Freedom of Speech in Islam: Are there any Limits?


By Atif Mir

In a verse of the Holy Quran, Allah says:

He has already revealed to you in the Book that, when you hear the signs of Allah being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they engage in a talk other than that; for in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allah will assemble the hypocrites and disbelievers in Hell, all together” (Al Quran 4: 141)

The verse says that if people are making fun of signs of Allah, then you should just walk away.  But can we walk away in today’s world? In the today’s world, the electronic media, print
media, Internet etc…are being used by vested interests to propagate insult against the Holy Prophet (sa) all across the globe.  In this context, how should we read the Quranic verse which commands us to walk away from those who insult your religion? How can we walk away from these given the reach of media in today’s society? Should we just change the TV channel or radio frequency when we hear offensive remarks against the Holy Prophet (sa)? Should we just stop reading the mocking and demeaning newspaper story and do nothing?

The answer, of course, is no. The Holy Quran has merely discouraged discussion with those who are in the habit of mocking the signs of Allah. You are told to walk away from that
situation.  Read further.


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2 replies

  1. “Allah likes not the uttering of unseemly speech in public, except on the part of one who is being wronged. Indeed, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Al Quran 4:149)

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