Monday 12 Thu al-Qa‘dah 1445 - 20 May 2024
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Ruling on mocking Islam and those who are committed to it

Question

If someone says to another person, “Recite Quran over this device and it should work” or “Because you recited Quran over it, it will not work,” as a joke, does that come under the heading of mocking the verses? Or is it mocking the person who recited? What is the guideline regarding the issue of mockery?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Mockery – which may also imply showing disrespect or making fun of something – in some cases constitutes major disbelief (kufr akbar) which puts a person beyond the bounds of Islam. In other cases, it comes under the heading of evildoing, and in some cases it may come under both headings.

1. If it is mocking Allah, may He be exalted, or the Quran, or the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), then it is disbelief (kufr) that puts a person beyond the bounds of Islam. This is indicated by the verses in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{And if you ask them, they will surely say, “We were only conversing and playing.” Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?”

Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief} [At-Tawbah 9:65-66].

The scholars are unanimously agreed on that.

2. If it is mocking people themselves and their worldly actions that have nothing to do with religion, then it comes under the heading of evildoing (fisq), concerning which Allah, may He be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning):

{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} [Al-Hujurat 49:11].

3. As for the possibility that it may be both disbelief (kufr) that puts a person beyond the bounds of Islam and evildoing (fisq), this refers to mocking the Muslim for his religious commitment and his appearance that is in accordance with the Sunnah. If the mockery is because of the religious teaching that the Muslim is adhering to, then it constitutes disbelief that puts a person beyond the bounds of Islam. If it is mocking the Muslim himself because, for example, he is not religious enough to show that he is a committed Muslim, or because he goes to extremes or is very strict in implementing the Sunnah in a manner that is not supported by the religious texts, then this comes under the heading of evildoing, because it is mocking a person and is not mocking the religion.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

If someone mocks the religion by mocking the beard or shortening of the thobe, is that regarded as disbelief (kufr)?

He replied:

It depends. If his aim is to mock the religion, then it constitutes apostasy, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?”

Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief} [At-Tawbah 9:65-66].

But if it is mocking the person himself for other reasons, such as if it has to do with his beard or his shortening of his thobe, and what is meant by mocking him is that he is too strict, or it is mocking other things, such as his strictness in this regard and his lenience regarding other issues that he knows are part of religious teachings, and his aim is not to mock the religion, rather the intention is to mock the person for shortening his thobe or for other reasons, if his intention is to mock the religion and show disrespect to the religion, then this constitutes apostasy. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound.

After that, he was asked:

What if he says: I say that to people to make them laugh, by way of joking?

He replied:

This is not permissible; it is an evil deed and the one who does it is taking a risk, and if his aim is to mock the religion, then it constitutes disbelief (kufr)."(Fatawa ash-Shaykh Ibn Baz 28/365, 366).

Based on that, we may say regarding the topic of the question:

If the speaker’s aim is to mock the ruqyah itself, then it constitutes disbelief which puts him beyond the bounds of Islam, because he is mocking the Quran.

If his aim is to mock the person himself, because he is not qualified to recite ruqyah, or because he is claiming to treat the problem by means of the Quran, but in reality that is not the case, so the mockery is directed at the person himself, it does not constitute disbelief; rather it is evildoing and is haram.

If he claims that he did not intend to mock anyone, rather he wanted to joke and make people laugh, then he is taking a risk, because there is no room for joking about such matters.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A