By: Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi (may Allah elevate him).
Always stay clear of causing distress to the heart of another being as this will lead to loss of blessings in your life.
Imam Thanwi (Allah grant him mercy) writes about an incident where his wife needed to attend a gathering at her relatives. His wife requested from him to feed the fowls that she had in her care, to throw grain for them and provide fresh water as was her daily habit. Imam Thanwi (Allah grant him mercy) agreed to see to it that the birds will get their daily feed. On the appointed day, his wife left. Now, work that a person is not used to doing as a part of his daily schedule easily slips his mind. Imam Thanwi (Allah grant him mercy) therefore started his days’ work, making Wudu (ablution) and then sitting to write Tafsir-Bayanul-Quran. While sitting, the Imam says: “My thoughts would just not flow!” After sitting like this for a while, the Imam thought to himself that perhaps he had committed a sin which is blocking him from continuing his work and therefore he should make Istighfar (seek forgiveness). So he sat and made Istighfar for some time, sincerely asking Allah to forgive this sin which was driving away his knowledge. The Imam says: “After making Istighfar for half an hour, I suddenly got the realisation that my wife had asked me to feed grain to the fowls and supply them with fresh water and I had slipped up in doing this. I stopped my writing and went home, only to find the fowls hungry and thirsty. Almost an hour had passed since their usual feeding time. I placed the grain and water and the fowls ate to their satisfaction. I then returned to my place of writing and immediately Almighty Allah put the details of the Tafsir in my mind.”
Subhanallah! By causing discomfort to a fowl which is such a small creature, Allah withheld the details of the Tafsir from his mind, yet we cause discomfort to the servants of Allah and expect to be blessed with divine help and guidance. A (true) Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands the next Muslim is safe. We must always be on guard that through our actions the heart of another is not being distressed. May Almighty Allah grant us the understanding.