Reflect upon how in three great religions we have looked at, compassion is consi
Reflect upon how in three great religions we have looked at, compassion is considered an essential value — among the highest of all values. In the two theistic religions, compassion is a very quality of God! In the non-theistic religion, compassion is at the highest level of ethical attainment.
This forum is NOT asking you to compare and contrast these traditions. It is asking, rather, to use the different angles they open up to enter more deeply into your own sensing of the meaning of compassion. (For example, every time I read the Dalai Lama’s description of “great compassion” I feel as if I understand the meaning of true compassion a little more deeply.) Each tradition brings something to the table.
Identify a key point about compassion from each of these traditions (quote and cite) and take some time to REFLECT upon the perspectives it opens up for you. Then return later and engage with what two of your classmates have said.
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MODULE 5 OVERVIEW
Compassion in Various Religious Traditions: Francis finally discovers a guiding principle for his life: to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as closely as possible, taking his cues from the Gospels. Significant sections of the Gospels describe how Jesus’ ministry is characterized by compassion. But Judaism and Christianity are not the only religions for which compassion is a core value. It is also important in Islam and Buddhism, among many others. We continue with our review of Christian history, necessary for understanding key events and concepts discussed in this course.
The Qur’an is the sacred scripture of Islam, believed to be the literal word of God. It is composed of 114 chapters, called surahs. It is held by Muslims to be unique and uncreated since it is the word of God.
Islam believes in the absolute oneness of God. The Arabic word for God is Allah. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal, uncreated, the creator of all things, just, good, and merciful. Therefore, human beings owe absolute obedience to God. Doing what is right is so closely linked with the worship of God that they are not thought of as separate things in Islam.
Islam shares many values with Christianity, including those that we have listed as Franciscan/Felician values. Among these are COMPASSION and CONCERN FOR THE POOR.
In the Qur’an, Allah is repeatedly characterized as gracious, merciful, and compassionate. Allah is called gracious and merciful in the beginning of 113 chapters.
“Gracious” may not be a word we use very often. Related to the word “grace,” which means “gift,” “gracious” connotes expansive, generous kindness.
The Qur’an stresses that righteousness consists in compassion for and doing good to others and that this is what Allah expects of human beings. In other words, the right relationship with Allah requires putting compassion into action — doing something about the needs of others.
You are invited to look for what the Qur’an says about compassion or for passages that encourage the practice of compassion. Be aware that other related terms/concepts may be used to convey various shades of meaning connected to compassion, words such as kindness, benevolence, mercy, and even giving to the poor (almsgiving).
“Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred, and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. . . ” (Al Quran 16:91).
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT THE DISCUSSION POST IS ASKING DO NOT COPY ANY OF THIS
Compassion means a feeling of wanting to help someone who is need of help. It’s a strong feeling of sympathy towards others, which allows us to connect with people. I think the value of compassion allows us to understand who we are and others better from a different perspective. Compassion could mean and be viewed at a different level for everyone. All three share the meaning of compassion that it will help unit humanity. “The more we truly desire to benefit others, the greater the strength and confidence we develop and the greater the peace and happiness we experience” (Dalai Lama, 1999, p. 130). According to Dalai Lama, compassion is meant to be shared with love to unit one another (Dalai Lama, 1999). In Islam, compassion represent the true spirit of Islam, which implies, “suffering with others.” In Islam, God is the most Compassionate and the most Merciful. As a Muslim who follows Islam, compassion is the most frequent word in the Qur’an. It could mean to have compassion for animals, for children, for the poor, and the enemies. “And feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan, and the prisoner, for love of the Lord (saying): We feed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you (Qur’an 76: 8-9).” In Christianity, compassion is also as important. It’s a gift given to those who are suffering, it is not simply the desire to just be kind, but it is having a heart for those in misery. It also means to show and treat to all people with compassion, even to the most hardened sinners.
Dalai Lama (1999). Ethics for the new millennium. Riverhead Books: New York, NY.