Bullying in Islam

bully

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Bullying in Islam

Bullying is against Islam as it entails injustice being done towards an individual by another.  Those that engage in bullying actually have a weak nature and want to compensate for that weakness by trying to be ‘superior’ to others that they deem inferior to themselves.

Bullying is a form of oppression. Islam explicitly forbids all forms of oppression and injustice.  Sayiduna Jabir Bin Abdullah (Radiallahu Anhu( narrates that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam) said “Be on your guard against oppression, for oppression is a darkness on the Day of Resurrection.”   (Sahih Muslim)

In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah (SWA) has said: ‘I shall take revenge on the oppressor in this life and the next.  I shall take revenge on someone who saw a person being oppressed and was able to help him but did not help him.’   (Tabraani)

If you are being bullied, especially at school, you should not remain silent but instead inform those who have authority.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

Islam Says NO to Bullyinghttp://muslimmatters.org/2012/02/24/bullying-islam-everything-in-between/

Noora runs into the house and slams the door behind her.  She bounds up the stairs and her mother hears her bedroom door slam.  She audibly sighs sadly thinking to herself, “She had another bad day at school.  I wish she would talk to me about it.”  Noora curls up on her bed and cries quietly wondering what she did to deserve what she goes through at school everyday.  Sometimes she even finds herself wishing she could just get a physical “beat down” rather than suffer through the daily emotional torment of being teased, ostracized and singled out for abuse.  She feels as though her mother won’t understand what she’s going through and she also doesn’t want to disappoint her by confessing that she just doesn’t know how to handle the bullies.  She feels hopeless and she doesn’t know to whom to turn so she cries quietly in her room, and each day holds in more and more of the torment she faces.

Bullying was once viewed as a necessary rite of passage of childhood, something children simply must endure.  However, bullying is not simply something children will mature out of; rather, bullying can result in serious harm and long-term consequences.  Bullying can take different forms, including[1]:

  • Physical bullying: includes hitting, punching, kicking and other types of physical harm, as well as destruction of a child’s property.
  • Verbal bullying: includes teasing, name-calling, taunting and racial slurs, as well as spreading gossip or malicious rumors.
  • Cyberbullying: includes harassing emails, instant messages and text messages, as well as intimidating or threatening websites, blogs or posts.

Parents often feel completely powerless as they witness their child’s tears day-after-day, as much a part of the afterschool routine as homework.  Bullying has reached a new peak in our society and with tragedies such as the shooting at Columbine, bullying has received a great deal more attention than it used to. With the advent of technology, bullying no longer occurs exclusively within the walls of schools.  Rather, social media has provided another opportunity to bullies who seek to demean others.  Home is no longer a safe haven for victims of bullying; a Facebook status can hurt just as much, if not more, than hearing the typed words spoken aloud.

The Victims of Bullying

Being the victim of bullying can evoke a great deal of shame in children and teens (and in adults as well, since bullying is not an epidemic that exclusively targets children).  Therefore, your child may not confide in you and may go through great pains to hide the fact that s/he is being bullied.  The signs may not be as visible as a black eye; although children are often physically intimidated, bullying can be also be targeted in a way that leaves psychological and emotional bruises.  Some things to keep a lookout for, which may signal that your child is being bullied includes (but is not limited to): damage to personal belongings, unexplained injuries, a decline in academic performance, physical complaints (i.e. stomach aches, headaches, tiredness, etc.), reluctance when going to school or riding the bus, few friends, or a noticeable change in sleeping or eating habits.

There are certain qualities that may make some children more susceptible to bullying.  These include the following characteristics: cautious, sensitive, quiet, withdrawn, shy, anxious, insecure, low self-esteem, unhappy, lack of a close friend, relate better to adults than peers, physically weaker than peers.  Bullying is a cycle, so these characteristics can be just as much a consequence as a partial cause of being victimized.  There is also another subset of people within this bullying cycle who are characterized as bully/victims, who are both bullies and victims of bullying simultaneously.  Bully/victims tend to experience a greater variety of symptomology including both internalized (anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts) and externalized (hyperactivity, rule-breaking) issues[2].

