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DO NOT PROVOKE OTHERS

During the Prophet’s time, some of his companions used objectionable language against the gods of the non-believers. This resulted in a reaction from the other party. In this situation, God Almighty gave a very important piece of advice to the believers. This is recorded as follows in the chapter Al An‘am (The Cattle): Do not revile those [beings] whom they invoke instead of God, lest they, in their hostility, revile God out of ignorance. Thus to every people, We have caused their actions to seem fair. To their Lord, they shall all return, and He will declare to them all that they have done. (6:108)

It is obvious that God Almighty never guided the Muslims to require others not to abuse Him or the Prophet of Islam; instead, God Almighty advised Muslims to refrain from using derogatory language about the idols of others. That would only provoke them and in return, they would abuse God and His Prophet. This verse sets an example. Muslims must unilaterally uphold ethical standards on this issue. In other words, the Qur’an points to the reason for conflict: provocation. If one refrains from provocation, one will automatically save oneself from retaliation. If you are hurt by the negative statements of others, you are not allowed to demand that others should not hurt you. It is your problem and not that of others. According to Qur’anic teachings, one must keep one’s patience and refrain from giving the other party the chance to hit back. This principle can be called the ‘save yourself’ formula. Don’t make demands of others, but rather control yourself in your speech and behavior. It is not the believer’s job to complain about others’ behavior or to demand that others remain silent or refrain from using such language as does not suit the believers.

This formula gives the easiest solution to problems of antagonism. Moreover, by this method, you can save your time and energy and can find more time for constructive activities. This formula saves you from being a victim of distraction, for distraction always leads to useless, time-consuming activities.

It is pointless to say to others: “Don’t hurt me!” It is better to avoid hurting others and then the problem is instantly solved. If anyone reviles God or the Prophet, God will punish him, if he has committed a crime in the actual sense of the word. It is not the believer’s job to complain about others’ behavior or to demand that others remain silent or refrain from using such language as does not suit the believers. Everyone is accountable before God and God knows how to deal with people’s misdemeanors.

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