“Do not hurt any creature.”
Do not hurt any creature, specially a human being, and most importantly, a Muslim, by any word or action of yours. Just as doing every act for the sake of Allah is the very essence of true faith, avoidance of causing hurt to anyone is the gist of Allah’s commands. Whichever principle of the Shari’ah you might ponder over, you will find this factor common in some form or the other: the Hudud punishments, the rules regarding divorce, the principles of commercial transactions and social intercourse. This is a very pervasive principle, so much so that it extends even to very minute matters. Hence people have been told not to conceal anyone else’s objects even by way of a practical joke, or even point a weapon at anyone, nor to occupy the seat of someone who has gone away for a short while, nor to jump over other people’s heads to find a place in the front rows of a congregation; nor to peep into other people’s homes, nor pry into the affairs of others, nor read someone else’s mail, nor get up at night in a way that would disturb others. Indeed, the principle is of such wide-ranging application that it is simply not possible to enumerate all such instances. Simply stated, make this principle your guiding light and the scale of all moral judgment: that you shall not cause any injury to anyone by your words or deeds. In dealing with others this should be your guiding principle.
Very often we are not cautious enough in the words we utter. Restrain yourself from speaking or acting in any manner hurtful to others. Of course, the exception will be when others might be hurt in the course of our doing something in order to fulfil a requirement of the Shari’ah and there is no way to avoid such a course of action. Even then do seek pardon from Allah.
Any general act by which someone is hurt, or his person, possession or dignity are subjected to any loss is absolutely forbidden; it is forbidden in the same way as is pork, alcohol or usury.
It is significant that the command [in the Qur’an] forbidding eating and drinking during obligatory fasting is immediately followed by the command forbidding usurpation of other people’s possessions by false means (al-Baqarah 2:187-188). Together with the prohibition of the four items of food, the deliberate concealment of Allah’s commandments has been equated with filling one’s stomach with hell-fire (al-Baqarah 2:173-174).
And remember, violation of Allah’s commandments is worse than their concealment. Indeed, while some leniency may be shown when unlawful food is consumed in extreme cases of emergency, no such mitigation on account of extraordinary situations is possible in case of violating such prohibitions as not to usurp others’ property, nor backbite nor defame nor slander. The punishment for these is only hell-fire. Even worse would be the fact that Allah would not talk to such offenders, nor cleanse them of their sins. (See Al ‘Imran 3:77.)
There is no pardon from Allah in cases where personal rights have been violated; forgiveness may only come from the person aggrieved — either directly or when Allah makes it possible for that person to grant such pardon. Just save yourself from such acts; I repeat, save yourselves. And if you were to violate others’ rights, obtain their forgiveness here in this world or else you’ll be left absolutely destitute and bankrupt on the Day of Judgment.
Most of all, protect your tongue. I have found just one way of preventing oneself from falling headlong into hell: just keep your mouth shut about others except when you speak well of them. Never speak ill of others in their absence, nor level any accusation in their presence that you cannot prove. Never speak ill of others. Moreover, if you find people engaged in backbiting and you can neither get away from the scene, nor prevent others from backbiting, immediately begin to recite istighfar (supplication seeking pardon from Allah).
Never try to find a justification for your wrong actions. These others whose rights you may violate include your spouse, parents, children, in-laws, brothers and sisters, servants, those who live in your neighbourhood, fellow-workers and those who are your transient neighbours such as fellow-travellers. Having a relationship with others does not entitle you to violate their rights. On the contrary, because of this relationship, the action of violating their rights becomes even more grave. Just keep your mouth shut with regard to others unless you have something good to say. I find no other way of salvation but this.
. That is, carrion, blood, flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than Allah’s has been pronounced. (See al-lhiqamh 2:i73,Tr.)
Taken from: “Dying and Living for Allah: The Last Will of Khurram Murad”