Every nation has revered figures which they respect, and this is in no way particular to monotheism or atheism. One must avoid insulting or treating them disrespectfully. For this reason, the Noble Qur’an says concerning this:
وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do. (Qur’an, 6:108).
No one has the right to insult revered figures because they might turn around, and God forbid, speak ill of the revered figures of the believers.
Insulting the Companions, disrespecting revered figures of Shi‘is and Sunnis, and insulting and wrongfully belittling the beliefs of either group are forbidden (haram). They create conflict and ignite the flames of sectarianism and discord and destroy the basis of unity of the Muslim ummah. This is a major sin that everyone should seriously refrain from doing1.
- 1. Message of Grand Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli to the hajj pilgrims in 1392 (hijri solar calendar).