What should our attitude be toward those who make fun of our religion?

Details of the Question

What should our attitude be toward those who make fun of our religion? What is exactly meant by making fun of?  
​While we were eating with a group of friends, the following hadith was mentioned: “If they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I would not abandon this cause…” One of my friends said mockingly, “What would he do with the sun and the moon; he would probably throw them.” I did not say anything. However, the following is stated in the Quran: “Already has He (Allah) sent you Word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For Allah will collect the hypocrites and those who defy faith - all in Hell.” Nevertheless, I continued sitting with them. Did I become an unbeliever or a munafiq? What should my attitude toward such people be? Once, that person came to mosque with me for Friday prayer. Should I cut off my relationship with him? Even if I do, should I warn him about that sentence?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When a believer makes a mistake, his nature steps into action and starts to question him in his conscience if he is honest.

We all make mistakes; if we think that even prophets make “zallas”, that is, involuntary mistakes, it is impossible for us to be free of sins.  

Therefore, we should repent and ask forgiveness from Allah on any occasion.

The same thing happened to you. When a sin was committed in your presence, you kept silent somehow. However, as you mention in the question, the Quran states clearly what you should have done:

“Already has He sent you Word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For Allah will collect the hypocrites and those who defy faith - all in Hell.” (an-Nisa 140)

The following is stated in another verse:

“When thou seest men engaged in vain discourse about Our signs, turn away from them unless they turn to a different theme. If Satan ever makes thee forget, then after recollection, sit not thou in the company of those who do wrong.” (al-Anam 68)

That is, when you heard that wrong statement from a person who goes to mosque on Friday and whom you regard as a believer, you could not react; Satan stepped into action, caused you to keep silent and did not allow you to move.

However, your conscience stepped into action afterwards thanks to your belief; you saw the truth and regretted as it is stated in the following verse: “…Feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan against those who believe.” (an-Nisa 76) Therefore, you are not regarded as a munafiq. You noticed your mistake and probably repented and asked for forgiveness after that. You were probably forgiven and shown mercy by Him.   

What should we do in such states?

The verses regarding the issue are clear. You should tell using an appropriate style that you cannot remain in the places where issues that are contrary to our belief are talked, that they do something wrong and that you will have to leave if they continue like that. For, the following is stated in the Quran:

“The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil...” (at-Tawba 71)

If they talk about those issues just because you are there, it means you are together with wrong people. If they prefer you to those useless and wrong talks, it is hoped that Allah will guide them and you will be a means of their guidance. The following is stated in a hadith:

“It is better for you to be a means of guidance for one person than everything that the sun rises and sets on.” (Kanzul-Ummal, h. no: 28802)

On the other hand, it is one thing to meet and talk to people as a necessity of familial and social life and it is another thing to be friends with such people. You can and should talk to any members of other religions unless they insult Islam and you so that they will see the beautiful aspects of Islam in you and find the true path. 

As for friendship, you can make friends only with believers.

“O ye who believe! Take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong.” (at-Tawba 23)

We should not forget that none of the things that happen to you is a coincidence.

When a person insults Islam in our presence, we are tested whether we will tell those who insult about Allah’s order using an appropriate style and whether we will warn them or not; on the other hand, the people who insult Islam are tested about how they will react when they are told about the decree of Islam.  

In the end, we will be called to account based on our deeds here.

If we view every incident from this aspect without any exception and without forgetting Allah even for a second, we will be relaxed spiritually and we can develop our belief all the time.

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