Mockery is a disease from Jaahiliyyah

Allah The Almighty forbids us from mocking people as He Says (what means): {O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them}[Quran 49:11] Adh-Dhahhaak said, 

This verse was revealed when members of the Banu Tameem delegation were mocking the poor Companions like ‘Ammaar, Khabbaab, Bilaal, Suhayb, Salmaan, and Saalim the slave of Abu Huthayfah, may Allah be pleased with all of them, because of their shabby clothes. But there are other opinions as well. It was said that this verse was revealed when ‘Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl, may Allah be pleased with him, came to Madeenah as a Muslim and the people there would call him the ‘Son of the pharaoh of this Ummah’ whenever they saw him. So, he complained to the Prophet and this verse was revealed. It was also said that this verse was revealed when Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, ridiculed a man because of his mother in Jaahiliyyah [pre-Islamic ignorance] and the man was disgraced.
 
Commenting on this verse, Al-Qurtubi said, “Allah says here that those who believe in Him and in His Messenger should not ridicule other believers as they may be better than them. Also, women should not ridicule each other for the same reason.”
 
He also said, “Allah is referring here to all sorts of mockery in this prohibition for the believers. Hence, it is impermissible for any believer to mock another believer: either for being poor, or for a sin that he has committed, or for any other reason.”
 
Al-Qurtubi added,
 
In general, no one should dare to ridicule another person even if that person was shabby, handicapped or inarticulate, for that person may be more sincere or may have a purer heart than the one who is not shabby or handicapped or inarticulate. In this case, ridiculing such a person would be despising someone whom Allah has honored. The righteous predecessors were keen on avoiding this to the extent that ‘Amr ibn Shurahbeel said, “If I saw a man suckling a goat and laughed at him, I would fear that I might end up doing the same thing.” It was reported that ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said that affliction depends on what a person says. Hence, he said that if he mocked a dog, he would fear that he would be turned into a dog.
 
In his commentary on the verse (which means): {But you took them in mockery to the point that they made you forget My remembrance, and you used to laugh at them}[Quran 23:110], Al-Qurtubi said that this verse is a warning against mocking, despising or ridiculing the weak and the needy to the point that it would make us forget remembering Allah and would thus keep us far from Him. In a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, she said, “I said to the Prophet ‘It is enough for you that Safiyyah is such-and-such [meaning that she was short].’ The Prophet replied:‘You have said a word that could adulterate the water of the sea if it were mixed with it.’She also said, “I once imitated a man before him [ridiculing him] and He said:‘I would never like to imitate anyone, even if I were to get such- and-such [a reward for it].’ [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]
 
Another example is when Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, abused a man by calling his mother bad names, the Prophet, , said to him:O Abu Tharr! Did you abuse him by calling his mother bad names? You still have some characteristics of Jaahiliyyah in you.”[Al-Bukhari]
 
In a Hadeeth on the authority of Umm Haani’, may Allah be pleased with her, the Prophet, , said about the verse (which means): {and commit in your meetings [every] evil} [Quran 29:29] that they used to despise and mock people. [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]
 
The polytheists of Makkah like Abu Jahl, Al-Waleed ibn Al-Mugheerah and their likes would mock ‘Ammaar, Suhayb, Bilaal and other poor believers; hence, Allah The Almighty revealed the verse (which means): {Indeed, those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed.} [Quran 83:29]
 
It was said that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was once walking with a number of Muslims and some hypocrites mocked them and they exchanged derisory glances. When they returned to their people, they said, “We have seen the bald one [i.e., ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him] today.” Hence, the abovementioned verse was revealed before ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, reached the Prophet, to inform him of what had happened .
 
Sarcasm and Derision are Forms of Mockery
 
Sarcasm and derision are forms of mockery. An example of this is when one derides another for being poor, handicapped or for committing a sin. Moreover, calling people by offensive nicknames is another example of mockery. Al-Qurtubi said that calling people by offensive nicknames means calling them by names or attributes that they hate. Allah The Almighty generalized this rule and did not specify certain nicknames. It is impermissible for any Muslim to call his fellow brother by any nickname or any attribute that he hates. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them.} [Quran 49:11]
 
There are several stories as to the revelation of this verse. Anas and Ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with them, said that the abovementioned verse was revealed when some of the wives of the Prophet, , ridiculed Safiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, for being short. It was also said that this verse was revealed when ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, indicated by her hand to the Prophet, , that Safiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, was short. Moreover, ‘Ikrimah and Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, said that this verse was revealed when Safiyyah bint Huyayy, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “O Messenger of Allah! The women ridicule me and say to me, ‘O Jew…’”All these examples show that calling people by offensive nicknames is a form of mockery. They were mentioned in the verse as a way of mentioning the specific cases after the general rule in order to emphasize its importance. The scorner is the person who harms people by his tongue, while the mocker is the one who winks with his eyes. Ibn Kaysaan said that the scorner is the one who hurts others with bad words, while the mocker is the one who points to others with his eyes, his head and his eyebrows.
 
The Difference Between Mocking and Ridiculing
 
There are two differences between them. The first is that ridiculing can be done by deeds or words, whereas, mocking is done only by deeds. The second is that ridiculing is usually preceded by an act that causes its doer to be an object of ridicule, while mocking is not preceded by such an act. Mocking is usually accompanied by words that are uttered with a bad intention. It occurs when the person seems to be serious while he conceals joking. As-Saffaareeni said, “Mocking people and ridiculing them are prohibited because Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them} [Quran 49:11] Moreover, the Prophet prohibited this in many Hadeeths.”
 
Ridicule and the Germs of Arrogance and Pride
 
Only those whose souls are impure because of arrogance and pride ridicule others. They endeavor to hurt others because of the feeling of superiority that runs in their diseased veins. Satan ridiculed Aadam (Adam), may Allah exalt his mention, and said, “I am better than him” and so he became a loser. Had he thought carefully of the characteristics of Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, he would have realized that Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, was superior to him. Mockery is one of the diseases of Jaahiliyyah that should be avoided, especially at times of conflict and disputes. It is one of the characteristics of the disbelievers and the hypocrites that leads to the disunity of the society. In fact, it is an overt violation of the Commands of Allah The Almighty, and it keeps one away from the pleasure of Allah. Moreover, it makes one forget to remember Allah and causes him to be inflicted with His punishment.
2017-11-06T17:10:58+00:00 November 6th, 2017|Beliefs, Islam, Muslim|