Supreme Religious Authority warns of social obloquy and its consequences

In Friday’s sermon held at the Imam Hussain Shrine on January 1, 2019, the representative of the Shia Muslim Supreme Religious Authority, sheikh Abdul-Mehdi ElKerbela’i, talked about a societal phenomenon known as “social obloquy,” which, as he described, is threatening the ethical system and moral coexistence of people.

ElKerbela’i said that social obloquy means defaming a significant personality, community, or religious denomination, noting that: “A significant personality is a person of great importance and social rank—and such qualities a person or a society is distinctive of arise from their religious, cultural, social, ethical, economical, and political constituents, or – at least – from being human without having to have such qualities.”

He added that social obloquy is practiced against a certain person, community, religious denomination, or even against a well-known family that is distinctive of religious, social, financial, or economical rank.

ElKerbela’i also said that God has created human beings, honored them, and made them better than other creatures—and each human being, whether they have a religion, intellect, or another quality, has their human honor.

He noted that people have an innate need for socializing with each other, and therefore people should have their ranks as a basic social necessity as far as their human, living, material, and moral needs.

ElKerbela’i also said that social obloquy contradicts with the human nature and ethics, noting that a human innately tends to be socially accepted, respected, and honored by others. In addition, he said, there is no human who doesn’t need others or doesn’t need to socialize with others in terms of achieving his or her life needs, such as living, working, and getting married—such needs are contingent upon one’s social acceptance and respect.  

He also added that if a person’s reputation is defamed, he or she will be ostracized and will suffer mental disturbances, indicating that social obloquy denotes a widespread religious, ethical, or social defect which could lead to conflicts and disputes—the same can affect a society if it is defamed.

“Social obloquy, sometimes, gets intensified when it’s practiced on social media, and it extraordinarily influences people and causes the society disasters,” added ElKerbela’i.

He shed light on an important matter, which is that the honor of a believer is more important than the honor of the Kaaba (the symbolic house of God), which is extremely important.

ElKerbela’i concluded: “Everyone using social media and interacting with others is responsible for what they say, for they may carelessly talk about people and fling obloquy upon them. And everything one says will be displayed to them on the Day of Judgment, and every human will be held accountable for everything they say and do.”


Editing: Wela’ EsSeffar

Translation: Mohammed AlObaidi