Verily, Allah enjoins justice and the doing of good to others; and givinglike kindred; and forbids indecency and manifest evil and wrongfultransgression. (The Holy Quran, an-Nahl 16:91)This verse sets forth three gradations of doing good.The first is the doing of good in return for good.This is the lowest gradation and even an average personcan easily acquire this gradation that he should do goodto those who do good to him.The second gradation is a little more difficult thanthe first and that is to take the initiative in doinggood out of pure benevolence. This is the middlegrade. Most people act benevolently towards thepoor, but there is a hidden deficiency in benevolence,that the person exercising benevolence is consciousof it and desires gratitude or prayer in return for hisbenevolence. If on any occasion the other personshould turn against him, he considers him ungrateful.On occasion he reminds him of his benevolence orputs some heavy burden upon him.The third grade of doing good is graciousness asbetween kindred. God Almighty directs that in thisgrade there should be no idea of benevolence or anydesire for gratitude, but good should be done out ofsuch eager sympathy as, for instance, a mother doesgood to her child. This is the highest grade of doinggood which cannot be exceeded. But God Almightyhas conditioned all these grades of doing good withtheir appropriate time and place. The verse citedabove clearly indicates that if these virtues are notexercised in their proper places they would becomevices.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad