Mockery by Imam Zaid Shakir

A special thank you to New Islamic Directions for this insightful article.
The original article can be viewed here
[What is Mockery?]
Mockery: Behavior or speech that makes fun of someone or something in a hurtful way.
Mockery of entire groups has effectively been criminalized in Western societies.
One would think thrice before publicly mocking Jews, African Americans, homosexuals or many other groups.
Yet when it comes to Muslims, all bets, and societal protections are off. To quote Yeats, “we traffic in mockery.”
From his moving poem, “Nineteen Hundred Nineteen”:
“Come let us mock at the great
That had such burdens on the mind
And toiled so hard and late
To leave some monument behind,
Nor thought of the levelling wind.
“Come let us mock at the wise;
With all those calendars whereon
They fixed old aching eyes,
They never saw how seasons run,
And now but gape at the sun.
“Come let us mock at the good
That fancied goodness might be gay,
And sick of solitude
Might proclaim a holiday: Wind shrieked—and where are they?
“Mock mockers after that
That would not lift a hand maybe
To help good, wise or great
To bar that foul storm out, for we Traffic in mockery.”
Yes, when it comes to Islam, we traffic in mockery.
Yet, who can blame the mockers, when business is so good, and it is so easy to advertise the product.
[Who Cares?]
Who cares that Muhammad (peace upon him) was the founder of a great world religion that has fostered spiritual, intellectual and cultural beauty.
Mock the great.
Who cares to even search for the historical relevance of Al-Ghazali, Razi, Ibn Rushd or Ibn Sina.
Mock the wise.
Who cares that Islam provides millions of people the internal fortitude to bury their murdered children, rebuild their bombed neighborhoods, plow their parched fields and still smile and greet a stranger with warmth and kindness.
Mock the good.
[Mock the Muslims]
Go on and mock the Muslims, have a good go at it. Yet, you should know, the fruit of mockery is bitter and the seeds it carries only give birth to evil, an evil that oozes from the stinking corpse of dead heroism, rotten culture and brutish insensitivity to the pain and hardship one afflicts on others.
This is the message Yeats is sending to us. It is a lesson we ignore at our peril.
In the last section of the poem he reminds us:
“Violence upon the roads: violence of horses;
Some few have handsome riders, are garlanded
On delicate sensitive ear or tossing mane,
But wearied running round and round in their courses
All break and vanish, and evil gathers head: …”

Relevant Resources:

Scorning the Prophet goes beyond free speech – it’s an act of violence – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Letter to the West: we just have to learn to live together – Habib Ali al-Jifri


Prohibitions of the Tongue


Why Do Fellow Muslims Mock My Name and Ignore Me?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: In English my name is linked with a swear word. The entire school hears my name and starts mocking me. Later they make fun of my personality. I study in a Islamic school filled with Muslims. So answer me: why do my own Muslim brothers make fun of me and ignore my friendship?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Troubles and difficulties in life can be a means of expiation of sins and a raising of one’s rank to the highest of degrees. There are hidden blessings in tests.
As such, and when in troubled times, return back to Allah. Renew your repentance, resolve to follow His Commands and abstain from His Prohibitions, be firm in seeking out truth, keep the company of the righteous, attend gatherings of remembrance and learning, work on your taqwa and character, and live Islam.
Allah Most High says, “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will grant them a way out, and will provide for them in ways unimagined. And whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency. Allah’s affair will surely come to pass–and Allah has made a clear decree for everything.” [Qur’an, 65. 2-3]
Consider making some of the supplications mentioned here: What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?
May Allah make you of the greatest of His awliya.
Please also see: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment? and: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah and: The Believer’s Clarity When Tested: The Power of Patience and Prayer in Responding to Tests and Trials and: Qur’anic Reflections: Divine Tests and the Great Virtue of Steadfast Patience
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani