Islamic Principles Enjoin Mercy and Condemn

The Divine religion of Islam is a religion of peace, mercy, tolerance, kindness and benevolence. It stands upright against all brutality, wanton violence, and viciousness in order to promote and protect justice and peace. Allah, the Most Benevolent urged all Muslims to follow the pattern of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as follows:
(It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you deal gently with
them. Were you severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you. So pass over their faults, and ask for Allah's forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.) (3:159)

Allah the Wise and Sublime characterizes the mission of Muhammad (pbuh) as a mercy to all, when He said Most Exalted:
(We have not sent you but as a Mercy for all creation.)

The teachings of Islam call all Muslims to show mercy and kindness to every innocent and poor person. The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) said:
ìThe merciful and kind people will receive the Mercy of
the Merciful Lord, Allah, the Almighty. Be merciful to people on earth, and Allah, the Almighty, Who is in Heaven, will grant you His Mercy.î (Tirmidthi)

In another version he said:

ìAllah, the Almighty, would be Merciful to the merciful
people. Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in
Heaven would be Merciful to you.î
(Tirmidthi & Abu Dawood)

Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said:
ìBeing kind to others is good in every matter, and if kindness is removed (from the hearts of people) the situation becomes bad and worstî (Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "He who is deprived of forbearance and gentleness is, in fact, deprived of all good." (Muslim)

The Prophet (pbuh) said:
"Whenever forbearance is added to something, it adorns
it; and whenever it is withdrawn from something, it leaves it defective." (Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to Ashaj Abdul-Qais
"You possess two qualities that Allah loves: clemency
and tolerance." (Muslim)

Furthermore, Islam requires that mercy and kind treatment be meted out to all people, even to the enemies of the Muslims captured during the jihad, as in the command of the Prophet of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) when he said: ìBe kind and merciful to the captivesî [see Al-Mu'jammal-Kabeer, The Grand Dictionary of Hadith. 22/393].

If the Prophet (pbuh) commanded this command to Muslims concerning the hostile enemies who are fighting against them,

then the treatment towards the peaceful people would
naturally be even better. Never is any life to be taken unjustly. As Allah said:
(Nor take life, -which Allah has made sacred-, except for
just cause. And, if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand Qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the law).) (17:33)

More on this topic will be presented below, but here let us note that Islamic mercy and kindness, not to mention the prohibition of taking life unjustly, is not limited to human beings but includes animals and all living creatures as well.
The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) noticed someone shooting a little bird for fun and then leaving it to die for no reason, whereupon he said:
ìThis little bird would supplicate its case before Allah the Almighty on the Day of Requital, saying ëO My Lord! This man killed me for no reason to benefit by my death (like hunting for food which is allowed).íî
(Ahmed & Nasaíee)

The companion Abdullah ibn Umar () is reported to have passed by a group of young men from the tribe of Quraish who had captured a bird and set it up as a shooting target. He said: 'Who placed this bird as a shooting target? May Allah's Curse descend on the person who did this! The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
ìAllah the Almighty curses the person who captures and sets any living creature as a shooting targetî (Bukhari & Muslim)

Allah's Messenger (pbuh) commanded Muslims to show
kindness in every action, even when slaughtering an animal, by the words:
ìAllah, the Almighty, prescribes perfection in every
action. If you kill, be perfect in your killing. If you slaughter an animal for meat, perfect your act of slaughtering. Sharpen your knife and be good, kind, and merciful to the animal you are about to slaughter. Give the slaughtered animal the best comfort you can while being slaughtered.î (Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
ìWhile a man was on a trip in the wilderness he became
extremely thirsty. He searched for water and found a well and managed to go to the bottom of the well to get to the water. Since he had nothing to reach the bottom from the top where the water was he suffered a great deal to reach down but eventually managed to quench his thirst and came out of the well. Upon reaching the surface he found a dog with his tongue stretched out from severe thirst. The man thought to himself: ëThis dog is certainly suffering the same hardship I suffered from his severe thirst.í Therefore the man went down the well again, holding one of his shoes by his teeth, filled the shoe with water and brought it back up to the thirsty dog. The dog drank and went away. Allah, the Almighty, appreciated the action of this man and forgave his previous sins.î

One of the audience, who heard the statement of the Prophet
(pbuh) enquired, O Messenger of Allah! Would we be

rewarded for being kind and merciful to animals? Allah's
Messenger (pbuh) asserted:
ìTruly there is a blessed reward for being kind and merciful to every living creature that has a moist liver.î
(Bukhari) Conversely a woman deserved the penalty and the wrath of Allah, the Almighty, and was to become one of the dwellers of the Fire of Hell, as a result of her cruelty to a cat. Allah's
Messenger (pbuh) is reported to have said:
ìA certain woman would become a dweller of the Fire of Hell as a result of cruel treatment of a cat. She tied the cat up and did not offer it food nor let it hunt for it from the top from the top s own food in the surroundingsî
(Bukhari & Muslim)

The list of the Prophet's (pbuh) commands to Muslims to be kind, merciful, and kindhearted even to animals is endless. We only cited above few examples. Some other examples are as under:
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said while passing by a donkey
that had been tattooed on its face:
ìMay Allah's Curse descend on the person who placed
this tattoo on the face of the donkey.î (Muslim)

Allah's Messenger (pbuh) is reported to have said while passing by a camel that appeared extremely thin from hunger: ìBe mindful and honor the Commandments of Allah concerning these animals, which can't express their needs by speech. Ride them while you keep them in good shape, and slaughter and eat them while you keep
them in good shape.î (Abu Da`ood)

If such was the mercy and kindness to animals and living
creatures, what about the human being, who is given preference, honor and respect over all other creatures of Allahís creation? The Omniscient and Almighty Allah honored man above all others, and enumerated His bounties to mankind:
(We have honored the sons of Adam and provided them
with transport on land and sea, given them for sustenance things good and pure, and conferred on them special favors, making them to be above a greater part of Our Creation.) (17:70)

Indeed by obedience to Allah and the guidance revealed to His Messengers, man is honored, but by disobedience he falls into disgrace and dishonors himself by shameful and obnoxious deeds.