By Sikandar Azam

Hate hurts, and hurts all. It hurts not only the target group or community and the nation at large but the haters as well. The recent hate speeches at the various places in the country drive the point home. They hurt the minorities, in particular Muslims, and peace- and justice-loving people cutting across all strata of society. They also hurt the rabid haters themselves in the sense that they earned wide criticism as well as the long arm of the law.

These haters are in fact ignorant. Their ignorance does not allow them to see the reason behind the concept of an inclusive society. This also makes them narrow-minded in their approach to life; for they wish only a particular group should and can live in the country and everyone else be subjugated, harassed and exterminated much against the social norms and the law of the land.

What does the Lord Almighty, Who is Creator and Sustainer of both believers and unbelievers alike, say about such ignorant persons? He says: “They seek to extinguish God’s light (by blowing) with their mouths, but God shall spread His light in all its fullness, howsoever the unbelievers may abhor this.” (The Qur’ān – 61:8) The ayah means to assert that no one will succeed in blowing out this light of God, but it will shine forth and spread throughout the world whether the disbelievers and polytheists like it or not, and whoever they support it or resist it. God is certainly able to fulfil what He has warned the evildoers of. History bears witness that He already made it all happen during the lifetime of His Messenger ﷺ.

Then in these circumstances what the believers should do. The Qur’ān (23:96-98) says: “Repel evil with that which is best. We are fully aware of all that they say. And say: ‘My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the promptings of the evil ones; and I seek refuge with You, my Lord, lest they come near me.’”

As Islam is the religion of peace, its adherents have to practise peace howsoever trying the situation they are in might be. Therefore, here they are directed to ‘repel evil with what is best’. They should never let the prompting of Satan to work. They should know for certain that Satan is the archenemy of believers; he would persuade them to pay the ignorant back in the same coin. But the believers are encouraged to seek the refuge of God: ‘My Lord! I seek refuge with You.’ And who can harm one who comes in the refuge of the Lord of the universe.

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