Mockery of Islam and Muslims

The Qur’an forewarns the believers that they will be subjected, to much vilification, taunt and mockery from those who do not share their faith: You will surely hear much that is offensive from those who were given scripture before you, and from idolaters. But if you persevere patiently and fear God, such are weighty factors in all affairs. [3:186]

As faith takes root in the surroundings soil of unbelief (kufr), there will always be stiff opposition to it; particularly in the form of false propaganda. The key, however, is to bear such hurts with patience, restraint and continued reverence of God, and conviction that all is unfolding according to the Divine plan.

Most Muslims are aware of the incident of the Cow in Sūrat'l-Baqarah. The gist of which, there was an unsolved murder that happened among the Children of Israel during the time of Moses (Mūsa) [peace be upon him].  So God (Allah) revealed to Moses that in order to receive penitence for the murder your people have to slaughter a cow. When Moses [peace be upon him] told his people of God's command, their first reaction was shock and disbelief.  The Qur'an says: “Remember when Moses said to his people, 'God commands you to sacrifice a cow', they said, 'are you making fun of us?'  He answered, 'God forbid that I should be so ignorant'” [2:67]

Initially, the Children of Israel thought that Moses [peace be upon him] was mocking them.  But Moses [peace be upon him] quickly corrected that mockery could never come from a Prophet and he distanced himself from such an act - by the fact that Moses [peace be upon him] equated mockery to ignorance.  So an intelligent person should never succumb to mockery. 

Allah teaches in the Qur'an, to dismiss the people of ignorance and not to give a lot of attention to them. 

“Be tolerant/forgiving, command what's right, pay no attention to the ignorant” [7:199]

God, The Most Forbearing, instructs the Prophet [peace be upon him], and thus the Muslims to not engage with the ignorant except with tenderness and forbearance.

It was thanks to Allah's mercy that you were gentle to them. Had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would surely have scattered away, from you. [3:159]

This is such an important matter that the Qur'an makes it one of the traits of the People of God: “The Servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on Earth, and who, when the ignorant/foolish address them, reply 'Peace'” [25:63]

Unfortunately, the above verses are in stark contrasts to how some Muslims behave - ‘vigilantism’ and anarchy even in the midst of hostility and inequity contravenes with the Quran: Let not hatred of any people make you swerve from justice. Be just; that is closer to piety [5:8]. So, the best way to deal with any attacks against the Islamic faith or religion and its revealed truths is by actualising the following command: Repel evil with what is better; you will see that one between you and whom there was enmity shall become as a friend. [41:34]. Thus, let evil be repelled by what is best; let bigotry and abuse be repelled by patience; ignorance by tolerance; hardened attitudes with persuasion; and onslaughts with forgiveness and caution.

The Quran remains the final source of judgement and the ultimate authority for all true believers. Thus, any opinion or narration outside the Quran must be regulated by the Quran and not contrariwise. The Quran is clear, that no life is to be taken unless for two purposes:

 (a) For just retribution in the case of murder (for unintentional manslaughter, see 4:92) (b) For spreading sheer corruption in the land [i.e. Commit acts of violence and terrorism against individuals or treason and aggression against the Islamic state] (5:33).

It is inconceivable to imagine that a Prophet of God who remained an example for his people would not have upheld his Divine Lord's teachings.

Perversely, even some Muslims, justify mocking [including the defamation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the name of freedom of speech, secularism or so called reformation, in direct conflict with the Quran, the teaching of God the Most Wise:

Believers, let not a group (of men) scoff at another group, it may well be that the latter (at whom they scoff) are better than they; nor let a group of women scoff at another group, it may well be that the latter are better than they. And do not taunt one another, nor revile one another by disparaging nicknames. It is an evil thing to gain notoriety for ungodliness after belief. Those who do not repent are indeed the wrong-doers. [49:11]

Furthermore, the Quran warns: that Muslims must not participate in or encourage the mockery [in the guise of free speech, secularism or reformation]: Allah has enjoined upon you in the-Book that when you hear the signs of Allah being rejected and scoffed at, you will not sit with them until they engage in some other talk, or else you will become like them. Know well, Allah will gather the hypocrites and the unbelievers in Hell - all together. [4:140]

This is typical of the hypocrites of every age. Such people try to avail themselves of all the benefits which can accumulate from a verbal profession of Islam and identification with the Islamic community. They also try to secure the advantages to be obtained by associating with the antagonist unbelievers and secularists, by assuring them in every possible way about themselves that they are not 'fanatic Muslims', that their association with the Muslims is only nominal. On the other hand, they never fail to assure the antagonist unbelievers that their loyalties and concerns are the same as theirs, that in mental outlook, cultural orientation and taste they are in harmony with them, and that if a decisive conflict between Islam and unbelief were to take place, their weight will certainly be on the side of the latter.

"O ye who believe! Take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport, - whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject faith; but fear ye God, if ye have faith (indeed)"[5:57]

In regards to the Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] in particular, the following verse is adequate if only Muslims truly believed in it: We are enough for you [Prophet] against all those who ridicule your message [15:95].

In essence, don’t take matters in your own hands, rather, God will take care of those who mock the Prophet.

However, instead of having knee jerk reactions,  Muslims should be proactive and Call people to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good teaching, and argue with them in the most courteous way [16:125]. Thereby following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) Say, ‘This is my way: based on clear evidence, I, and all who follow me, call [people] to God- glory be to God! - I do not join others with Him.’ [12:108]

 

And Allah knows best

 

For Younger Readers

God teaches in the Quran, the holy book of Muslims that:

  • Peacefully, ignore and leave the company of those who tease God’s message.

  • It is stupidity to tease God’s message – lack of knowledge.

  • No violence is used against such people.