Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have two friends who insulted each other’s mothers and also engaged in a fight. I chose to be neutral, but both friends who no longer speak to each other, consider me disloyal. Is it disloyal for me to stay neutral and how should I try to mend their friendship?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for not getting involved in their fight and may He guide you to finding better friends.
If your friends want your loyalty, you should tell them this. Allah Most High has told us in His book, “O believers! Do not let some ˹men˺ ridicule others, they may be better than them, nor let ˹some˺ women ridicule other women, they may be better than them. Do not defame one another, nor call each other offensive nicknames. How evil it is to act rebelliously after having faith! And whoever does not repent, it is they who are the ˹true˺ wrongdoers.” [Quran, 49:11]
It says in the Reliance of the Traveller:
r18.2 Ridicule is only unlawful when it hurts others’ feelings. As for someone who purposely makes himself a laughingstock, perhaps such a person enjoys it, and jokes about him are considered mere humor. What is unlawful is the sarcasm that offends the person ridiculed, because of the insult and disdain involved, such as by laughing at his way of speaking, what he does, how he looks, or his physique because of a defect therein. To laugh at any of these is to commit ridicule that is unlawful. [ibid., 126-27]
You were not disloyal by staying out of it, and getting involved only would have made it worse. However, I encourage anyone who is in the presence of a physical or verbal fight to break it up and calm the parties down, as it is not permissible for Muslims to ridicule or hit one another. This is superior to silently watching. Please encourage them to apologize and not to hold a grudge against each other.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Do not harbor a grudge against one another, nor jealousy, nor enmity, and do not show your backs to one another, and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to avoid speaking with his brother beyond three days.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
Please see more details here:
Is Beating Someone Permissible When Defending One’s Honor or as a Religious Admonishment?
Is It Permissible to Insult Those Who Verbally Abuse Muslims?
Do I Need To Ask for Someone’s Forgiveness if I Insulted Them in a Joke?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.