58وَالَّذينَ يُؤذونَ المُؤمِنينَ وَالمُؤمِناتِ بِغَيرِ مَا اكتَسَبوا فَقَدِ احتَمَلوا بُهتانًا وَإِثمًا مُبينًاAli UnalAnd those who affront believing men and believing women without their having done any wrong to deserve it, they have surely burdened themselves with calumny and a blatant sin.1If one says something about a believer with which the believer will not be pleased, this is backbiting, which the Qur’an decisively forbids. If one says something about a believer that is untrue, this is a calumny. In addition to forbidding such talk about the believers, the verse also forbids any unbecoming talk or act that will hurt a believer. Before the injunction of flogging with a hundred stripes (24: 2), the Qur’an had ordered the punishment of fornicators by scolding and beating (4: 16). However, this was abrogated by the injunction regarding flogging them. Therefore, hurting a believer with unbecoming words is forbidden in any case. And, thus, the permission to hurt or affront them that this verse gives in case of their having done some wrong concerns any acts that the law may punish in this way; such a punishment can only be implemented by legal authorities. While the Qur’an forbids affronting any believer without their having done any wrong that would deserve such an affront, it decisively forbids offending God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, without specifying any exception, and it regards offending him as if one has offended Almighty God. This shows the Messenger’s sinlessness and that he is exalted above any blemish.