Prohibition of Reviling Fellow Muslim without Any Cause
By Al-Imam An-Nawawi (rahimahullāh)
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin." (Al-Ahzāb, 33:58)
1559. Ibn Mas'ud (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, "Reviling a Muslim is Fusuq (disobedience of Allah) and killing him is (tantamount to) disbelief (kufr)."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Commentary: "Killing him is (tantamount) to disbelief" means that in terms of sin and prohibition, it is akin to Kufr. This Hadith makes the severity of this crime abundantly clear.
1560. Abu Dharr (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) saying, "When any Muslim accuses another Muslim of sin or of disbelief, the reproach rebounds upon the one who utters it, if the other person is not deserving of it."
Commentary: What this Hadith stresses is that one should never say about a Muslim that he is sinful (Fasiq) or disbeliever (Kafir) when he is not so. The reason is that in that case, one who says it, will be held Fasiq or Kafir. One should, therefore, strictly refrain from uttering such statements.
1561. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, "When two persons indulge in abusing each other, the beginner will be the sinner so long as the oppressed does not transgress the limits."
Commentary: This Hadith tells us that if a Muslim abuses another and says unfair things about him and in return the recipient also abuses him and says unfair things to the same extent, then the entire burden of sin of abusing would lie with the person who initiated the quarrel. But if the one who is wronged, exceeds the limits in revenge, then he will also be guilty to the degree of his excess. Thus, this Hadith shows that although revenge is permissible in Islam, it is better to forgive and bear the excess with patience. The reason behind this is that in revenge, one usually exceeds the limits and becomes an aggressor. Allah says: "And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives, that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah." (Ash-Shura, 42:43).
1562. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: A drunkard was brought to the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam). He (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said, "Give him a beating." Then some beat him with their hands, some with their shoes, and some with (a folded) piece of cloth. When he left, someone said to him: "May Allah disgrace you!" The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "Do not help Satan overcome him by uttering such words."
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that imprecation against a sinner helps Satan because he is avowed to disgrace and humiliate Muslims before Allah. When a Muslim curses another Muslim and imprecates for his humiliation and disgrace, he in fact tries to accomplish the mission of Satan because in doing so Satan will have achieved his objective. Therefore, one should not curse a fellow Muslim even if he or she is a sinner. In fact, one should pray to Allah for his or her guidance.
1563. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) saying, "He who accuses his slave of Zina will receive the punishment (Hadd) of slander on the Day of Resurrection, unless the accusation of Zina was true."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: On the Day of Judgement, the masters of slaves and slave-girls will be exposed to Hadd-ul-Qadfi (Hadd for accusing someone of adultery) for the reason that they perpetrate all kinds of oppressions on their captives and their grievances are not redressed. On the Day of Judgement, when Almighty Allah dispenses justice without any prejudice and favour, He will also do full justice to this oppressed class and those masters, who somehow escaped the punishment on this account in this world. Thus, this Hadith has a stern warning for those masters who are carried away by their might and authority and perpetrate oppression on their servants and slaves.
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Prohibition of Reviling Fellow Muslim without Any Cause, Chapter # 266, Riyad-Us-Saliheen, Compiled By Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi]