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Islam: Compassion or Cruelty?

Cruelty is the actions of unjustified violence against oneself and others. Compassion is the actions of justified benefaction to oneself and others. Cruelty and compassion can be impulsive or intentional, planned or unplanned, verbal and physical.

Unjustified violence is the tool of satisfying caprices and filling the voids; cruelty is the proof of whimsicality and the moral emptiness of a person. Muslims should be the disciples of discipline, not whimsicality; they should not be morally empty. Therefore, true Muslims cannot be cruel.

Cruelty is done to enact revenge or mete out punishment. However, the greatest revenge and the biggest punishment are done by God. Therefore, Muslims have to delegate cruelty, revenge, and punishment to God Almighty. This does not mean that God is cruel, revengeful, and fond of punishment because actions of God are justice, not caprice. On the contrary, for humans, it is exceedingly difficult to punish with justice; punishment is done by humans frequently involves caprice. Punishment and revenge are God’s domain and specialty; He is Muntaqim[i]; that is why Muslims have to delegate them to God and stop pursuing revenge and punishment.

If a Muslim has no doubts about Power, Omnipotence of God, and about His Hellfire, then she stops thinking about her own small, insignificant, and temporary revenge, and she starts to think about God’s enormous and eternal punishment prepared for her enemies and oppressors. Instead of hate, she starts to feel pity for her enemies and oppressors.

If a Muslim has doubts about Omnipotence, Power, and Hellfire of Almighty God, then she starts enacting her own revenge and punishment; she becomes cruel. This means cruelty has roots in disbelief in God; cruelty starts from the doubts about power and presence of God; cruelty is the symbol and symptom of weak belief or absence of belief.

Cruelty does not solve problems. Cruelty compounds and complicates problems. Cruelty sows the seeds of hate in order to reap the fruits of evil. Cruelty blows the wind of revenge and then reaps the storm of blind aggression. Cruelty defames a person for millennia. Cruelty is a firestorm that annihilates and incinerates the centuries-long productive work in mere minutes.

Cruelty is mental and psychological rabies. Cruel people are mindless zombies who are worse than animals because animals at least have the instinct of self-preservation, but cruel people are ready to ruin everyone and everything, including themselves.

Cruel people cannot see beauty because they are concentrated on ugliness. Cruel persons are the creatures of the dark; they fear the light of forgiveness and compassion. Cruel people are the slaves of their feelings of revenge and punishment; they are empty and void, and they fill their inner void with the pains and sufferings of others. Cruel people are the prisoners of the past; they cannot re-orient themselves to the future; they are living fossils and walking deads.

Those who enact and perpetuate cruelty are the pile of rotting and rotten garbage; they are human waste and disgrace of humanity. Those who dress up cruelty in the garbs of piety, scientism or any other “-ism”’; those who invent new names for cruelty; those who mask cruelty under the guise of compassion; they are charlatans, idiots, and dumbheads because cruelty is a Frankenstein who always kills his own inventor.

Terrorists are cruel. Torturers are cruel. Terrorists and torturers are not believers and Muslims. And if they are believers and Muslims, then I am not.[ii]

Cruelty is the actions, not feelings. Feelings are mostly uncontrollable, but actions are controllable. Feelings cannot be eliminated, but they can be domesticated. Negative feelings can be postponed to allow time for cool down, and then they can be delegated to the Power and Justice of God. Postponement and delegation are the tools of dispensing and discharging negative feelings.

People cannot be blamed for their negative feelings unless they are expressed verbally and physically. Cruelty can be verbal and physical, but imprisoning the feeling and thought of cruelty on the emotional and cognitive levels can save a person from its dirty consequences and debilitating effects.

Cruelty is negative actions; it is like negative numbers. Compassion is positive actions; it is like positive numbers. For example, the cruelty of one person is represented by minus two (-2). If another person adds her own cruelty (minus two, -2), then the result is minus four ((-2)+(-2)=(- 4)). That is why cruelty must be treated with compassion. For example, cruelty is minus two (-2) and compassion is plus four (+4). Then, the result is plus two ((-2)+4=+2). Adding negative to negative does not produce positive. Adding cruelty to cruelty does not produce compassion.

Adding large positive to negative produces positive. Adding compassion to cruelty produces compassion.

Being cruel does not add value to life, but it does subtract value from life. Acting cruel does not make a person happy. Cruelty is like drinking seawater; it only compounds and intensifies the thirst for violence. Cruelty does not bring satisfaction and satiety. Cruelty is not gaining, but it is losing.

Social structures are like mechanisms with many moving and interdependent parts.

Forgiveness and compassion are like lubricating oil in this mechanism. Cruelty is like corrosion and rust in the mechanism. Forgiveness and compassion allow the productive and constructive work of the mechanism of society. Cruelty makes parts of the mechanism incompatible with each other, and the mechanism of society disintegrates.

Cruel people cannot be morally good because cruelty never resides alone; it always hosts and neighbours all other negative traits. For example, cruelty is mentioned in 68:13.[iii] However, the preceding and succeeding verses 68:10, 68:11, 68:12, 68:14, 68:15 describe the close relatives and immediate family of cruelty.

Cruelty is like an echo of a sound. It is going to return to you; it is just a matter of time.

Cruelty is the time bomb put in the foundation of society, group, and family. Small cruelty today is going to become a violent explosion tomorrow. Cruelty does not win wars and battles. Cruelty does not decrease the number of enemies. Cruelty is the beginning of defeat in any war and battle. Cruelty increases the number of enemies because cruelty gives birth to mythological Hydras. Cruelty is a sign and symbol of weakness, frailty, and fragility. Cruelty is a lowly trait of lowly people. Torturers and terrorists use cruelty against shackled and unsuspecting people who cannot defend themselves; terrorists and torturers do not have a heart and bravery for the open, honest, and face-to-face combat; they are parasites and pests of humanity. Cruelty and cruel people are a blight, plague, and anthrax of humankind.

Those who promote, promulgate, perpetuate and propagate cruelty; those who build systems, structures, policies, plans, and projects of cruelty; those who philosophize, theorize, practice, preach and teach cruelty cannot be Muslims and believers. And if they are Muslims and believers, then I am not.

Islam is compassion, not cruelty.

I chose, and I am choosing compassion, not cruelty.

2:111 … Say: “Produce your proof if you are truthful!”

 25:30. And the Messenger says: “My Lord! Surely my people have made this Qur’an something worthy of no attention.”

-İman isteyen münafık


[i] Ali Ünal, The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English, n.d.,

www.mquran.org www.theholybook.org.

[ii] Ahmet Kurucan, “Müslüman ise alışveriş yapmıyorum!,” Tr724, January 25, 2021,


[iii] Ünal, The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English.


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