The Bullies

Although the focus of prevention and interventions are often on victims of bullying, it is important to provide support to bullies as well.  As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,  “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed.” The Prophet was asked: “It is right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” He replied: “By preventing him from oppressing others.” (Ṣahīh Bukhāri, Volume 3, Ḥadīth 624)

From this ḥadīth, we learn the importance of helping those who are oppressed but, even more profoundly, the need to assist oppressors by stopping them from committing this infringement on the rights of others.  Bullies are often misconstrued as people who simply take pleasure in the pain of others.  However, research has found that some are quite complex and somewhat of a mystery.  Many research studies have found that bullies are more likely to exhibit behavioral issues including aggressiveness, hyperactivity, attention deficits and conduct problems.  However, contrary to what is normally considered of bullies, one research study found that they suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders, and eating disorders to the same extent as those who were victimized by their bullying[3].  Some things that may signal that your child is bullying others include: being aggressive with others, gets sent to detention often, has unexplained new belongings or extra money, quickly blames others, refuses to accept responsibility for actions, and has a need to win or be the best at everything.

Verbal, Emotional & Psychological (Nonphysical) Bullying

Interactions between individuals, from an Islamic point of view, are governed by the fundamental right of sanctity of life, honor, and property.  Therefore, anything that compromises these rights should be stopped.  In Sūrat’l- ujurāt (49:10-12), Allah says, Verily, the believers are brothers…

  •   let not some people mock others, for they may be better than themselves,
  • nor (let) women (mock) women who may be better than themselves.
  • And do not slander yourselves, nor revile by (offensive) nicknames
  • O you who believe, avoid (indulging in) much suspicion; truly, some suspicion is a sin.
  • And do not spy or backbite one another; would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor that.
  • And be conscious of Allah; indeed, Allah is Relenting, Merciful.” 

These verses emphasize the non-physical face of bullying.  Verbal and emotional bullying can have even greater and longer-lasting negative effects on the victims than physical bullying.  Many of us may have grown up asserting the maxim, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” however, we soon realize that sometimes words can hurt more than anything else.

According to Rachel Simmons’s Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls[4], this type of bullying is particularly common among girls and often goes unnoticed by non-participants (such as teachers and parents).  Due to the expectation of girls to be sweet, nice and caring, direct aggression is deemed unacceptable in them.  However, girls are just as likely as boys to experience anger, a natural human emotion, so they engage one another in nonphysical, alternative forms of aggression.  This includes:

  •  Relational aggression: acts that harm others through damage (or the threat of damage) to relationships or feelings of acceptance, friendship, or group inclusion.
    •  This is seen through behaviors such as ignoring someone to punish them, excluding someone socially for revenge, using negative body language or facial expressions, sabotaging someone’s relationships, etc.
  • Indirect aggression: the bully avoids confrontation using covert behaviors.  In this way, it may seem as though there was no intent to hurt anyone and others may be used as vehicles to cause pain to the targeted person.
    •  This is seen in the spreading of rumors, backbiting, “accidentally” knocking over someone’s books, etc.
  • Social aggression: intent to damage the self-esteem or social status of a targeted individual.
    • This can include rumor spreading, backbiting, and social exclusion.

Rather than using physical intimidation as a weapon, relationships are used for leverage.  What could be worse than the threat of loneliness and social isolation as you wander friendlessly through the halls of school?  Hearing lies spread about you to cause you to lose your friends and fall into a downward spiral of lowering self-esteem?  One of the issues inherent in these forms of alternative aggressions is the fact that they can easily be committed under the radar of others.  Teachers are often caught unaware when their students speak with them about this type of bullying and don’t know how to deal with it since it is not easily spotted.  When engaging in covert aggression, the bullies often seem like the type of people who would never mistreat someone; it’s the perfect disguise for accomplishing as much damage as possible while ensuring their actions are undetectable to others.

Girls in this type of situation often have nowhere to turn; they may feel too ashamed to speak to their parents or teachers about the torment they’re enduring because they may feel as though they have failed at a fundamental rite of passage – making friends.  There is also a great deal of uncertainty regarding these alternative aggressions; girls may question, “Did she just bump into me on purpose?;” “Did she roll her eyes at something I said?;” “Is that note she’s passing about me?” It’s easy to know when someone gives you a black eye, but if you’re uncertain whether others are shutting you out or teasing you behind your back, it becomes much more difficult to discuss it with others.  By the same token, many girls withstand emotional abuse from their close friends in order to maintain the inclusion as a part of a group; they fear that the creation of any conflict (including voicing their concerns) will cause them to lose a relationship.  Due to this, anger continues to simmer and issues pile up and are rarely addressed.

