“Beware of committing oppression…” (Hadith)
Islam does not allow us to bully or oppress anyone. In a hadith we read that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Beware of committing oppression, for oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Beware of greed, for greed destroyed those before you. It caused them to shed blood and to make lawful what is unlawful.” (Hadith, Muslim)
It is important to understand that the effects of bullying are often more serious than we would imagine. Victims of bullying have experienced stress and trauma much later on in their lives even if they had been bullied at a young age. Adults experience bullying too, whether that is by people in the community, family and friends, or in the workplace. We must understand that this is not in line with the teachings of Islam. We read in the Holy Qur’an that Allah says:
“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.” (Qur’an 49:11)
We should keep in mind that there is not just one form of bullying, rather there are many. It is crucial for us to recognise what bullying is and the seriousness of the issue.
Along with physically bullying, which is when a person is physically harmed, there is also verbal bullying – when a person is subjected to hurtful words.
Another form of bullying that has become prevalent is cyberbullying – when a person is bullied online, whether that be on a social media platform or through any other channel. We must remember that cyberbullying can be just as harmful as any other form of bullying. If a person is subjected to insulting comments online, this does not mean that it does not count as bullying or oppression.
As well as helping the oppressed, we must also ask Allah to make it possible for us to help those who are the bullies and the oppressors. We read in a hadith that Anas (RA) reported:
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed”. A man enquired: “O Messenger of Allah! I help him when he is oppressed, but how can I help him when he is an oppressor?” He (SAW) said, “You can keep him from committing oppression. That will be your help to him”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
We should also remember that we read in the Holy Qur’an:
“The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” (Qur’an 49:10)