Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah Almighty said: O my servants, I have forbidden injustice for myself and I have forbidden it among you, so do not oppress one another …” – Sahih Muslim.
While it’s obvious that oppression has no place in humanity, exploiting the weak and bullying has become a common epidemic and in fact, a culture. Be it at school, the workplace and even online (cyberbullying), bullying takes on many forms.
Bullying is prevalent in today’s society with alarming statistics. A 2018 Unicef survey revealed eight out of 10 students in Malaysia have encountered bullying in school. Malaysia ranks sixth in a 2018 comparitech.com survey as the worst country with cyberbullying, with 23% of parents polled believing their child has been a victim at least once.
Alarming, indeed. As Muslims, our first duty is for amal maaruf nahi munkar (encourage good and prevent evil). We should see the weakness of others as an opportunity to help, not to exploit. “Believers, let not a group of you mock another. Perhaps they are better than you. Let not women mock each other; perhaps one is better than the other. And do not taunt one another, nor revile one another with nicknames. How terrible is the defamation after having true faith. Those who do not repent are certainly unjust.” (Quran, 49:11)
Islam teaches us that the strong should help the weak, the young should respect the old, the elderly should love the young, the rich should help the poor, and so forth. Ultimately, we should strive to help and be beneficial to one another rather than exploiting and taking advantage of a person’s weakness.
We know there are people out there who are affected by the act of bullying or trapped in in its vicious act. Whether you are the victim or perpetrator, together we can find ways to help. Humility begins by acknowledging we have a problem. Allah loves one that humbles themselves.