وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.
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(Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance…)[5:108]. Said ibn ‘Abbas, according to the report of al-Walibi: “They [the idolaters] said: ‘O Muhammad,either you stop reviling our idols or we will revile your Lord’. And so Allah, exalted is He, warned againstreviling their idols lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance”. Qatadah said: “The Muslims used torevile the idols of the unbelievers and the latter used to react against them. Allah, exalted is He, therefore,warned the Muslims against being the cause which drives ignorant unbelievers, who have no knowledge ofAllah, to revile Allah as a result of reviling their idols”. Said al-Suddi: “When Abu Talib was dying, [somechiefs of] the Quraysh said: ‘let us go to this man and ask him to forbid his nephew from reviling our idols,for we feel shame to kill him after he passes away and drive the Arabs to say: ‘He used to defend him butonce he passed away, they killed him’. And so Abu Sufyan, Abu Jahl, al-Nadr ibn al-Harith, Umayyah andUbayy the sons of Khalaf, ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu‘ayt, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, al-Aswad ibn al-Bukhturi went to see AbuTalib. They said to him: ‘You are our master and chief, but Muhammad has harmed us and harmed ouridols. We would like you to call him and warn him against speaking ill of our idols. And from our part, we willleave him alone to his Allah’. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, went when he wassummoned. Abu Talib said to him: ‘These are your people and cousins!’ The Messenger of Allah, Allah blesshim and give him peace, asked them: ‘What do you want?’ They said: ‘We want you to leave us alone withour idols and we will leave you alone with your Allah’. Abu Talib said: ‘Your people are being fair with you,so give your consent’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘If I agree to thiswould you agree to give me one sentence, if you were to utter it, you would rule over the Arabs and non-Arabs alike?’ Abu Jahl said: ‘Yes, by your father, we will give it to you and also give you ten other things likeit; but what is it? He said: ‘Say: there is no god but Allah!’ They refused and expressed their aversion at thisproposal, upon which Abu Talib said; ‘Son of my brother, ask for something else, for your people are wary ofthis’. He said: ‘O uncle, I am not one who would ask for other than that. If they were to place the sun in myhand, I would not ask for anything other than that’. The chiefs of Quraysh said: ‘You would better stopreviling our idols or we will revile you and revile He Who commands you’. And so Allah, exalted is He,revealed this verse”.
وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ اللَّهَ عَدْواً بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
(108. And insult not those whom they worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall inform them of all that they used to do.)
Allah prohibits His Messenger and the believers from insulting the false deities of the idolators, although there is a clear benefit in doing so. Insulting their deities will lead to a bigger evil than its benefit, for the idolators might retaliate by insulting the God of the believers, Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah 6:108; "They (disbelievers) said, `O Muhammad! You will stop insulting our gods, or we will insult your Lord.' Thereafter, Allah prohibited the believers from insulting the disbelievers' idols,
فَيَسُبُّواْ اللَّهَ عَدْواً بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
(lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge.)'' `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said, "Muslims used to insult the idols of the disbelievers and the disbelievers would retaliate by insulting Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Allah revealed,
وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ
(And insult not those whom they worship besides Allah.)'' On this same subject -- abandoning what carries benefit to avert a greater evil - it is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَلْعُونٌ مَنْ سَبَّ وَالِدَيْه»
(Cursed is he who insults his own parents!) They said, "O Allah's Messenger! And how would a man insult his own parents'' He said,
«يَسُبُّ أَبَا الرَّجُلِ فَيَسُبُّ أَبَاهُ وَيَسُبُّ أُمَّهُ فَيَسُبُّ أُمَّه»
(He insults a man's father, and that man insults his father, and insults his mother and that man insults his mother.) Allah's statement,
كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ
(Thus We have made fair seeming to each people its own doings;) means, as We made fair seeming to the idolators loving their idols and defending them, likewise We made fair seeming to every previous nation the misguidance they indulged in. Allah's is the most perfect proof, and the most complete wisdom in all that He wills and chooses.
ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ مَّرْجِعُهُمْ
(then to their Lord is their return,) gathering and final destination,
فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
(and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do.) He will compensate them for their deeds, good for good and evil for evil.