In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) stated that scoffing at people means to belittle them. Allaah said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا يَسۡخَرۡ قَوۡمٌ۬ مِّن قَوۡمٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡہُمۡ وَلَا نِسَآءٌ۬ مِّن نِّسَآءٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡہُنَّۖ – O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. [49:11]
Allaah (The Most High) said:
[ٱلَّذِينَ يَلۡمِزُونَ ٱلۡمُطَّوِّعِينَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ فِى ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتِ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ إِلَّا جُهۡدَهُمۡ فَيَسۡخَرُونَ مِنۡہُمۡۙ سَخِرَ ٱللَّهُ مِنۡہُمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ – Those who defame such of the believers who give charity (in Allah’s Cause) voluntarily, and those who could not find to give charity (in Allah’s Cause) except what is available to them, so they mock at them (believers), Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and they shall have a painful torment. [9:79]
Scoffing at Muslims is not permissible, rather a Muslim has a status; a Muslim has rights given to him (or her) by Allaah and rights to be fulfilled by other Muslims, which are not to be violated. Therefore, it is not permissible to scoff at a Muslim or make fun of him. Allaah said: [لَا يَسۡخَرۡ قَوۡمٌ۬ مِّن قَوۡمٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡہُمۡ – Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former]
It maybe that the one you scoff at is better than you in the sight of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted Be He); so do not scoff at people regardless how poor they may be, regardless what their appearance may be in relation to their clothing or physical appearance. That is because the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: “Many a person with dishevelled hair and covered with dust is turned away from the doors (whereas) were he to swear by Allaah (about something), Allaah will fulfil it”. [Ref 1]
This person is a close friend among the close friends of Allaah, and was he to swear by Allaah (about something), Allaah will make it happen due to his high status in the sight of Allaah, even though he is driven away from the doors. If he intercedes (for someone), his intercession will not be accepted; if he is absent, he is not missed, but he is a great one in the sight of Allaah. So do not scoff at a believer whatever his status is, for indeed a believer is noble in the sight of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted Be He). A believer has a station; he has rights (that are not to be violated) and he has status in the sight of Allaah. Do not belittle and scoff at him. [Abridged and paraphrased. Source: It’haaf At-Tullaab Bi-Sharh Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab’ page 101-102]
[Ref 1: Hadeeth: ‘’Many a person with dishevelled hair and covered with dust is turned away from the doors (whereas) were he to swear by Allaah (about something), Allaah will fulfil it’’. (Saheeh Muslim. Number 2662. Kitaab Al-Bir Was-Silah Wal Aadaab)].
Few Benefits From the above Hadeeth by Imaam An-Nawawi (rahimahullaah)
Imaam An-Nawawi (rahimahullaah) commented on this hadeeth saying that this type of person is one whom the people drive away from their doors in humiliation, but he is someone that if he were to swear by Allaah about something, Allaah will make it happen as an honour for him- by answering his request and safeguarding him from sin in relation to his oath. This is due to his great station in the sight of Allaah (The Exalted), even though he is something despised in the sight of the people. It is said that the meaning of [الْقَسَمِ in this hadeeth is (الدُّعَاءُ – supplication) and (إِبْرَارُهُ ) means (إِجَابَتُهُ -the response to the supplication)] [Abridged & paraphrased. Source: Sharh Saheeh Muslim’ Vol 15-16’ page 144’ publisher: Daar Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah’ 1st ed. (1421AH- Year 2000)]