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Firsty: A Muslim should think good of other Muslims, and exercise restraint in judging them by verifying the credibility of rumors. Allah Almighty said in the Qur’an:

{لولا إذ سمعتموه ظن المؤمنون والمؤمنات بأنفسهم خيرا وقالوا هذا إفك مبين} (النور:12).

{Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, "This is an obvious falsehood"?} (Qur'an 24:12).

 

Secondly: A Muslim must not consider everything he heard as true without verifying it with conclusive evidence. He also should make sure that what he communicates to others is true. Allah the Almighty addressed those who slandered Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) in the Qur’an for the Efk incident saying:

{لولا جاءوا عليه بأربعة شهداء فإذ لم يأتوا بالشهداء فأولئك عند الله هم الكاذبون} (النور:13).

{Why did they [who slandered] not produce for it four witnesses? And when they do not produce the witnesses, then, they are the liars in the sight of Allah }(Qur’an 24:13)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[كفى بالمرء كذبًا أن يحدث بكل ما سمع].

 [It is enough for a man to prove himself a liar when he goes on narrating whatever he hears] (Sahih Muslim, the Book of Introduction, Hadith no. 5).

 

Third: A Muslim should not publish uncertain rumors, especially when it's easy today to  amplify any situation through social media that facilitate the spread of misinformation and rumors. Allah the Almighty said in the Qur’an:

{ولولا إذ سمعتموه قلتم ما يكون لنا أن نتكلم بهذا سبحانك هذا بهتانا عظيم يعظكم الله أن تعودوا لمثله أبدا إن كنتم مؤمنين} (النور:16)

{And why, when you heard it, did you not say, "It is not for us to speak of this. Exalted are You, [O Allah ]; this is a great slander"?} (Qur’an 24:16).

 

Fourthly: A Muslim should refer rumors back to whom they may concern or the authorities of state, rather than spreading them among people, especially serious rumors that have an impact on the security and people's lives. Allah says in the Qur’an:

{وإذا جاءهم أمر من الأمن أو الخوف أذاعوا به ولو ردوه إلى الرسول وإلى أولي الأمر منهم لعلمه الذين يستنبطونه منهم} (النساء:83).

{And when there comes to them information about [public] security or fear, they spread it around. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, the ones who [can] draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it} (Qur’an 4:83).

 

Fifthly: A Muslim must think about the consequences and punishments of spreading rumors, whether in this world or in the Hereafter, Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an:

{إن الذين يحبون أن تشيع الفاحشة في الذين آمنوا لهم عذاب أليم في الدنيا والآخرة} (النور:19).

{Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread/common [or publicized] among those who have believed, will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter} (Qur’an 24:19).

The approach of Islam, both in the Quran and Sunnah, prohibited gossip, mistrust, and  failure to substantiate any claim.  As for those who fabricate lies and rumors, their punishment is more horrible.

 

We seek refuge in Allah from His wrath and punishment. May He preserve us and our societies from all evil. 

 

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