Respect for others

Surah 49 (Al-Hunjurat/The Private Apartments): 11-12

11. O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! No folk shall make mockery of other folk, for they may be better than they are. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they are.

And neither shall you defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the immoral name after attaining faith.
And whoever turns not, such are wrongdoers.

12. O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Avoid much suspicion and guesswork. For, behold, some of such suspicion and guesswork deplete your communal energy.

And spy not upon one another, nor shall you backbite one another.

Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?
Nay, you would detest it!

Be mindful of Allah. Verily, Allah is Relenting, Merciful


Believers are called to shun slander, insults, gossip and spying on one another and in {26.221} shaitans are said to descend upon liars, poets and eavesdroppers.


To preserve privacy, Surah 24 sets out the etiquette to be observed when visiting another person at their home.

{24.27-28} instructs believers not to enter houses without having first sought the occupant’s permission and offered a greeting, which should be a ‘salutation from God’ and returned by the householder, {24.61}.


On the same theme, {2.189} prohibits entering another person’s house by the back door. In one hadith, Muhammad brusquely threatens one of his followers with putting out his eye for peering into his house whilst he was combing his hair.


The Qur’an imposes a particular duty to be virtuous towards one’s parents that echoes one of the ten commandments: ‘Honour your father and your mother that you may have a long life in the land which the lord, your God, is giving you’ (Exodus 20.12 , Deuteronomy 5.16 ). This appears in the Qur’an’s equivalent of the  commandments at {6.151} and {17.23} (‘when one or both of them reaches old age say not to them ‘Uff!’ nor chide them 〈84.〉) and also at {2.83}, {4.36} (produced in 〈82.〉), {29.8}, {31.14-15} and {46.15} – although {29.8} makes an exception for those parents that incite shirk, and in the Qur’an’s final surah {9.23-24} instructs believers to ‘take not your fathers and your brothers as protectors if they prefer disbelief to belief.