Gossip And Slander: A Muslim Response

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

It is with great dismay that we watch the recent events unfolding in Malaysia. As much as we are not in the position to guess the motives or the truth behind the issue of the recent scandal we should, as Muslims, remind ourselves of how we should react when confronted with such news.

Our declaration of “There is no god worthy of worship except Allah” compels us to believe and abide by the word of Qur’an. A scandal is exciting but it blurs our judgment. As Muslims it is imperative that we remain lucid and not be swayed. Allah has revealed the Qur’an as our guide to distinguish between right and wrong.

When confronted with an issue, instead of following our whims, we must allow the Qur’an to be the final word. From then it determines how we react and move forward.

As in the lesson of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) the Prophet Muhammad’s wife (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), to accuse someone of adultery, Allah says:

Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (the slander) think good of their own people and say: “This (charge) is an obvious lie?” Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allâh they are the liars. (Chapter 24 – The Light, Verses 12-13)

Islam upholds the sanctity of human dignity and it is our obligation to defend our fellow brothers’ and sisters’ honour. To accuse someone of adultery and to repeat it without evidence is a grave offence that infringes upon the rights of our fellow Muslim. To accept, judge the person and spread news based on stories or hearsay with no clear evidence is a form of oppression. Allah says:

When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great. (Chapter 24 – The Light, Verse 15)

The media carries a heavy responsibility and burden for the public. We must be careful of what we hear and pass on. We might not be in control of the news but we are responsible for how we deal with it.

We must remember to also look at the implications of our actions. This incident has a much longer lasting and negative effect on the youth of our country. The terrible way news is featured in the media and the direct access teenagers and children have towards obscene news will shape their outlook on politics, leadership, and private and public sins.

We must also be cautious not to fall into the trap of backbiting. Backbiting is something we take lightly but in reality comes with grave consequences.

We are warned in the Qur’an about suspicion, backbiting and spying where backbiting is likened to eating dead flesh:

“Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting)” (Chapter Hujurat – The Dwellings, Verse 12)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) defined backbiting: “Do you know what is meant by backbiting?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “To say something about your brother which he dislikes.” One asked, “Even if what I say is true about my brother?” He replied, “If such defects you say are true about him, then you have backbitten him, and if he doesn’t have what you say, then you have committed slander against him.” (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawood, and Tirmidhi)

He also emphatically stated “The gossiper will not enter paradise”. (Bukhari and Muslim)

We have so many other pressing issues at hand. From corruption to poverty to unemployment and that’s just to name a few.

During these times we must remind each other of the words of Allah so that the slandering does not perpetuate further and cause more harm to the society. We call upon everyone, our elders, our leaders, our brothers and sisters, and all Malaysians from all walks of life to always walk the moral high round when dealing with our fellow brothers and sisters in humanity.

Let us show our future generation exemplary conduct we can be proud of.

May Allah always guide us to the right path.

Young Worried Malaysian Muslims


About wanazizahblog

President of Parti keADILan
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