Dealing With Ignorant Shop Workers Who Harass Muslims

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: Assalamu aleikum wa rahmatullah,
I am a revert sister. Yesterday I went to a shop and the security worker said I should be killed just like all Muslims should be killed, that we don’t deserve to live and we are enemies of humanity. He said that he is proud of people who kill Chechnyans and he would love to do the same. How should I react to such situations? I noted the phone number of the manager of the shop but I don’t know should I call her or not. In Quran it is said that we should not take disbelievers as helpers and protectors. Could you give an advise?


Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question. I pray this message finds you well.

I am not familiar with the discrimination and harassment laws in your country, but I suggest you advise the manager and bring this matter to the attention of the proper authorities. I can’t imagine any store employee having the right to threaten customers.

As far as not relying on non-Muslims for help and protection this is a misunderstanding of the Qur’anic verse. As a citizen of your country, you should be entitled to equal protection under the law, regardless of your religion. That means, as a citizen, you should be able to go to the authorities with your complaints. The Qur’anic verse was revealed before a time Muslims lived as citizens in non-Muslim states with all the rights and responsibilities of their fellow (non-Muslim) citizens.

Finally, be careful where you shop. Patronize establishments where you are treated with respect and courtesy. And, most importantly, recite Ayat al-Kursi (chapter two of the Qur’an, verse 255), the last three chapters of the Qur’an, and the sunna supplications for protection whenever you leave the house.

May Allah Ta’ala shield you,

Zaynab Ansari
Ramadan 21, 1433
August 10, 2012