Download PDF: [S] Lessons from Surah Hujurat (Islamic story)
In the second ruku of Surah Hujurat, the Qur’an declares:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَرْفَعُوۡۤا اَصْوٰتَکُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِیِّ وَلَا تَجْہَرُوۡا لَہٗ بِالْقَوْلِ کَجَہۡرِ بَعْضِکُمْ لِبَعْضٍ اَنۡ تَحْبَطَ اَعْمٰلُکُمْ وَ اَنۡتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۲﴾
“O People who Believe! Men must not ridicule other men for it could be that the ridiculed
are better than the mockers, nor must the women ridicule other women for the ridiculed women may be better than the mockers; and do not insult one another, nor assign evil nicknames; how base it is to be called a sinner after being a Muslim! And whoever does
not repent – then it is they who are unjust.”
The ‘Ulama have mentioned that this verse could have been revealed for many reasons.
- It is mentioned that Hadrat Thabit bin Qais – may Allah be pleased with him – suffered from low hearing. Because of this, whenever, he entered any gathering, the Ashaab used to always give him place in front near the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. One day, he entered the blessed gathering of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and he continued to move people away and came closer. However, there was still one person who sat in front of him who refused to move. Hadrat Thabit bin Qais – may Allah be pleased with him – asked the person to move a little but this person again refused. The blessed companion then became very angry and asked this person who he was. The person replied that he was so and so. When Hadrat Thabit – may Allah be pleased with him – heard his name, in an insulting manner, he asked, “Are you the son of a certain women?” (This was asked in a very insulting fashion). When this person heard this, he bowed his head in shame and he was extremely embarrassed by the behaviour of Hadrat Thabit bin Qais – may Allah be pleased with him. It is said that this could have been one of the reasons that this verse was revealed.
- Another reason is a report by Hadrat Sayyiduna Duhaak – may Allah be pleased with him – who reports that once a delegation from the Bani Tameem approached the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and they were dressed in some of the most expensive clothes of that period. However, when they saw the state and condition of the Ashaab Suffah, they looked at them with great derision and contempt. (Bear in mind that the Ahle Suffah were people who had left everything and dedicated themselves to Islam and they were also very poor). These people also began to insult the state and condition of the Ahle Suffah. It is mentioned that this verse could have also been revealed on this occasion. (Khazaa’inul Irfaan; Tafseer Saawi)
- Another report is from Hadrat Sayyiduna Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – who narrates that once Sayyidah Ayesha – may Allah be pleased with her – called another wife of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – a Jew, meaning that she addressed Sayyidah Bibi Safiyyah – may Allah be pleased with her – as a Jew. This greatly troubled this person and when the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – heard about this, he was also very angry. To make her happy, he mentioned to her that she was from among the family of Prophets, (the family of Nabi Moosa – peace be upon him) and that one of her uncles was also a Prophet, in other words, Nabi Harun – peace be upon him – and that she was also the wife of a Prophet. Some say that this is the reason that this verse of the Qur’an was revealed. (Tafseer Saawi)
Whatever the reason for this Qur’anic verse, there is no doubt that Islam does not give permission to people to insult others without any reason. Muslims should be aware of this fundamental rule of Islam. Today, we find people who call themselves ‘Sayeds’, ‘Shaikh’ or ‘Pathans’ are in the habit of looking down on other people. These people have this sense that they belong to a royal family and because of that everyone else is below them. This is not what Islam has taught people. It is a tragedy that this is even done in gatherings in which there are so-called “peers” also sitting.
There are even people who are actually from so-called high families who certainly have an attitude and look down upon people simply because they might appear to come from families higher in status than these people. These people have certainly be warned in the Holy Qur’an.
The calamity of making a joke on a person or lowering his dignity
We must bear in mind that the following warnings have been clearly given to Muslims:
- We should not make a joke of anyone because perhaps, the person who is a target is better than the person who is insulting or mocking in both the worlds.
- It is not permissible upon Muslims to ridicule each other.
- It is Haraam upon Muslims to insult one another.
- A person who commits such an act is considered a clear faasiq.
- As for that person who does not make Taubah for this action, he is considered an oppressor.
Hadrat Sayyiduna ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him – has stated that, “If a sinful Muslim does not make Taubah for his sins, then after this, it is also sinful to insist on committing the same transgression. It is also prohibited to call Muslims by such names in which they are insulted and through something which makes them feel bad. In like manner, it is not permissible to call another Muslim a ‘dog’, a ‘donkey’ or a ‘swine’, etc. All of these prohibitions are within these laws.” (Khazaa’inul Ifraan, 614)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas’ud – may Allah be pleased with him – has stated that, “If I consider someone lowly and make fun of him, I have fear that perhaps the Allah Almighty does not make me a dog.” (Tafseer Saawi, 4/94)