He said, "A man gives his garment to the tailor... ", and before he could finish, Abu Yusuf replied, "Yes, he deserves payment, as long as he has finished his work."
The questioner said, "You are wrong."
Abu Yusuf became surprised and thought about the issue deeply and said, "Actually, he does not deserve payment."
The questioner said, "You are wrong, again."
Abu Yusuf looked at him and said, "By Allah, who sent you here?"
The man pointed towards Abu Hanifah and said, "The Shaykh sent me."
Abu Yusuf stood from his gathering and went to Abu Hanifah's circle and said,"0 Shaykh! I have a question."
Abu Hanifah ignored him. Abu Yusuf then came and sat on his knees in front of the Shaykh, and said with all due respect, "0 Shaykh, I have a question."
He said, "What is your question?"
Abu Yusuf said, "You know what the question is."
"The question about the tailor and the garment?" asked Abu Hanifah.
"Yes", replied Abu Yusuf.
Abu Hanifah said, "You answer the question. Aren't you a Shaykh?"
He replied, "Rather, you are the Shaykh,"
Abu Hanifah then said in response to the question, "We check how much he shortened the garment by. If the garment was shortened to match the man's height, then it means he did the work completely. But then it occurred to him that he should deny having his garment. In this case, he shortened the garment for this man, and therefore he deserves to be paid. But if he had shortened the garment to suit his own height then that means he shortened the garment for himself and therefore does not deserve any payment."
Upon hearing that, Abu Yusuf kissed Abu Hanifah's forehead and remained his student until Abu Hanifah passed away. Only then did Abu Yusuf sit in his place to teach the people. How beautiful is gentleness and how wonderful it is to deal with such issues with tenderness!
The Prophet's anger - if he ever became angry - was always in religious matters. The Prophet Peace Be upon Him never became angry for his own sake. He would only become angry if one of Allah's sanctities was being violated.
Once 'Umar bin al-Khattab may Allah be pleased with him- met a Jewish person. The Jewish person showed him a passage from the Torah, which amazed 'Umar, so he took a copy for himself. He then came to the Messenger of Allah Peace Be upon Him with this passage from the Torah and read it out to him. The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him realized that 'Umar was taken by the passage and that if the door was opened up for deriving rulings from previous religions, then their books would become mixed with the Qur'an, thereby leaving the people perplexed. How could 'Umar have gone ahead and made a copy of the passage and written it with his own hands without asking the Prophet Peace Be upon Him?
The Prophet Peace Be upon Him became angry and said, "Are you confused over this, 0 Ibn al-Khattab" meaning, are you doubting my Shari'ah?
He then said, "I swear by the One who has my soul in His Hand, I have come to you with something crystal clear. Do not ask them about anything, lest they inform you of the truth and you reject it, or they inform you of falsehood and you believe in it. I swear by the One who has my soul in His hand, if Musa was alive today, he would have no choice but to follow me."
During the early stages of the Prophet's prophet hood, he used to come to the Ka'bah, whilst the Quraysh would be sitting In their gatherings. He would pray and not pay any attention to them. They would hurt him in many ways, whilst he would bear it all with patience.
One day, the noble ones from Quraysh gathered together and mentioned the Messenger of Allah Peace Be upon Him and said, "We have never come across anything more severe than what we have had to bear from this man. He has declared our views stupid. He has insulted our forefathers. He has condemned our religion. He has disunited our ranks, and insulted our gods. We are truly exasperated with him."
Whilst they were discussing amongst each other, there came the Messenger of Allah Peace Be upon Him and walked to the corner of the Ka'bah in order to touch it for the purpose of tawaf. When he began to make tawaf around the Ka'bah they started to mock him.
The Prophet's complexion changed but his attitude remained calm with them and bore it with silence and continued. When he passed by them the second time, they mocked him again. His complexion changed, but he remained silent and continued with the tawaf. When he passed by them the third time, they mocked him again. He realized that gentleness was not working with such people. He went to them and said, "Pay attention, 0 Quraysh! I swear by the One who has my soul in His hand, I have come to you with slaughter!" The brave Messenger said these words and remained standing, facing them. When the men heard the threat of being slaughtered from the 'most truthful and the most trustworthy one', they jumped up, until every single one sat upright and still, as if a bird was resting on his head, so much so that the harshest of them towards the Prophet ~ began to show him gentleness. They said, "Make your way, 0 Abul-Qasim as a noble man. You were never foolish:' thus, the Prophet Peace Be upon Him made his way. Yes, if it is said to you," be gentle ... ", then say, "gentleness has its place,": For one to be gentle at an inappropriate occasion is considered foolishness, although when one closely studies the life of the Prophet Peace be upon Him he realizes that he was gentle on most occasions. But be careful!
We are not calling for weakness and cowardice. We are only calling for gentleness.