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Rumors are very serious and have bad effects on both the individual and community level. They may result in killing innocent people, sever relations, devastating families, crimes and emergency of wars, and causes despair among those affected. In this regard, Islam has great guidance and a stern warning against gossip and spreading rumors without verifying their credibility, Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَنْ تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ} (الحجرات:6).

Interpretation of the meaning: {O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become regretful of what you have done} (Qur’an 49:6).

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, 1547).

The history of Islam has borne us examples of rumors that have had serious effects on the individual and society, even on the whole Islamic Ummah sometimes, for example:

1-  The Rumor that the Prophet was killed in battle of Uhud. At some point during the battle, a rumor spread among ranks of Muslims that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him,  has been killed. This created disorder among the fighters.  As a result of that, the Muslims army was weakened and they did not actively participate in the battle. They suffered a lot and a number of them were killed.

2-  The rumors that were spread by the hypocrites, Ibn Saba and his followers, accusing the third Chaliph Uthman bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) of false accusations and inciting against him during his reign. This was the beginning of a major sedition, and caused the death of the Caliph Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him). Among its significant consequences was the battle of Jamal and Siffin, killing of thousands Muslims, and emergency of seditions, sectarianism and division among Muslims up to the present day.

3-  The most awful rumors was the one invented by the hypocrite Ibn Salloul may Allah’s curse be on him, during the time of the Prophecy, which is known as the Ifk (the slander) incident against Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), the most beloved of the prophet’s wives, and one of his closest companions. The rumor caused chaos and turmoil among the Muslim community in Madinah for a whole month until Allah declared her innocence in the Qur'an.

 

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