Practical Tips & Possible Solutions

It is incredibly important to arm our children, our students, and ourselves with the proper methods of coping with bullying.  This is not simply a rite of passage that children must endure. Furthermore, the issues brought about by bullying can quickly, and dangerously, spiral out of control.  In the next segment, practical tips and possible solutions will be offered to promote healthy relationships.


[1] Mayo Clinic Staff (2010, August 24). Bullying: Help Your Child Handle a School Bully. Children’s Issues.  Retrieved January 19, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bullying/MH00126

[2] Olweus, D. (1999). Sweden. In P. K. Smith, Y. Morita, J. Junger-Tas, D. Olweus, R. Cata- lano, & P. Slee (Eds.), The nature of school bullying: A cross national perspective (pp. 7–27). London: Routledge.

[3] Kaltiala-Heino, R., Rimpelä, M., Rantanen, P., & Rimpelä, A. (2000). Bullying at school. An indicator of adolescents at risk for mental disorders. Journal of Adolescence, 23, 661–674.

[4] Simmons, Rachel (2002).  Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.  San Diego, CA: Hartcourt Trade Publishing.

bullying girls

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What is the definition of the evil eye?

http://islamqa.info/en/20954#

What is the definition of the evil eye? Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [113:5]

Is the hadeeth (narration) of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saheeh (authentic) in which it says that “One third of those who are in the grave are there because of the evil eye”? If a person thinks that someone is envying him, what should the Muslim do and say? If the person who put the evil eye on someone washes himself, will the water he used bring healing to his victim? And should he drink the water or wash himself with it?

They replied:

The Arabic word al-‘ayn (translated as the evil eye) refers to when a person harms another with his eye. It starts when the person likes a thing, then his evil feelings affect it, by means of his repeated looking at the object of his jealousy. Allah commanded His prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), to seek refuge with Him from the envier, as He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [113:5]

Everyone who puts the evil eye on another is envious, but not every envier puts the evil eye on another. The word hasid (envier) is more general in meaning than the word ‘ain (one who puts the evil eye on another), so seeking refuge with Allah from the one who envies includes seeking refuge with Him from the one who puts the evil eye on another. The evil eye is like an arrow which comes from the soul of the one who envies and the one who puts the evil eye on another towards the one who is envied and on whom the evil eye is put; sometimes it hits him and sometimes it misses. If the target is exposed and unprotected, it will affect him, but if the target is cautious and armed, the arrow will have no effect and may even come back on the one who launched it. Adapted from Zaad al-Ma’aad.

There are ahadeeth (reports) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which speak of the effects of the evil eye. For example it is narrated in al-Saheehayn that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to tell me to recite ruqyah (incantation) for protection against the evil eye.

Muslim, Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath.”

Imam Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi  narrated that Asma bint ‘Umays said: “O Messenger of Allah, the children of J’afar have been afflicted by the evil eye, shall we recite ruqyah for them?” He said, “Yes, for if anything were to overtake the divine decree it would be the evil eye.”

Abu Dawud narrated that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The person who had put the evil eye on another would be ordered to do wudu, then the person who had been afflicted would wash himself (with that water).

Imam Ahmad, Malik, al-Nasai and Ibn Hibban narrated from Sahl ibn Haneef that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came out and traveled with him towards Makkah, until they were in the mountain pass of al-Kharar in al-Jahfah. There Sahl ibn Haneef did ghusl (bathed), and he was a handsome white-skinned man with beautiful skin. ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah, one of Banu ‘Adiyy ibn K’ab looked at him whilst he was doing ghusl and said: “I have never seen such beautiful skin as this, not even the skin of a virgin,” and Sahl fell to the ground. They went to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, can you do anything for Sahl, because by Allah he cannot raise his head.” He said, “Do you accuse anyone with regard to him?” They said, “‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah looked at him.” So the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) called ‘Amir and rebuked him strongly. He said, “Why would one of you kill his brother? If you see something that you like, then pray for blessing for him.” Then he said to him, “Wash yourself for him.” So he washed his face, hands, forearms, knees and the sides of his feet, and inside his izaar (lower garment) in the vessel. Then that water was poured over him, and a man poured it over his head and back from behind. He did that to him, then Sahl got up and joined the people and there was nothing wrong with him.  Classed as saheeh (authentic) by al-Albani in al-Mishkat.

