Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari
Question: Assalamu alaikum,
One day , a man in my university class insulted Allah in front of me. He says me that he insults god everyday. I felt angry , but didn’t know the best way to react. One year later I saw that he became mentally ill. What should our reaction be when a non-Muslim insults Allah and his Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum,
Thank you for your question.
In the absence of Muslim political & juridical authorities, one cannot impose penalties on those who insult Islam. As citizens of Western countries, Muslims should be especially aware of free-speech laws and their implications.
In your particular case, the person may have been suffering from a mental illness, so it was best to overlook the situation. In the case of someone who is lucid and insults Islam (or God and His Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace) to provoke you, the best course of action is to disregard the provocation. One shows strength by contemplating before responding, and, when one responds, that response should be measured and dignified.
We read in the Qur’an: “He hath already revealed unto you in the Scripture that, when ye hear the revelations of Allah rejected and derided, (ye) sit not with them (who disbelieve and mock) until they engage in some other conversation. Lo! in that case (if ye stayed) ye would be like unto them. Lo! Allah will gather hypocrites and disbelievers, all together, into hell.” (4:140)
Keep in mind that free speech laws also give you the right to speak up when Islam is maligned so don’t be reluctant to stand for what is right.
May Allah reward you,