Do Not Provoke Others The Sunday Guardian | May 16, 2010 | Page 14
During the Prophet’s time, some of his companions used objectionable language against the Gods of non-believers. This resulted in a reaction from the other party. In this situation, God Almighty gave an important piece of advice to the believers. This is recorded in the chapter Al-Anam (The Cattle): Do not revile those (beings) whom they invoke instead of God, lest they, in their hostility, revile God out of ignorance. Thus to every people We have caused their action to seem fair. To their Lord they shall all return, and He will declare to them all that they have done. (6:108)
It is obvious that God Almighty never guided the Muslims to require others not to abuse Him or the Prophet of Islam; instead, God Almighty advised Muslims to refrain from using derogatory language about other’s idols. That would only provoke them and in return they would abuse God and his Prophet. This verse sets an example. Muslims must unilaterally uphold ethical standards on this issue.
In other words, the Quran points to the reason for conflict: provocation. If one refrains from provocation, one will save oneself from retaliation. If you are hurt by the negative statements of others, you are not allowed to demand that others should not hurt you. It is your problem and not the other’s. According to Quranic teachings, one must keep one’s patience and refrain from giving the other party the chance to hit back. This principle can be called the “save yourself” formula. It gives the easiest solution to problems of antagonism. Moreover, by this method you can save your time and energy and can find more time for constructive activities. This formula saves you from being a victim of distraction always which leads to useless, time consuming activities.