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    Principles and fundaments
    [ Principles and fundaments ]

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    Avoiding suspicion and slander
    Posted on Friday, October 28 @ 23:58:53 EDT by admin

    Principles and fundaments 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 al-An‘am: 116) 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: 11-18) 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.

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