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EVIL OF MOCKING THE SUNNAH






By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

One of the greatest crimes in the shari'ah is to make jest of or mock the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, other Prophets and Messengers عليهم السلام, the Companions of the Prophet رضي الله عنهم, the names or attributes of Allaah and any aspect of Sunnah of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, as doing so would amount to ar-riddah (apostasy).

Anyone who perpetrates an act amounting to riddah (apostasy) is no doubt a kafir (has left Islaam), except he repents sincerely. This is part of exit doors from Islaam as mentioned by scholars. The fact that we are not under an Islamic state is not an excuse for us to act anyhow we like or to desecrete the foundations upon which Islaam is built. If someone perpetrates this evil (of mocking Islamic signs) and still engages in acts of ibaadah, such as solaah, saum (fasting), zakah, hajj and so on, Allaah is not interested in them except he repents sincerely. In this case, his or her acts of worship would not be useful to him in the hereafter. His status is like that of a kaafir. May Allaah save us from this.

It is unfortunate that in this part of the world, the practice of mocking the Sunnah, the Companions رضي الله عنهم and other signs of Allaah are increasingly rampant. One of the ways by which people commit acts amounting to apostasy in our contemporary society is making jest of the Sunnah and its adherents. They attack the Sunnah and those who call to it. To hate, mock or reject any aspect of Sunnah, no matter how small is kufr. For instance, anyone who says wearing trousers above the ankle is not Sunnah or mocks someone who practises it has mocked the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the deen. 

Similarly, if a person mocks women who put on their full hijab or niqab by his word, action or gesture, he or she has mocked the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the female Companions (رضي الله عنهن) who used to dress like that. Mocking men who grow the beards is bad. In fact, mocking the use of miswaak (tooth cleaner) is a great evil. When you see a person dressed according to Sunnah, and you feel good within your heart, may Allaah bless you and grant you happiness in this life and the hereafter. This is a good thing even if you are yet practise it. But if you see a person (male or female) dressed properly according to Sunnah, and you feel bad in your mind or show any form of aggression towards him or her, you may need to re-asses your eeman in Allaah. If those who dress half-naked can walk on the streets without any form of intimidation, why should persons who dress well feel threatened to walk on the streets? Certainly, those who dress properly have the right to roam the streets freely better than those who find pleasure in exposing their precious body to the public.

Dressing according to Sunnah has a lot of advantages in the life style of a serious Muslim. One of the greatest advantages of sunnah compliant dressing is that it helps you to abstain from sinning in public. You will not want to be met in an act that is unbecoming of an adherent of the sunnah. For instance, you will be free from shaking a non-mahram in public or engage in promiscous activities. Once you are able to avoid public sins, you would be bold enough to adjust on your hidden sins. In addition, people would not have the gut to invite you to gatherings of fasaad, bid'ah and kufr if you are a true adherents of the sunnah. But unfortunately, some people have neglected the Islamic dressing to the extent that they now feel that they can wear anything they like, at anytime and at anywhere. The case of many of the Muslim women is so pathetic. They don't want hijab, talkmore of niqab. Allaah says:

(ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَرِهُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالَهُمْ)

That is because they disliked what Allah revealed, so He rendered worthless their deeds [Q47:9]

We must be very careful. The rate at which the sunnah is being used as subject of fun in our community is alarming. If at all a group of people would be allowed to mock the other, it is the people of Sunnah that supposed to be mocking the people of bid'ah for their lack of understanding, level of ignorance, corruption and deviation from Allaah's path. But the adab we learned from the salaf is that even when we see people who have deviated and we are trying to direct them to the right path, we should not mock them. We are encouraged to always pray for their guidance. For us to know that mocking any part of the Sunnah as it is commonly done in our contemporary society is a sign of ignorance and lack of proper manner, Allaah says:

(وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَذْبَحُوا بَقَرَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَتَّخِذُنَا هُزُوًا ۖ قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ)

"Remember when Moses said to his people, 'God commands you to sacrifice a cow', they said, 'are you making fun of us?' He answered, 'God forbid that I should be so ignorant"[ Q2:67 ]

