Compassion, or Passionate Love?
By virtue of his nature, man has a great capacity to love. He loves himself, he loves his children, his house, his spouse, and numerous things around him.
However, this passionate love of man towards different worldly possessions is restricted to the benefit he derives from them. If the same becomes the cause of anguish, he will start disliking them, and even hate them at times;thereby demonstrating the nature of passionate love, which desires remuneration and seeks return.
No wonder,we often times end up getting disappointed, anxious,stressed and depressed, when the desired results are not achieved.The Qur’an describes with brilliant eloquence an emotion of Prophet Yaqub(asws), which he felt for His son Yusuf (asws).
Until we ponder over the message conveyed to us in the Qur’an, and read the scholars,we happen to take this intense emotion ofYaqub(asws) to be the deep love and passion which generally parents have towards their children. This is while it was, in fact,compassion;for compassion is much more acute, brilliant and elevated than passionate love.Perhaps, it was because of this that Yaqub (asws)could forgive his other sons, despite knowing their faulty motives.
Passionate love and compassion are like the two sides of the same coin: both cannot be seen at the same time in the humans.Further down, in the same chapter of the Qur’an,Allah ta’alahas also explained to us the consequences of passionately loving the worldly creatures, through Zulaikha’sexample. She loved Prophet Yusuf (asws) and wanted him to reciprocate to her with the same passion, and upon failing which she slandered and imprisoned him, leading to her own dismay.
Although Allah ta’ala is both, All-Loving and All-Compassionate, the attribute of compassion is much worthy. Compassion seeks nothing in return, absolutely no recompense for the favours shown. All the Prophets demonstrated compassion when they proclaimed the message of God to their nation, for they never abused or insulted them when they disbelieve in him, instead they worried for them with sincere pain.
What the Prophets showed us was a mirror reflection of the comprehensive name, All-Compassionate. Similar was the case of the Companions of our Prophet:they lived in this world to benefit in the Hereafter. As the scholars have described them, they saw this world as the arable field of the Hereafter, and sowed and reaped it. They loved to do things compassionatelywith concern for others.
Therefore, even though they reached the great heights by conquering the richest countries of those times, they had little concern for the wealth and the status achieved, because their only worry was the Hereafter.
They saw the divine message in every good action, and never started it without invoking the name of Allah (swt), with His blessed attributes. For they knew, invoking the name of the All-Compassionateand the All-Merciful with utter sincerity at the start of every good thing has a wisdom behind it.
Irrespective of the effort put, the blessings associated with the task will make it easy and fulfilling.