Doing small acts of kindness constantly and making them a habit can help in softening our hearts and to bring us closer to Allah. Some of us may not even know the hardness of our hearts and thus striving to look for opportunities to do good deeds can help us stay clear of such a state. Consider the story about the man who came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) complaining that his heart was hard, implying that his attitude in dealing with people was harsh and unfriendly. On hearing his complaint about himself, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied to him with an advice by saying, “Would you like your heart to become soft and to get what you want? Show mercy to the orphan, pat his head, feed him from your own food, and your heart will become soft and you will get what you want.” (Hadith reported by al-Tabaraani; there are also corroborating reports. See al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 2/533).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) advised us on numerous other occasions about the need to be kind in our attitude when dealing with others. According to one of the hadith that is mentioned in Sahih Muslim (2592) and was narrated from Jareer, the Prophet said: “Whoever is deprived of kindness is deprived of goodness.”
We should also be more careful in dealing with the members of our households that include our parents, spouse, children, and other members of the extended family. A household that specifically doesn’t instill kindness may see rude behavior, stubbornness, and disrespect among each other. This type of an attitude then leads to worsening of relationships between family members, in turn leading to bigger issues and problems.
Remember, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said (as it was narrated through the mother of the believers, Aaishah), “When Allah wills good for the members of a household, He instills kindness in them.”
Let’s push ourselves to show such acts of kindness whenever we can and let’s encourage our families to do the same.
“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.” Quran (Surah Tobah, 128)