Respect and Kindness from an Islamic Perspective





Part of being a righteous and pious Muslim is to show kindness and respect towards other individuals. After respect and kindness towards our parents Islam emphasizes respect and kindness towards the following groups of people:
Elders: As part of being a good Muslim one must respect the wisdom of their elders by being polite and considerate towards them. In return their elders will be pleased with them and they will treat them kindly. Anas (R.A.) reported that Rasulullah (saws) said:
No youth will honor an old man without Allah appointing one to honor him when he is old. (Transmitted by Tirmidhi).
Rasulullah (saws) also said:
He who does not respect his elders and does not show love for the young ones is not from amongst us. (Transmitted by Abu Dawud).
Teachers: A good Muslim must also show respect for their teachers whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. This is because teachers are there to guide one's behavior and studies. A teacher can help an individual to become a better human being and earn a good living in the future. The fourth rightly guided Caliph Ali ibn Abu Talib (R.A.) said: Anyone who has taught me a word has made me their slave. Also, Rasulullah (saws) is reported to have said:
Indeed I have been sent as a teacher (Transmitted by Darimi).
Kindness to all people: In the holy Quran Allah (s.w.t) advises us to show kindness to all people. Also, Ibn Abbas (R.A.) reported that Rasulullah (s.a.w.s.) said:
He is not one of us who dies without having shown kindness to our young ones and respect to our older ones. (Transmitted by Tirmidhi).
Thus, one should be patient with the young ones and try to set a good example for them. Likewise, as mentioned a younger individual must show respect towards their elders. Islamic behavior is based on mutual consideration and kindness. One can show kindness simply by saying something pleasing to another individual. However, sometimes being nice to others can prove to be difficult especially when the other person is not kind in return. At such times one should remember that they will receive the reward for an act of kindness from Allah (s.w.t.) and that He is watching everything. The people who return evil with good are especially liked by Allah (s.w.t). The Quran teaches us that a good act always wins out in the end. The Quran states:
Be kind as Allah has been kind to you. (28:77).


Source: Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq by Aisha Lemu

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