Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I 10th Feb. 2013 I Page 12
As the legend goes, the wind and the sun once challenged one another as to which one was more powerful than the other. They both decided to demonstrate their respective powers on an object, and whoever won was to be acknowledged the more powerful.
It was early in the morning, and a person covered with a blanket was seen walking in a field. It was decided that one who managed to remove his blanket from his body will be held the more powerful. The wind, first in the field, blew harder and harder until a gale was let loose. But when the man saw the storm approaching, he became afraid of his blanket flying away in the wind. So, as the wind started blowing harder and harder, he went on tightening his blanket more and more. Thus the wind failed to separate the blanket from the man's body. Next, the sun came on the scene to show its strength. Instead of a rapid action, it opted for a slow and steady one. It gradually began spreading its rays in the atmosphere. The man started feeling somewhat hot, so he loosened his blanket. Then, when he became very hot with the sun's rays, he removed the blanket from his body, folded it and hung it around his neck.
This allegory tells us the difference between gentle and harsh action. The way of gentleness in dealings leads us to success, while the harsh way leads us to failure.
By gentleness one can win people's hearts. Harshness only drives people further away. By forgiving someone for his ill treatment, one awakens in him a sense of shame. Whereas by returning evil for evil, a reaction of revenge and retaliation is produced. As the Hadith tells us, God rewards gentleness and not harshness. That is, God's blessings come to one who behaves gently instead of harshly.