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What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone?

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    Alhidaya's Avatar Limited Member
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    What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone?

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    Salam aleikom!

    Yes, as the thread title says..What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone (according to islam)?.

    Let's say someone insults you or hits you. Imagine that you at the time this happens realizes that the person who is subjecting you to this is going to stop by him/herself. So if you take revenge (or defend yourself as others may call it) you're only doing it because you want to subject them to the same treating as they treated you. You're not doing it to prevent them from doing more of it to you. You're punishing them for what they have done. Let me give you guys a fictional example :

    You're walking down the street in another country from where you live. A person suddenly slaps you in the face and then starts running fast from the scene. You realize that they wont do it again to you since they're gone. You can run after them and hit them back. But why would someone do that?. It's simple, someone would do that in order to make the initial "faceslapper"
    feel the same pain that you felt from the slap you got. In other words, you want to punish them for what they did to you.

    My other question is : Is it haram to hit or insult people (by cursing/swearing) as selfdefence? (if someone does it to you first)

    Wassalam
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    crimsontide06's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone?

    Self defense is such a broad subject and would take too long to explain.


    No, it is NOT ok to insult people or hit someone even if they insulted you.This is haram.
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    Iceee's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone?

    Salaam.

    format_quote Originally Posted by Alhidaya View Post
    You're walking down the street in another country from where you live. A person suddenly slaps you in the face and then starts running fast from the scene. You realize that they wont do it again to you since they're gone. You can run after them and hit them back. But why would someone do that?. It's simple, someone would do that in order to make the initial "faceslapper"
    feel the same pain that you felt from the slap you got. In other words, you want to punish them for what they did to you.
    My family used to live in an apartment really close to the stairs (nearest exit incase of fire or earthquake ). One day we heard someone knock really hard on the door. My mom opened the door and she started crying a little saying someone egg'ed our door. Seeing my Mom clean our door afterwards, realizing that the person who did it got away because they took the stairs after throwing the egg made me so so angry. I prayed to Allah to punish the person who did it.

    The following week, as I was putting my shoes on to go to masjid for Zuhr namaaz, I heard someone knock on our door again. It was the same knock as last week. I went with one shoe, opened our door to see another egg had hit our door. I opened the stairs door and ran down following footsteps. I jumped on the boy, we both went down hard, but I was bigger and I sat on his stomach. I was so angry for what he did, he was a boy my age, blond hair blue eyes, looked so scared. I wanted to punch him, I wanted to get revenge, I wanted him to feel pain, I saw my Mom cried while he got a good laugh. But I couldn't do it. I thought of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). What would he have done? I let that scared little boy go. My Dad came and called the Super and they got a warning.


    format_quote Originally Posted by Alhidaya View Post
    My other question is : Is it haram to hit or insult people (by cursing/swearing) as selfdefence? (if someone does it to you first)
    Please refer to:
    http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?id=158725&page=articles

    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/21932
    http://islamqa.com/en/ref/78978

    http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=12867&CATE=1


    Last edited by Iceee; 08-11-2013 at 04:56 AM.
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    Eric H's Avatar
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    Re: What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone?

    Greetings and peace be with you Alhidaya;
    I am a volunteer with the Street Pastors, we walk around the streets late at night in the hope we might spread some kindness in our community. In the five years of being a Street Pastor, there has only been one incidence when I have said about walking away. We saw a group of angry youths in an alley around midnight, a couple of them were coming towards us, pointing at us and telling us to walk on. I realised that we should walk away or we would get hit, and I said this to my mate. He said have you seen that lad climbing over the fence into someone’s garden, as soon as he had pointed this out, I knew we had to stay.

    It wasn’t our intention to get hit, but it happened, we did not do self defence. After the youths had asserted themselves they walked off. At the end of our shift we have to phone the police to say we are finishing, and to report any incidents, which we did.

    The police caught these youths and asked us to make a statement, which we refused to do. I said to the police that I would prefer to have the opportunity for these lads to talk to us, and then close the file; we did not want any charges pressed on our account. It is a pointless exercise forgiving someone after they have been charged; we also had to take some of the blame because we had the freedom to walk away.

    Sadly the police did press charges even without our statements, the police said they did not want any volunteers being harmed.

    I have found the angriest people are often the most troubled people for a reason. The angriest youth had never got on with his dad, then his dad was diagnosed with cancer, they started to make up for the first time, then the father died. Hence one very angry lad, the police charges would have fuelled his anger more. We were able to meet up with these lads later and build some bridges.

    I have to say that we do not face the same challenges as the founders of Street Pastors, which started several years ago in Jamaica. A friend of a minister was shot and killed by a gang of youths, he prayed and asked what could the church do?

    He found a few volunteers and they went to hang out where the gangs with guns were, that has to be a very special kind of faith.

    I sense that sometimes injustice can never be put right, and there is the need to forgive someone. Helping others is a great path to healing also.

    Blessings and prayers

    Eric
    Last edited by Eric H; 08-11-2013 at 05:58 AM.
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    What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone?

    You will never look into the eyes of anyone who does not matter to God.
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    greenhill's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: What is the difference between self defence and punishing someone?

    Salaam.

    Self defense are things done/action taken to protect self from being harmed, and punishing someone is where the things done or action taken goes beyond protecting self where you go on the offensive.

    Personally, I believe in peace and forgiveness first, but if the situation repeats itself over and over again then it should be stopped. If retaliation is required, then so be it. The world these days view passiveness as weakness and those who show weakness tend to be abused. I think as much as it is important to be forgiving, we must also be prepared to stand up for our rights.
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