In every age, true believers have been criticized by the society in which they live since they serve Allah alone, observe His limits and strive to earn His good pleasure rather than that of the mass of the people. Unbelievers are antagonistic toward them because they are critical of their deviant lifestyles and philosophies and adhere to the morals Allah describes in the Qur’an. The reaction of a disbelieving society has often taken the form of assault, persecution, becoming an opponent, applying moral pressure or censure.
When faced with criticism and persecution, believers who enjoy firm faith and trust in Allah never stray from the principles of their religion. For this reason Allah's help and support is always with them, and they gain victory over the unbelievers due to their good character.
A believer may not always be subjected to physical attacks. Yet, his meticulousness in obeying the law of Allah and determination to expose the unjust ideological systems of disbelief often make him a target of criticism and condemnation. But upon observing the strong character of believers who have firm trust in Allah and are not discouraged in the face of criticism, unbelievers soon realize their efforts are doomed to failure. Those who fear the blame of Allah alone are not shaken by censure. On the contrary, believers implant a deep anxiety in the hearts of their critics with their wisdom, patience, astuteness, determination and also victory in the intellectual struggle. This kind of condemnation just motivates believers even more.
To fear the blame of other people amounts to ascribing associates to Allah, since He enjoins fear of Him alone. Anyone failing to stand firm for his religion harms only himself. And Allah will replace such people with people who have the best character, as revealed in the verse:
You who believe! If any of you renounce your religion, Allah will bring forward a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble to the believers, fierce to the unbelievers, who strive in the Way of Allah and do not fear the blame of any censurer. That is the unbounded favor of Allah which He gives to whoever He wills. Allah is Boundless, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Ma’ida; 54)