02 September, 2010

"All cruelty springs from weakness"

A quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca: All cruelty springs from weakness. Weakness of the perpetrator. Weakness in character; weakness in personality; and weakness in mind. There have been cases of foreign workers, especially women, being mistreated in the Arabian Peninsular, especially in the Gulf countries. Some of these mistreatment have been too shocking; the most recent, that of a 50 year-old Sri Lankan maid - has been horrendous and lurid:
  • Doctors in Sri Lanka have found 23 nails in the body of a tortured housemaid who returned to Colombo from Riyadh........Doctors at the Kamburipitya Base Hospital in the Matara district, 140 km from Colombo, said the nails had been hammered into the maid’s body. Dr. Kamal Weeratunge, who was treating the maid, claimed the nails had been heated up before they punctured her skin. Arab News
Few countries in the Gulf, have strict laws against the discrimination or the mistreatment of foreign workers. Qatar is said to have one of the strongest policies and legislations against discrimination in employment and remuneration, for foreigners. Some countries, like Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain - are said to have laid down tough penalties for employers who abuse the rights of foreign workers. But are these laws and penalties being strictly applied?

More important, all these countries are Muslim. Islam is very clear and strict on how we should treat all creatures: 
Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious. ~ Qur'an Al Kareem ~ 4:36

Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good. ~ Qur'an Al Kareem ~ 3:134

"Allah is not kind to him who is not kind to people." ~ Hadith ~ Muslim & Bukhari

"Those who are kind and considerate to Allah's creatures, Allah bestows His kindness and affection on them. Show kindness to the creatures on the earth so that Allah may be kind to you." ~ Hadith ~ Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi
As Muslims, it is these sacred words that we should be most concerned of and adhering to. We are commanded to treat people with kindness; to be truthful to others; to respect others; and to be caring of and patient with others. We are commanded, not only to be kind and considerate to our fellow human beings, but to all creatures on Earth here.