Ridiculing, mocking or making fun of other people would be considered bad manners in any language, religion, culture or race but in today’s world it has become a very common malaise. Knowingly or unwittingly, we have all become a part of this problem and a big role is being played by social media in propagating this trend.
We receive a funny meme ridiculing a political candidate or a celebrity and we quickly share it with our friends on Facebook or Twitter. We come across a witty joke making fun of a particular race, religion or nation and we can’t wait ti forward it to our friends with comments like LOL or ROFL.
We might think this is harmless fun. After all what harm can it cause? Political candidates are always the target for satire. There are hilarious jokes targeting the Italians, the Catholics, the Irishmen, the Sikhs, the Muslims, the blondes, the priests and whatnot.
I am not very knowledgeable about other religions but Islam strictly forbids making fun of individuals, people, race and nations.
Allah commands in the Noble Quran:
“O you who believe: let not some men deride others who might well be better than them; and let not some women ridicule others who might well be better than they. Do not belittle one another or insult one another with nicknames.” [Al-Quran 49:11]
Mocking, ridiculing, passing sarcastic remarks and mimicking others in order to make fun of people or to insult them is very prevalent in media. Many TV hosts, satirists or comedians do not think twice before targeting a particular person and mocking him by insulting his way of speaking, what he does, what he looks like, or his physique or his appearance which may be because of a defect or hereditary problem.
Islamic teachings command a believer to treat others with respect, kindness and good manners. The jokes that ridicule a person or a particular group or race always have a hint of underlying malice, hatred, suspicion or disdain and the purpose usually is to belittle and insult.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ warned against mocking people and hurting their feelings, because that is the path that leads to hatred and grudges. Words are very powerful and if used rashly or maliciously, they can fan a lot of hatred and enmity. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ also stated:
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.”
So before saying something, let us just pause for a while and think about the words we are about to utter or the joke we are about to share or the meme that we are about to forward. Is it just a harmless joke or something that is derogatory or insulting and then decide whether we wish to press the send button.
Image credit: Pixabay.com
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