Respect for others

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For the purpose of promoting themselves or attaining a superior position, some people employ such wicked methods as ridiculing and humiliating others, or insulting them with derogatory nicknames.

Allah forbids such behavior that stems from the morality of ignorance:

You who believe! People should not ridicule others who may be better than themselves; nor should any women ridicule other women who may be better than themselves. And do not find fault with one another or insult each other with derogatory nicknames. How evil it is to have a name for evil conduct after coming to faith! Those people who do not turn from it are wrongdoers. (Surat al-Hujurat; 11)

In compliance with this command, believers respect one another as persons endowed with the teachings of Allah. Allah reflects many of His sublime attributes in a sincere believer, and he is someone whom Allah praises in the Qur’an and to whom He grants blessings in the Hereafter. Believers should be aware of the attributes Allah mentions in the Qur’an, and thus treat one another properly.

Allah disparages name-calling, saying, “How evil it is to have a name for evil conduct after coming to faith”!(Surat al-Hujurat: 11) Unless one repents of this sin and corrects his behavior, he remains a wrongdoer. Ridicule may consist of insulting someone with humiliating names or mimicking him through body language. The fearsome end awaiting those who scorn and mock others makes clear that it should be avoided by everyone:

The evil actions they did assailed them. They were engulfed by what they mocked. (Surat an-Nahl; 34)

This verse goes on to say that the end of such a person shows more clearly that derision is something that believers should avoid by all means:

No indeed! He will be flung into the Shatterer. And what will convey to you what the Shatterer is? The kindled Fire of Allah reaching right into the heart. It is sealed in above them in towering columns. (Surat an-Humaza; 4-9)

A believer must also be careful not to belittle another believer while pointing out to him a mistake he has made. When he sees an error in someone else, it is utterly wrong to assume himself to be wiser or superior. It may well be that, in the Sight of Allah, the other person is the superior one, while the person who belittles him in fact reveals his own imprudence in violating a clear commandment of Allah. By disobeying the command in the Qur’an, it is clear that a derisive person is not acting wisely; on the contrary, his conscience is closed. If such a person does not give up his attitude and continues being disdainful, he will turn into an insatiable individual as Allah says in another verse of the Qur’an.

2011-09-30 22:41:02

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