Blasphemy means behaviour or language that shows disrespect for any prophet or any religion. Blasphemy not only hurts the religious sensibilities of others, but it also disturbs the peace and harmony of any society and even causes law and order problems. No doubt, the freedom of speech is necessary for the progress and development of society. But this freedom must not be used to insult religions. That is why Islam forbids blasphemy but does not prescribe any worldly punishment for it. The Holy Qur’an tells us that there has been no Prophet in respect of whom derogaed words were not used.
“But there never came to them a Prophet but they mocked at him.” (Ch.43 v.8)
“Then We sent Our Messengers one after another. Every time there came to a people their Messenger, they treated him as a liar …” (Ch.23 v.45)
“Alas for My servants! There comes not a Messenger to them but they mock at him.” (Ch.36 v.31)
The Holy Qur’an mentions many blasphemous utterances of the non-believers and hypocrites against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) without mentioning any physical punishment for perpetrators. Allah advised the Holy Prophet (sa):
“We will, surely, suffice thee against those who mock”
“And follow not the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and leave alone their annoyance, and put thy trust in Allah; for Allah is sufficient as a Guardian.” (Ch.33 v.49)
“Bear patiently then what they say …” (Ch.20 v.131)
Instead of killing the blasphemers, the believers were advised to leave the company of such men, until they change the topic of their talk.
“And 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 the disbelievers in Hell, all together;” (Ch.4 v.141)
The Holy Qur’an presents a comprehensive direction about the administration of justice and fair play.
“Verily, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice …” (Ch.4 v.59)
“O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do.” (Ch.4 v.136)
“O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.” (Ch.5 v.9)
“And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors.” (Ch.2 v.191)
“And if they incline towards peace, incline thou also towards it …” (Ch.8 v.62)
The Holy Qur’an teaches us that forgiveness is commended provided it is likely to result in an improvement and in the correction of the defaulter, that being the real objective. If not, then punishment is held to be necessary, but not exceeding the degree to which one is wronged.
“And the recompense of an injury is an injury the like thereof; but whoso forgives and his act brings about reformation, his reward is with Allah. Surely, He loves not the wrongdoers.” (Ch.42 v.41)
Before the advent of Islam women, as a class, enjoyed no statutory rights. Islam is the only religion which established a perfect body of percepts-giving full protection to the rights of women, making them equal of men, both in the spiritual and religious spheres of life, giving them an independent position, granting them proprietary rights, and making their responsibilities and rights a part of the divine law.
“Whoso acts righteously, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will surely grant him a pure life; and We will surely bestow on such their reward according to the best of their works.” (Ch.16 v.98)
“But whoso does good works, whether male or female, and is a believer, such shall enter Heaven, and shall not be wronged even as much as the little hollow in the back of a date-stone.”(Ch.4 v.125)
Surely, men who submit themselves to God and women who submit themselves to Him, and believing men and believing women, and obedient men and obedient women and truthful men and truthful women, and men steadfast in their faith and steadfast women, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their chastity and women who guard their chastity, and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Him — Allah has prepared for all of them forgiveness and a great reward.” (Ch.33 v.36)
In the divine scheme of regulation of the relationship between men and women, Islam has assigned a position of dignity and honour to woman. Such beneficent regulation is essential for peace, comfort, happiness, continuation of the species and progress. The Holy Qur’an emphasizes that God in His perfect wisdom has created all species in pairs, and so men and women have been created of the same species; as is said:
“O ye people! fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women …”(Ch.4 v.2)
“… He has made for you pairs of your own selves …”(Ch.42 v.12)