Prepared and Presented by Sister Rim:
With bullying awareness week/month coming to an end I’ve been listening to all the stories and information my kids received in school about bullying and how to stop or prevent it from happening. I thought to myself what does Islam have to say about bullying? Contrary to what many believe, bullying is not a new issue. It has been around in many forms since the beginning. Whether it be in the form of name-calling, pride and egos and all forms of abuse, bullying can destroy people’s lives and level societies.
Islam is a curriculum for how to live and it has the solution for every societal problem. Therefore it’s important for us to look into the Quran and Hadith to see how we can deal with bullying.
Bullying is a form of oppression and Islam forbids all forms of oppression and injustice. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said “Be on your guard against oppression for oppression is a darkness on the day of resurrection” (Sahih Muslim). In another Hadith, the prophet peace be upon him said: “Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed”. The prophet was then asked, “It is right to help someone who is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” He replied: “By preventing him from oppressing others.”(Sahih Bukhari).
The prophet peace be upon him was heard saying “He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do that, then he should do it with his tongue; and if he has not strength enough to do even that, then he should (at least abhor it) from his heart; and that is the least of faith”.
It’s important to stand up to oppression and to stand up for others. In doing so it creates an environment in which hurtful words and behaviours are not tolerated. It allows upstanders to show solidarity with the bullied and demonstrates disapproval of the bully's actions. After all, it is a religious duty to do so. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says “And let there be (arising) from you a nation inviting to (all that is) good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful” Quran 3:104