The majority of scholars are of the view that people can indeed be afflicted by the evil eye, because of the ahadeeth (reports) quoted above and others, and because of the corroborating reports and other evidence.

With regard to the hadeeth that you mention, “One third of those who are in the grave are there because of the evil eye,” we do not know how sound it is, but the author of Nayl al-Awtar said that al-Bazzar narrated with a hasan isnad (sound chain of narrators) from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Most of those who die among my ummah (followers) die because of the will and decree of Allah, and then because of the evil eye.”

The Muslim has to protect himself against the devils among the evil jinn and mankind, by having strong faith in Allah and by putting his trust in Him and seeking refuge with Him and beseeching Him, reciting the prayers for protection narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), reciting al-Mu’awwadhatayn [the last two surahs of the Quran], Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Fatihah, and ayat al-Kursi.

Du’as for protection include the following:

A’oodhu bi kalimat-illah il-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created).

A’oodhu bi kalimat-illah il-tammati min ghadabihi wa ‘iqabihi, wa min sharri ‘ibadihi wa min hamazat al-shayateeni wa an yahduroon (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from His wrath and punishment, from the evil of His slaves and from the evil promptings of the devils and from their presence).

And one may recite the words of Allah:

“Hasbi Allahu la ilaha illa huwa, ‘alayhi tawakkaltu wa huwa Rabb ul-‘arsh il-‘azeem

(Allaah is sufficient for me. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He) in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne).”
[9:129 – interpretation of the meaning]

And there are other similar du’as that are prescribed in sharee’ah (Islamic law). This is what was meant by Ibn al-Qayyim in the words quoted at the beginning of this answer.

If it is known or suspected that a person has been afflicted by the evil eye, then the one who put the evil eye on him should be ordered to wash himself for his brother. So a vessel of water should be brought, and he should put his hand in it and rinse out his mouth into the vessel. Then he should wash his face in the vessel, then put his left hand into the vessel and wash his right knee, then put his right hand in the vessel and wash his left knee. Then he should wash inside his garment. Then the water should be poured over the head of the one on whom he put the evil eye, pouring it from behind in one go. Then he will be healed, by Allah’s leave.

Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daimah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked:

Can the evil eye afflict a person? How is it treated? Does being on one’s guard against it contradict putting one’s trust in Allah?

He replied:

Our opinion concerning the evil eye is that it is real and is proven both by Islamic teachings and by real life experiences. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes (through hatred).” [68:51]

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) and others said, commenting on this verse: this means, they put the evil eye on you with their glances. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath.” (Muslim). Al-Nasai and Ibn Majah narrated that ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah passed by Sahl ibn Haneef when he was bathing … and he quoted the hadeeth.

Reality confirms this and it cannot be denied.

In the event that you are afflicted by the evil eye, you should use the treatments recommended in sharee’ah, which are:

1 – Reciting ruqyah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “There is no ruqyah except in the case of the evil eye or fever.” al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood. Jibril (peace be upon him) used to do ruqyah for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and say, “Bismillahi arqeeka min kulli shayin yudheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin hasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillahi arqeek (In the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you).”

2 – Asking the person who has put the evil eye on another to wash, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah to do in the hadeeth quoted above. Then the water should be poured over the one who has been afflicted.

With regard to taking his waste, such as his urine and stool, there is no basis for doing so; the same applies to taking any of his belongings. Rather what is narrated is that which is mentioned above, washing his limbs and washing inside his garment, or likewise washing inside his headgear and garments. And Allah knows best.

There is nothing wrong with taking precautions against the evil eye before it happens, and this does not contradict the idea of tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allah). In fact this is tawakkul, because tawakkul means putting one’s trust in Allah whilst also implementing the means that have been permitted or enjoined. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to seek refuge for al-Hasan and al-Husayn and say: U’eedhukuma bi kalimat Allah al-tammati min kulli shaytanin wa hammah wa min kulli ‘aynin lammah (I seek refuge for you both in the perfect words of Allah, from every devil and every poisonous reptile, and from every evil eye).’”  Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood. And he would say, “Thus Ibrahim used to seek refuge with Allah for Ishaq and Ismail, peace be upon them both.” [al-Bukhari].

Fatawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen.

See also the answers to questions no. 7190 and 11359.

And Allah knows best.