Keywords:comparative study, rahma, Buddhism, Islam, compassion, metta, maitri-karuna, loving compassion, Qur'an, tawhid, al-Ghazali, Divine Mercy, Hadith
Abstract: Compassion, even on the human plane, is not just a sentiment, it is an existential quality. This existential quality presupposes a concrete sense of participation in the suffering of others, as is expressed by the etymology of the word: com-passion means to 'suffer with' another.
The metaphysics of tawhid finds its most appropriate ethical expression in this quality, for when the illusion of separation is overcome, the suffering of the 'other' cannot be separated from oneself; the virtues of compassion and mercy, generosity and love thus become the hallmarks of the character of one who has truly realised Unity.
Founding editor of the Islamic World Report, Reza Shah-Kazemi studied International Relations and Politics at Sussex and Exeter Universities before obtaining his PhD in Comparative Religion from the University of Kent in 1994.