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How to Deal with Bullies?

02 September, 2019
Q Salaam. I just wanted to know how you deal with people who treated you badly in the past and continue to spread rumors about you. This girl bullied me and even though we no longer live close to each other, I hear from others that she lies about me. It really annoys me.

Weirdly, she has a false reputation as a good person so people believe her. It just eats me up that she treats me like this and it affects me, yet she isn't affected at all. Sometimes, I think what goes around comes around, but right now it really hurts.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• Remember that you are not the one that is accountable for her behavior. You are only accountable for how you respond to it.

• Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an to respond for evil with that which is better. So at the very least, simply not responding to her at all and not rising to her insults are responding to an evil act with something that is better.

• Remember Allah always, so you will remember His advice against the bullies.

• Read more about how the Prophet dealt with bullies in Makkah.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

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Bullying is undoubtedly unacceptable behavior and should not be tolerated. Of course, bullying on any level hurts so there is no wonder why you feel distressed about the situation. Alhamdulillah, Islam teaches us many ways in which we can deal with this type of behavior.

Firstly, remember that you are not the one that is accountable for her behavior. You are only accountable for how you respond to it. Allah (swt) sees her attitudes and behavior and judge her by her intentions and actions. If you keep in mind that Allah (swt) is the justest, then you can find comfort in the fact that her behavior is not going unrecorded.

How to Deal with Bullies? - About Islam

You must also remember that whilst He (swt) will judge her for what she is doing, He (swt) will also judge you, so it is for you to respond in the most appropriate way. Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an to respond for evil with that which is better. So at the very least, simply not responding to her at all and not rising to her insults are responding to an evil act with something that is better. It will show Allah (swt) that you are being patient and control yourself during testing times by not responding to her, especially in terms of guarding your tongue which we are told is one of the most difficult parts of our body to control. By remembering Allah (swt) in your transactions, this will become a whole lot easier.

(Editor’s note: I also suggest that you read about how the Prophet dealt with bullies. He and the early Muslims suffered from a tremendous humiliation and bully by the people of Makkah. We today can learn a lot and get so much power from their example. Check particularly the incident with the people of Ta’if!)


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What makes the situation all the more difficult is that she is involving other people too by spreading false rumors. However, those that are good people amongst them will know that whatever she says is considered backbiting and is unacceptable in Islam. In sha‘ Allah, will reject what she has been saying anyway. This is a useful way for you to also know which of these people are good. So, amongst all the negativity, there is some benefit in it.

May Allah (swt) keep you strong in these times of distress and bring you comfort in the knowledge that you are responding in a way that is pleasing to Him (swt).

Salam,

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)