Can you swear someone if they swear you?


Nasihah (Advice): Vulgarity is not part of Islam


Sayyiduna Jabir ibn Samurah radiyallahu anhu reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily, obscenity and vulgarity are not part of Islam. Verily, the best people in Islam are those with the best character.” [Musnad Aḥmad]



Question and Answer:


  1. If someone swears you or your parents, are you allowed to swear them back?


(Question published as received)


  1. If a person is kind to you, then equally, you should reciprocate the kindness. If a person is unkind to you, then although it is preferable for you to display kindness, you will not be guilty if the response is of a similar nature, provided that it does not entail vulgarity or swearing.


Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Being vulgar to (another) Muslim is (a sign of) disobedience to Allah and killing him is (tantamount to) disbelief.” (Sahih Bukhari)


If a person or his parents are sworn at, it will be permissible to provide a similar response without swearing or being vulgar. However, it is highly commendable that one overlooks or forgives the person instead.


Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu reports: ‘A man reviled Abu Bakr whilst Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam was sitting down. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam was impressed (by Abu Bakr) and he smiled. When the man continued to revile him, he (Abu Bakr) reviled the man with similar words as him and Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam became angry and he stood up (to leave).


Abu Bakr went to him and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the man reviled me and you were sitting, but when I responded you became angry and stood up.” He said, “Verily, there was an angel with you responding on your behalf, but the devil appeared when you responded with similar words as him and I will not sit in the presence of the devil.”


Then, he said, “O Abu Bakr, there are three persons who are given a right. No servant is wronged by an oppressor and he forgives him for the sake of Allah except that Allah will support him. A person does not open the door of charity to strengthen family ties except that Allah will increase his wealth. A person does not open the door to begging to usurp wealth except that Allah will increase his poverty.” (Musnad Ahmad)


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best


Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

Mufti Moosa Salie


(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.) 


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