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Offline Talib

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Does the verse 16:126 support usage of Harsh words ?
« on: November 25, 2013, 12:43:44 PM »
Salamun Alaikum

I hope you are at your healthiest.

I would like to understand 16:126 with a view whether it permits someone to use harsh/sarcastic/insulting/taunting way of interaction/discussion with people.

I got this reference in a reply I got after posting a question on OurBeacon asking what is their perspective on whether we should use Gentle Speech or Harsh Speech according to Quran.

If I may, the link to my post is here :

I got a reply from Dr. Shabbir. I am not allowed to post my reply to his response, with no reasons given. I would like to post the question and reply here so that you may understand my perspective on this.

Dear Respected Shabbir Sir and Respected learned readers.

Salamun Alaikum

I hope you all are at your healthiest. Coming straight to the point, which way do you think should the Message of Quran be "made clear / understandable" to those who have not yet achieved the understanding of the True Message :

1) By way of Insulting their understanding, giving them different tags ?


2) With a Gentle Speech, with a limit of what can be called as 'Battle of Wits' ?

What is, to your knowledge, the Quranic guidance in this regard ?

Thank You


His Reply :

Respected brother,

Are you pointing to some particular person? I could not connect gentle speech with 'battle of wits'.

The Primary Principle:

16:125 Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently. Your Lord is best Aware of him who strays from His path, and He is best Aware of the upright.

16:126 So, if you have to respond to an attack in argument, respond only to the extent of the attack leveled against you. But to bear with patience is far better for the steadfast.

Corollary of the Principle:

2:42 Do not confound the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you are well aware of it. [2:159, 3:71]

We must call a spade a spade.

33:70 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be mindful of God and speak words straight to the point.

33:71 He will adjust your works for you, and protect you from trailing behind in humanity. Surely, one who obeys God and His Messenger has gained a signal victory. [4:31, 42:37, 53:32]

My Reply to his (which was not allowed by moderators/himself) :

Respected Sir

Thank you for your response. And no, Sir, I am not pointing at anybody in particular. There are too many to point at, for that matter. Allow me clarify.

To my observation, MANY of *those who consider Quran to be Complete Source of Guidance for Deen* AND *those who consider the Book as incomplete and rely on the Secondary Sources for its completion*, have one thing in common - Both of the category insult each other with harsh/sarcastic words! So I am not pointing to any particular person.

But this is what I am trying to understand from Quran. Because, while I find Quranic verses for this matter, I do not find the Quran supporting their approach. Especially of those of the former category.

My relation of Gentle Speech with Battle of wits was that we can show our intelligence and straightforwardness and still remain with decency.

The verses you mentioned in your response, almost all the references can arguably be called for supporting Gentle Conversations. The only verse in my opinion is 16:125 which people take differently.

I think the people who use harsh language take the first part of the 16:125 into remembrance. I think both the category of learned persons should not forget the part where Allah CLEARLY says that Sabr is better for Saabiriin. And I understand Sabr here meaning not just patience, as respectfully, you render but patience with consistent perseverance.

You say that we should call a spade a spade. I cannot agree more. But I think it is not about WHAT to call it. It is about HOW you call the spade a spade.

I think it shows emotional agitation and frustration of the learned people to use Harsh/Sarcastic/Insulting language in their work. While I understand that if the same learned people use their intelligence and humor and remain with the usage of gentle words, they are smarter, more presentable to people and will have better result of their efforts. I think this is the BIG PICTURE of Quranic guidance in this regard.

Would like to know what you think about this.

Thank You

I am aware of what he thinks regarding his usage of harsh/insulting/taunting (and ALL synonyms included) words. But I expected him, being from Defense Sector also, to be courageous enough to give his perspective, if not declaring openly not to be of the Saabiriin (16:126).

QXP has the verse as :

So, if you have to respond to an attack in argument, respond only to the extent of the attack leveled against you. But to bear with patience is far better for the steadfast.

I cannot find the Arabic of "to an attack in argument" but that is what, I learn from studying, QXP is all about.

Regardless of what he thinks, do you think I am understanding 16:126 the wrong way ?

Thank you for your time.


I have already read the article titled Speak a Gentle Word. I think it is very apt to enlist the article in the category of 'WISDOM'. :)

Offline Ismail

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Re: Does the verse 16:126 support usage of Harsh words ?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 02:28:27 AM »

[Except the Companions Of the Right Hand, (they will be) in Gardens (of Delight): they will question each other, and (ask) of the Sinners: "What led you into Hell Fire?" They will say: "We were not of those who prayed; nor were we of those who fed the indigent; But we used to talk vanities with vain talkers; and we used to deny the Day of Judgement, until came to us (The Hour) that is certain." Then will no intercession of (any intercessors profit them.] 74:39-48

A. Ismail Sait.