Is it permissible to despise sinners or non-Muslims and humiliate them?

Details of the Question
Is it permissible to despise sinners or non-Muslims and humiliate them?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Although a Muslim has belief, he/she inclines to commit sins and with the support of his/her nafs (evil-commanding soul), he/she may commit those sins. Yes, committing major sins does not originate from unbelief. However, if those sins are not destroyed by repentance immediately, they may take a person to unbelief. Badiuzzaman says the following:

“Sin, penetrating to the heart, will blacken and darken it until it extinguishes the light of belief. Within each sin is a path leading to unbelief. Unless that sin is swiftly obliterated by seeking God’s pardon, it will grow from a worm into a snake that gnaws on the heart…” (The Flashes / The Second Flash)

As believers who commit major sins do not become unbelievers, it is not appropriate to call them unbelievers or utter despising words against them. A believer is just like a diamond. We should try to turn the dirtied diamond to its previous state by cleaning it immediately. That is, instead of casting him/her out, we should support him/her by helping him/her to be cleaned from his/her sin.

On the other hand, we may not love the qualities of unbelief of unbelievers. However, as they are humans, it is not a true attitude to mock them. We do not love their characteristics of unbelief but we should love their human aspects.

The religion of Islam is against all kinds of evil deeds and hurting others because Islam tries to humanize humans. It elevates humans to the level of humanity. Thus, Islam gives orders that enable man to reach every kind of perfection and beauty; it also forbids and prevents man from all kinds of deeds of disgrace and hideousness.

Acting upon the general laws stated above, we can say that all kinds of deeds that disturb and mortify people that we call as swearing and cursing are sin and haram because mortifying Muslims is haram and this makes a person a sinner. Even if that person is an unbeliever but innocent, disturbing him/her is forbidden in Islam because, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “I am the enemy of a person who maltreats a zimmi(non-Muslim living in an Islamic state).”

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