Bullying.  A word which has made a number of frequent trips to our ears in the past decade  and made us very familiar with its concept. Witnessing its evolution from preschool preachings to social networking accounts designated to victims, we are the generation that were gifted with this skeleton from society’s closet. 

Yet, as Muslims, we tend to brush such realities under the carpet, like every other social issue that makes family gatherings even more awkward than singing nursery rhymes to an audience of long lost relatives. And in a process of preaching only the faith aspect of Islam, we forget to teach our kids the very distinct difference which makes Islam a lifestyle and not a Sunday-school-only event. The Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the basis of the Islamic religion, have verses after verses and ahadith after ahadith that discuss the social aspect of life as well.

For instance, in Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 3, in the chapter of Oppression, hadith number 624, it says :  Narrated by Anas (ra) Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”. This hadith not only shows that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told his ummah to help the oppressed but also is evident that we are asked to help the oppressors as well.

Not only in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) can one find an example of a reference to bullying, but also in the words of Allah (SWT), in the Holy Quran:

“The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy. 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. O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful” (49 : 10-12). Allah clearly prohibits the performance of certain acts, which are easily recognized under the term of ‘bullying’. 

Just because we are Muslims, it does not exempt our youth from problems which other youth encounter in the West today. Therefore, we should be making the same effort, if not more, to address these problems, but with an Islamic foundation, as Islam has something to say regarding every problem in the world today. As one of the great sahabi Umar Ibn Al Khattab (ra) said, “We are a people whom Allah has honored with Islam and if we seek honor in other than it, Allah will humiliate us (again)”.