At-Tahzeeb: Mockery

At-Tahzeeb: Mockery

Preamble

Mockery or ridicule is one of many sins that is committed with the mouth. However, it is not spontaneous, it is by choice. Although the topic is mockery, other excesses of the tongue will also be discussed in brief. This article will try gathering some evidences with brief explanations to warn against the dangers in these acts.

Beware of the proficient scribes

Allah has dedicated two angels for each and every individual to record every sayings and actions; nothing slips away from their records.

مَا يَلْفِظُ مِنْ قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record].[1]

  Qur’anic truth

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ (١٠) يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا يَسْخَرْ قَومٌ مِنْ قَوْمٍ عَسَى أَنْ يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِنْهُمْ وَلا نِسَاءٌ مِنْ نِسَاءٍ عَسَى أَنْ يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِنْهُنَّ وَلا تَلْمِزُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَلا تَنَابَزُوا بِالألْقَابِ بِئْسَ الاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الإيمَانِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ (١١) يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَلا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلا يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَحِيمٌ (١٢)

(10) The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy. (11) O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (12) O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.[2]

Silence in practice

In any situation where there is no clear injustice, corruption or oppression that will be obligatory to resist and correct nor is there any misguidance that needed explanations and correction; silence is preferred. This is because silence is safer and it prevents one from attacks of different types; silence is wisdom.

Sisters of mockery

Mockery is only one of the many blunders and crimes that can be committed with the tongue. Many of these errors have strong destructive effects on a personal and collective scale. Any of the following is connected to mockery in one way or another;

  1. Boastfulness: Boasting is condemned in Islam. It is detested by both Allah and humans. The tongue plays an important role in the process. Ability to control the tongue will save one from this act.
  2. Argument: Unnecessary argument should be avoided. It is only allowed with limiting conditions to challenge false beliefs, clarify doubts and establish the truth.

ادْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُمْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.[3]

  1. Pride: Pride is an internal disease of the heart but its effect can be observed externally. The tongue is one body part that is used to demonstrate this. The people will hardly hold you responsible for your internal thoughts until you materialize it. Pride is identified from utterances, expressions and actions.
  2. Abuse: Abuse is an offensive language that is used against another person. The implication and effects of this act range from moral decadence to arrogance that lead to Hell. Successful control of the tongue will save one from this act.
  3. Waywardness: Waywardness is an opposite of bashfulness, shyness or modesty. A wayward person will be identified with his/her loose utterances and sharp practices. Modesty is part of faith; introversion is not derogation.
  4. Music: Another well-known excess of the tongue is music. Music misguides from the straight path due to its illusionary and artificial stimulation of false emotions. It intoxicates the intellect and controls to a designed path of fiction and destruction. The Qur’an in contrast motivates and guides to success with established facts. The melody and lyrics of music is designed with the heart and brain but the main organ that materializes it is the tongue. If a result is prevented from display, other processes that precede it will be destroyed. Ability to control the tongue will save one from the effects and implication of the end result.
  5. Jokes: Sinful and excessive jokes are other excesses of the tongue. The implication of mockery in jokes will increase according to the sacredness of object of mockery. Modern day comedy is based on mockery and telling lies to make others laugh.
  6. Leaking secret
  7. False promises
  8. False witness
  9. Backbiting
  10. Slander
  11. Loose utterances

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