Prophet Muhammad said: "The believers, in their love, mercy and compassion for each other, are like a single body; if one part of it feels pain, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever." [Sahīh al-Bukhārī and Sahīh Muslim]  We all know this famous hadith. But what does is it saying is require from us?
The qualities of love, mercy and compassion are similar in meaning. There are various ways to understand the difference between them.


•    It might be understood that the difference between these feelings are related to the state of the one who experiences them. Love is an emotion that is felt in the heart for the other person persistently and under changing circumstances. Mercy and compassion, by contrast, are felt towards the other person at times when that other person is in a state of weakness.


•    Alternatively, it might be said that we feel love for those who are our family and friends, mercy for others whom we are able to help, and compassion for those whose misfortunes are outside of our ability to help, and for whom we can only feel in our hearts. In this case, there are three levels of feeling. The most particular is that of love. Mercy comes next, and compassion is the third in ranking.
These are just two of the possible ways of distinguishing between the feelings of love, mercy, and compassion.
Moreover, these feelings translate into words and actions. The love and affection that Muslims must harbor in their hearts for their fellow Muslims should cause them to harbor no malice towards them and to hold no grudges. It should help them to avoid beings suspicious of each other.

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