By Asma bint Shameem
Surely, we live in difficult times, full of trials and tribulations. And one of the ways that we are tried by Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala is by testing us with rumors and how we react to them. We are bombarded with all sorts of information every day, be it directly from a person, on television, or via email. And many good-hearted people may just accept them, assuming this piece of news as indisputable facts coming from trustworthy sources. However, as a Muslim, what is our role towards such sayings and claims?
What does the Sharee’ah say about such information?
“Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge of; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allaah” (Surah Nur: 15)
So before we accept what anyone and everyone says, there are certain points to keep in mind, as we all have to stand in front of Allaah one day.
1) VERIFY the news
We have to verify the information and ascertain, to the best of our ability, the truthfulness and authenticity of the news that reaches us. WHY? ……
Because Allaah orders you and me to be JUST
“Verily! Allâh commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He gives you! Truly, Allâh is Ever AllHearer, AllSeer.” (Surah Nisaa’:58)
2) Deliberate on the information
Think about what is being said, who is saying it and about whom is he saying it, before believing it.
“O you who believe! If a Faasiq (evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done” [al-Hujuraat 49:6]
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Deliberation is from Allaah and haste is from the Shaytaan.” (al-Silsilah al-Saheehah)
3) Examine the circumstances
Sometimes something may appear or sound true on the surface but, you may not know the full circumstances behind the statement or the report may be taken out of context.
Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “The believer reserves judgment until the matter is proven.”
4) Look for PROOF
Anyone who claims a statement or levels an accusation against another person must provide proof:
“Say (O Muhammad), Produce your proof if you are truthful” [al-Baqarah:111]
And if they fail to produce any solid proof for what they claim……
“Since they produce not witnesses, they are the liars in the sight of Allaah” [al-Noor 24:13]
5)Ask the people in charge
The people in charge can explain the facts of the matter and remove any confusion or doubts a person may have,
“When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people); if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allaah upon you, you would have followed Shaytaan (Satan), save a few of you” [al-Nisaa’ :83]
6) Stand up for the Truth
Search for and stand up for the Truth, and do not accept any false statements from anyone, even if it is from someone you love or hold close to your heart.
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allâh, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allâh is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allâh is Ever WellAcquainted with what you do.”(Surah Nisaa’:135)
7) Beware that it may be a LIE
The Sharee’ah issues a stern warning against passing on all that one hears.
The Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” (Muslim)
Al-Nawawi said: “Usually a person hears truth and lies, so if he speaks of everything that he hears, he is lying by telling of things that did not happen, and lying by speaking of something other than the way it happened….”
(8) Beware that it may be SLANDER
Many people just believe any news they hear and pass it on without even stopping to think that it may not be true. In that case it is a slander against the person that the news is about. And slander is a major sin.
“Woe to every backbiter, slanderer.” (Surah Humazah: 1)
And the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
‘No man accuses another of an immoral deed or kufr, but it will come back on him, if the person he accuses is not as he says he is.'” (Bukhari).
“No (Muslim) man will desert a man who is a Muslim in a place where his respect may be violated and his honor aspersed without Allah deserting him in a place where he wishes help.” (Abu Dawood -authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani)
9) Be careful of what you say
“Not a word is said except that there is a watcher by him ready to record it.” – [Surah Qaf :18]
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said,
” Indeed a servant may say a word from which Allah’s displeasure is gained and he does not realize it. Allah will put him in Jahannam due to it.” (Bukhaari)
“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds)” [al-Tawbah 9:119]
And why did you not, when you heard it, say?
“It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allaah, this is a most serious slander” (Surah Nur:16)
May Allaah guide us and enable us to stand up for the Truth, wherever it may be. Ameen.