Before I came to Islam I had encountered bullying at school as a high school teen not knowing how to deal with those who bullied me. I felt as though I had no voice to stand up for myself as that is what bullies do. They make you feel weak and intimidated. Sometimes all the bully wants is a reaction and so they target a person that appears to be weak and easy to intimidate.
Often, the bullies themselves are the ones who behind closed doors have been possibly abused, bullied themselves or are facing some kind of hardship. However, it is not okay for anybody to be bullied. I felt that after I came to Islam that even though I have still encountered bullying yet, I now know how to manage it because of the empowering teachings of Islam.
First, let’s take a look at what the term bullying is.
Bullying is when people repeatedly and intentionally use words or actions against someone or a group of people to cause distress and risk to their wellbeing. These actions are usually done by people who have more influence or power over someone else, or who want to make someone else feel less powerful or helpless.
Interestingly, the term bullying is the exact word of oppression that is mentioned in the Qur’an where Islam forbids oppression. Oppression is where the creation of disorder, the act of subjugating by cruelty, the state of being kept down by unjust use of force or authority, to be repressed, subjugated, subdued, where there is coercion, cruelty, tyranny, intimidation, viciousness, and brutality.
“Allah orders justice, kindness and good conduct. He forbids injustice, immorality and oppression.” (Qur’an 16:90).
In this verse, Islam teaches us how to behave as a person when facing unjust circumstances. “Therefore, you shall steadfastly persevere – for God’s promise is the truth – and do not be intimidated by those who have not attained certainty” (Qur’an 30:60).
No matter where one is in life, bullying is something that does occur and it starts with the youth and often can continue into adulthood. However, by coming to Islam, Islam taught me how to handle the bullies and situations like this which has helped me in all stages of my life.
Bullying needs to stop and sometimes the only way to stop the bullies is through our own character and the way we react to these types of situations. Allah says: “Repel evil with which is better.” (Qur’an 41:34)
At the very least, not responding to situations like this and not rising to the insults are in fact responding to the evil with which is better. If we can start with the Muslim community inshallah it will continue throughout all communities.
To those who have or are encountering bullying situations remember that every behaviour that someone does, does not go unrecorded by Allah and therefore one can find comfort in knowing that no bully will affect us.
I will forever be grateful for my journey to Islam no matter what struggles I face whether in the Muslim or non-Muslim community.
“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 oppressors.” (Qur’an 49:11).