What is clear from this verse is that Musa عليه السلام equated 'mockery' with 'ignorance'. Thus means that no reasonable man would ever dare mock his fellow, talkmore of mocking the Prophets, Companions and other symbols of the deen. One of the noble virtues of one who professes the sunnah is his ability to ignore the mockers of the sunnah. The Qur'an tell us to turn away from ignorance people and not to give them attention, otherwise they would feel important. Allaah asks us not to engage them in any conversation, except perhaps to safeguard ourselves from greater harm that could emanated from them. The Qur'an says: 

(خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ)

"Be tolerant, command what's right, pay no attention to foolish people" [ Q7:199] 

In another verse, Allaah says:

(وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا)

"The Servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on Earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply 'Peace" [Q25:63]

It is our duty to always call to order, anyone seen mocking any part of the Sunnah and other religious symbols. But if he refuses to listen, we cannot take laws into our hands. We should leave them for Allaah to deal with. Muslims must not engage in violence because some people mock the Sunnah or any aspect of the deen. We are peaceful people and we must always remain peaceful. The Qur'an says:

(إِنَّا كَفَيْنَاكَ الْمُسْتَهْزِئِينَ)

"We have spared you those who ridicule you" [Q15:95]

In his explanation of point No.5 in 'Nawaaqidul Islaam', Sheikh Saalih Fawzan حفظه الله said, it is a form of apostasy to detest or mock any part of what Allaah has sent down or anything that the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم came with or commanded us to act upon (whether obligatory or voluntary). The noble Sheikh said:

Even things from the Sunnahs (of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم) or recommended things like miswaak , trimming the moustache, removing armpit hair, or trimming the nails. If a person makes mockery of any of these things he becomes a disbeliever. The evidence for this is found in the Statement of Allah the Most High:

(وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ ,لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ نَعْفُ عَنْ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَائِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ)

"And if you were to ask them, they would say: 'Surely we were only jesting and playing.' Say: 'Was it Allah, His Verses, or His Messenger you were mocking? Make no mistake, verily you have disbelieved after your belief [Q9: 65-66]

Sheikh Fawzan was also asked about the least amount of mockery that could cause a person to be considered an apostate. He replied:

There is no least amount. A small amount is too much, and the refuge is with Allaah. Anything that is considered mockery or ridicule is disbelief. Even as they (the scholars) say: A gesture with one's lip, hand, or eye can be considered mockery, even if he has not spoken. [See his review of Nawaaqidul Islaam]

Amongst those who mock the deen openly in our society are those who who try to justify the evil of sihr (magic) by quoting irrelevant texts, those who say Qur'an is enough for them (that they don't need Sunnah to interpret the Qur'an), those who say "every act of the sunnah is optional" and so on. Part of those who mock the deen are the so-called "Islamic singers" and those who take up "Islamic role" so to say in movies and home videos. They do things that have no basis in the Sunnah and lead their viewers astray.

There are many people who hate and mock aspects of Sunnah in our community. They go about misleading the ignorant and unsuspecting Muslims. They pick whatever they like in the Sunnah and abandon ones that contradict their desires. They say all sort of things that lack basis in the deen just because they want to make money or become dominant. They misrepresent Islamic symbols and identities to the general public. The shias and some sufis speak ill of the Companions رضي الله عنهم and scholars of Sunnah. They assasinate their character. Some people use Muslim names for degrading characters in movies and even use the names as movie titles. Some people hate Islamic polygamy, they mock those who practise it and paint it bad in movies and songs. The rate of ignorance in our society is so serious to the extent that people who buy their movies do not know that they are only assisting the artistes on their glaring misguidance and mischief. 

Similarly, some so called 'Islamic scholars' too do mock the deen in their attempt to make people laugh in their lectures. They do not interpret the provisions of the Qur'an and Sunnah as they ought to be interpreted and they hardly recite the Qur'an with tajwid. They praise-sing the politicians in their lectures. These and many more are the instances of mockering the deen in our society. We pray Allaah for guidance, steadfastness, forgiveness and protection for us to be and remain upon the path of Sunnah till we die.

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