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Surah Al-Hujurat – Verse 49

Allah commands the believers in surah al-Hujurat [49] by saying:

[وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ]

“And do not refer to one another with offensive nicknames” [11]

Imam al-Baghawi mentions the following examples given by some of the salaf to help understand this ayah:

[قال عكرمة : هو قول الرجل للرجل : يا فاسق يا منافق يا كافر .

وقال الحسن : كان اليهودي والنصراني يسلم ، فيقال له بعد إسلامه يا يهودي يا نصراني ، فنهوا عن ذلك . [ ص: 344 ]

قال عطاء : هو أن تقول لأخيك : يا كلب يا حمار يا خنزير .

وروي عن ابن عباس قال : “ التنابز بالألقاب ” : أن يكون الرجل عمل السيئات ثم تاب عنها فنهي أن يعير بما سلف من عمله . ]

‘Ikrimah said: This one man saying to another, “Hey sinner! O you hypocrite! You disbeliever!”

al-Hasan al-Basri said: It used to be that a Jew or a Christian would enter Islam and then after having done so people would still say, “Hey Jew! Hey Christian!” So they were prohibited from doing that.

‘Ataa’ said: It is that you say to your brother, “Hey dog, hey donkey, hey pig!”

And it was narrated that ibn ‘Abbaas said: Calling others by offensive nicknames – Let’s say a man used to commit sins and then repented from them; then it is prohibited to mock him for what he used to do.

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 7/343-344]