The Unbelievers' Opposition to the Believers
Throughout history, Allah's messengers have been made responsible for conveying His message to their people as well as enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. In times when there are no prophets among the people, believers who have a strong and sincere faith have taken it upon themselves to perform these tasks in order to earn Allah's good pleasure, mercy, and Paradise. However, throughout history, such blessed people have been subjected to verbal and physical abuse and often threatened with death. Since they have no worldly ambition, they do not approach anyone out of self-interest. On the contrary, they are selfless, modest, and humble. However, they still face attacks from some people. Allah reveals the identity of these people in the Qur'an, and explains why they do what they do by providing examples from the past.
These people oppose believers because they oppose Allah and His religion. Due to their vanity, they do not want to acknowledge the existence of Almighty Allah Who created them, gave them life when they were nothing, and then sustained them with endless means of sustenance. They choose denial because of their zeal for life and preference of this world over the Hereafter, and because they seek to escape the responsibility that believing in Allah's religion will bring upon them. They do not wish to feel answerable to anyone and so ignore the fact that one day they will be brought to justice for their evil, immoral, and sinful deeds. For these reasons, they perceive all who remind them of Allah, the moral values of the religion, and the Day of Judgment virtually as a threat.
As a consequence of this mistaken idea, they either try to hinder the believers or try to force them to return to their false religion. As we learn from the Qur'an, people who are far removed from the Qur'an's morality use various dark methods to achieve their ambitions. For example, they plot, scheme, and conspire against believers; torture them; and try to hurt them with mockery or slander. Thus, they try, in their own eyes, to derail them and wear them down. Allah reveals that such attacks have never succeeded:
If they come upon you, they will be your enemies and stretch out their hands and tongues against you with evil intent. They would dearly love [for] you to become unbelievers. (Surat al-Mumtahana, 2)
The source of the slanders examined in this book is those who, in the words of the Qur’an, “stretch out their hands and tongues against believers with evil intent.” Over the coming pages, we will see that slander, which has been handed down from generation to generation over thousands of years as if it were an inheritance, is the method used by those who wish to spread immorality and disorder in the world. It is used against religious, sincere, and moral people, as in the cases of the Prophets Noah (as), Solomon (as), Moses (as), Muhammad (saas), and every messenger in between, not to mention all of the devout people who were with them. In recent history, the great scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was subjected to this type of bullying as well.
Howev er, no slanderer in history, including Pharaoh and Nimrod, has ever achieved his or her goal, and neither have the people who sought to hurt the loved ones of our Prophet (saas) by slandering them. Allah has always cleared His righteous servants of the suspicions cast on them, as we learn in the account of the Prophet Moses (as):
O you who believe! Do not be like those who abused Moses. Allah absolved him of what they said, and he was highly honored with Allah. O you who believe! Fear [and respect] Allah, and speak the right word. (Surat al-Ahzab, 69-70)
Just as all past slanderers against Muslims met with no success, they will not succeed either today or in the future.
Who Were The Slanderers Of The Past?
In every era, Allah has sent messengers to warn their people of the Day of Judgment and the existence of Hell and Paradise. Allah reveals this reality:
We have sent you with the truth bringing good news and giving warning. There is no community to which a warner has not come. (Surah Fatir, 24)
Allah reveals that only a few people believed these messengers and followed their path, whereas the great majority chose to deny their message and so opposed them. As we read in the Qur'an:
… But those who believed with him were only few.(Surah Hud, 40)
Or is it that they do not recognize their messenger and therefore do not acknowledge him? Or do they say: “He is a man possessed,” when he has brought the truth to them? But most of them hate the truth. (Surat al-Mu’minun, 69-70)
Allah also informs us that it is usually the affluent elite who stir up opposition against the messengers. Some of the following verses make this clear:
Similarly, We never sent any warner before you to any city without the affluent among them saying: “We found our fathers following a religion, and we are simply following in their footsteps.” (Surat az-Zukhruf, 23)
We never sent a warner into any city without the affluent people in it saying: “We reject what you have been sent with.” (Surah Saba’, 34)
These verses draw our attention to two main characteristics of the unbelievers: First, these people are among the economic elite of their society, and second, their transgression causes them to deny the messengers. They oppose those who bring them the truth, namely, Allah’s religion and the good morality it offers to people, because they fear that if this morality becomes widespread, they will lose their income, which they guard so greedily.
Despite their greed, however, Allah's messengers did not refrain from telling them and all other people that this world is a temporary and delusive abode; that what really matters is the life after death; and that earning the Hereafter does not depend on money, property or other worldly goods, but on one's morality and fear of Allah. Proclaiming this truth angers these people, as they are told that everything that they value and desire is, in reality, worth nothing. Allah reveals these people's lust for the world:
These people love this fleeting world, and have put the thought of a Momentous Day behind their backs. (Surat al-Insan, 27)
Since some of these people who believe that they have power, status, wealth, or fame in their own right, and do not believe in Allah's prescribed limits, they think that they can do whatever they want to and will not suffer any consequences. The Qur'an's morality, on the other hand, reveals the flaws inherent in their false way of life, beliefs, values of right and wrong that they themselves formulated according to their own system, and selfish desires. Consequently, they do whatever they can to prevent the practice of this morality.
The unbelievers’ false belief system and their great anger toward those who point out their errors are described in the Qur’an as follows:
... 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. There you are, loving them when they do not love you, even though you believe in all the Books. When they meet you, they say: “We believe.” But when they leave, they bite their fingers out of rage against you. Say: “Die in your rage.” Allah knows what your hearts contain. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 118-119)
As revealed in the above verses, unbelievers try every possible way to harm believers, to destroy or incapacitate them. As we stated earlier, slander and plotting against them are the most frequently applied methods used to achieve such aims.
Unbelievers want everyone to stray from the righteous path, just as they have. For this reason, and to prevent people from being influenced by and complying with the righteous believers' message, they try to belittle believers. However, believers remain steadfast in Allah's religion and thus do, say, or believe nothing that will disgrace them. They do not transgress the limits that Allah has established for them, and always maintain their good character and decent conduct. Aware of this, unbelievers can only try to achieve their goals through slander, lies, and deceit. They come together, conspire against believers, decide how to slander them, and, in order to disseminate their lies, delegate specific tasks to each member in the conviction that they can discredit believers in the eyes of the people. But they will never succeed. Allah informs believers of these people:
And likewise, in every city We set up its greatest wrongdoers to plot in it. They plot against themselves alone, but they are not aware of it. (Surat al-An‘am, 123)
Some of the slanders that the messengers and Muslims have had to endure are revealed in the Qur’an. It is important to remember these events and their consequences, if one truly wants to understand that the unbelievers have never – and never will – achieve their goal. It will also help to motivate sincere and honest people who are slandered to see that other Muslims have had similar experiences.