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Callousness and Cruelty

When an individual is afflicted by the vice of callousness and cruelty, he is not affected or saddened by the pains and sufferings of his fellow men. Its opposite is the virtue of mercy and compassion. There are a number of Quranic verses which reproach this vice, and praise compassion and love.

Treatment and cure of this disease is most difficult, because cruelty and callousness sink into one's character, and become chronic and difficult to cure. The best treatment for this disease is for the afflicted person to avoid, first of all, cruel actions, which are outward manifestations of this vice. Next, he should make an effort to share in the sufferings and difficulties faced by others, and consider their problems to be his own. Furthermore, he should try to react in an appropriate manner to such situations, until, gradually, he begins to taste the flavour of compassion, slowly making it permanent within himself.

Adapted from: "Jami' al-Sa'adat" by: "Muhammad Mahdi al-Naraqi"

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