Avoiding suspicion and slander|
Posted on Friday, October 28 @ 23:58:53 EDT by admin
An important matter which Muslims take care to avoid is making statements on subjects about which they are not informed and based merely on conjecture. In the verse of the Qur'an, "Do not pursue what you have no knowledge of. Hearing, sight and hearts will all be questioned." (Surat al-Isra': 36), Allah points out that this will become a heavy burden in His presence. In another verse, Allah says that the vast majority of people on earth "follow nothing but conjecture" and warns the faithful as follows:
If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would misguide you
from Allah's Way. They follow nothing but conjecture. They are only guessing. (Surat
Many have made speaking founded on conjecture and guesswork a
common habit. It has become so acceptable that, sometimes, people accept mere
theories as fact and conform their lives accordingly. For example, they may have
surmised something negatively about a person who had become rich in a short time
and formed a poor opinion of him, saying "Who knows by what method he acquired
this money?" and "It's obvious he couldn't have acquired this wealth merely on
his salary." It may be, however, that the situation is very different from what
they were led to believe. The person may have become wealthy through an
inheritance or some business transaction. When confronted with a situation that
awakens one's curiosity, and which one cannot understand or which confuses him,
one should never make guesses without information or evidence, because such
unsupported speculations are of no use in determining the truth. In this verse
of the Qur'an, "Conjecture is of no avail whatever against
the truth." (Surat an-Najm: 29) Allah points out that people will not
gain further access to the truth by conjecture and guesswork.
The faithful speak in the knowledge of this fact because it is
pointed out in the Qur'an. When they are confronted with a puzzling situation,
they do not form any opinions not based on knowledge or documentation. They
either ask the person concerned, or obtain verifiable information about the
subject through proper investigation, and draw conclusions on the basis of the
information they have obtained.
One of the examples given on this matter in the Qur'an concerns
people who speculated about the conduct of the wife of our Prophet (saas)
without any information. By saying that, when they hear any conjecture about a
believer, the faithful should say, "This is obviously a lie," or "We have no
business speaking about this. Glory be to You! This is a terrible slander,"
Allah announces the need to warn one another against conjecture:
There is a group of you who propagated the lie. Do not
suppose it to be bad for you; rather it is good for you. Every one of them will
incur the evil he has earned and the one who took it on himself to amplify it
will receive a terrible punishment. Why, when you heard it, did you not, as men
and women of the believers, instinctively think good thoughts and say, "This is
obviously a lie?" Why did they not produce four witnesses to it? Since they did
not bring four witnesses, in Allah's sight, they are liars. Were it not for
Allah's favor to you and His mercy, both in this world and the Hereafter, a
terrible punishment would have afflicted you for your plunging headlong into it.
You were bandying it about on your tongues, your mouths uttering something about
which you had no knowledge. You considered it to be a trivial matter, but, in
Allah's sight, it is immense. Why, when you heard it, did you not say, "We have
no business speaking about this. Glory be to You! This is a terrible slander!?"
Allah warns you never to repeat the like of it again if you are believers. Allah
makes the Signs clear to you and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nur:
Some people may regard speaking on the basis of conjecture as
trivial and harmless, but, in these verses, Allah points out that in His sight,
it is an "immense" crime.
On this subject, another example given in the Qur'an concerns the
account of Maryam (as). According to what we are told in the Qur'an, Maryam (as)
was wrongly accused because she had become pregnant with ‘Isa (as) without
having been touched by a man, but rather because Allah said, "Be" and it was.
She brought him to her people, carrying him. They said,
"Maryam! You have done an unthinkable thing! Sister of Harun, your father was
not an evil man nor was your mother an unchaste woman!" (Surah Maryam: 27-28)
And on account of their disbelief, and their utterance of a
monstrous slander against Maryam. (Surat an-Nisa': 156)
In fact, as we are told in the Qur'an in the verse, "Maryam,
Allah has chosen you and purified you. He has chosen you over all other women."
(Surah Al ‘Imran: 42) Allah had chosen her over many others and she was known to
be a person devoted to Allah.
Allah explains the baselessness of the slander of the people in
the verse, "And Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imran, who
guarded her chastity—We breathed Our Spirit into her and she confirmed the Words
of her Lord and His Book and was one of the obedient." (Surat at-Tahrim:
12) and made Maryam (as), with her chastity, an example to the faithful.