Unbelievers Fall into the Error of Mocking the Believers
As we said earlier, all unbelievers at bottom feel a great sense of guilt because they act contrary to Allah's instructions and do not surrender themselves to Him. This is why they mock the believers. The fact that they know they are on the wrong path and that the believers are on the right one causes them to hate the believers. In the Qur'an Allah describes the rage they feel toward the believers:
O you who believe! Do not take any outside yourselves as intimates, for they will do anything to harm you. They love what causes you distress. Hatred has appeared out of their mouths, but what their breasts hide is far worse. We have made the signs clear to you, if you use your intellect. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 118)
One of the major reasons why the unbelievers hate the believers is because they believe in Allah. Throughout history, the unbelievers have always hated the believers who carry out Allah's instructions and obey the Qur'an and Allah's prophets. All unbelievers will feel uncomfortable and harbor this rage as long as any believers exist on the face of the earth.
The unbelievers try to ignore Allah's existence and supremacy. As we said at the outset, if they were to accept these facts, they would come face to face with the truth, which would require them to obey Him. While they go on trying to evade this truth, the believers' very existence makes all of their efforts futile. The believers point out, both to the unbelievers and their societies, that Allah is the Creator of everything and All-Powerful, that life in this world is temporary and death is inevitable. In short, they embody everything that the unbelievers are trying to forget. Therefore, the unbelievers do not want even one single believer to survive on the face of the earth.
These are the reasons why they regard the believers with enmity. Of course, one of the simplest ways for them to display this enmity is for them to use mockery to show that they do not value the believers. However, the believers do not actually need to be valued by them. In particular, mocking the beliefs of the believers is a widespread moral defect among unbelievers. Allah reveals this in the Qur'an:
When they are told: "Believe in the way that the people believe," they reply: "What! Are we to believe in the way that fools believe?" No indeed! They are the fools, but they do not know it. When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe." But then, when they go apart with their satans, they say: "We are really with you. We were only mocking." (Surat al-Baqara, 13-14)
In these verses Allah reveals that the unbelievers speak of the believers in such a way to show their supposed superiority to them. By doing this, they think that they can destroy the believers' joy and reduce their strength. But as in everything else, they fall into a serious error because one who has faith in Allah has no room in his life for such negative feelings as a loss of joy, pessimism, and submission to depression. On the contrary, enduring such immoral attacks actually honors the believers and makes them even more joyful, because Allah has told them that all believers have faced such situations throughout history. All believers who have reacted to such behavior with forbearance have experienced the joy and exaltation of knowing that they will receive a splendid reward in the hereafter.
One of the things that enrages the unbelievers has been the believers' willingness to follow the prophets sent by Allah. They have shown great respect for the prophets and the pious believers who have struggled on their behalf, for: "We sent no messenger except to be obeyed by Allah's permission" (Surat an-Nisa', 64). In accordance with "O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those in command among you" (Surat an-Nisa', 59), they have competed with one another in heeding His word and refuse to make any concession, for in the Qur'an Allah says:
These are Allah's limits [that He has established for humanity]. As for those who obey Allah and His messenger, We will admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever. That is the Great Victory. As for those who disobey Allah and His messenger and overstep the limits [that He has established for humanity], We will admit them into a Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. They will have a humiliating punishment. (Surat an-Nisa', 13-14)
One of the greatest examples of this is the obedience displayed by Muslim women in the time of our Prophet (saas) with the revelation of the verses concerning the covering of the head. Allah reveals in the Qur'an that covering the head is a significant and distinguishing attribute of women with faith:
O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments closely round themselves. This makes it more likely that they will be recognized and not be harmed. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Ahzab, 59)
The verses concerning covering the head in Surat an-Nur were revealed in the period following the hegira:
The women of faith in the time of our Prophet (saas) greeted Allah's commandment on the subject of the headscarf with great willingness and enthusiasm, obeying it at once.
The believers' unshakable obedience has caused great discomfort among the unbelievers in every period of history because they want to be the most respectable and important people. As a result, this is one of the reasons why they oppose the believers, for the latter obey the person Allah has chosen and sent to them. And so they verbally attack the believers and the prophets:
[T]hey ask: "Why should we believe you, when the vilest people follow you?" (Surat ash-Shu‘ara', 111)
The ruling circle of those among his [Nuh's] people who do not believe said: "We do not see you as anything but a human being like ourselves. We do not see anyone following you but the lowest of us, unthinkingly. We do not see you as superior to us. On the contrary, we consider you to be liars." (Surah Hud, 27)
The unbelievers' greatest desire is to be superior to everybody else. But no matter how superior they regard themselves, they lead lives of great foolishness. In this fleeting life, they choose the rank, money, property, and respect that they could obtain over and above their endless existence in the hereafter. This is one of the greatest proofs of their foolishness.