Applying Allah’s Guidance regarding the News of the Faasiq: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

In surah al-Hujuraat, Allah commands the believers by saying:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

O you who believe! If a faasiq (rebellious evil person) comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful of what you have done. [49:6]

alhamdulillah, we have previously translated the explanations of sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee and sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di for this ayah, which we would encourage you to read if you are not already familiar with the meaning and implications of this ayah before continuing on with this article.

In what follows below, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool provided a brief explanation demonstrating an application of this ayah. He said:

أليس الله عزوجل يقول : (إن جاءكم فاسق بنبأ فتبينوا) ، وفي قراءة : ( فتثبَّتوا )! هل ردَّ الله في هذه الآية خبر الفاسق؟ لم يردَّه ، والمعنى : خبر الفاسق إذا جاءكم انظروا في القرائن، فإذا دلَّت القرائن على قبول خبره اقبلوه، وإذا دلَّت القرائن على ردِّ خبر رُدُّوه، بخلاف خبر العدل، فالأصل في العدل : أن خبره مقبول، وهذا مفهوم المخالفة في الآية. ـ

Doesn’t Allah say:

إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا

If a faasiq comes to you with a news, verify it

and in one variant reading, “authenticate it“? Is Allah rejecting the news of the faasiq in this ayah? No, He is not rejecting it. What is meant is: if the news of a faasiq comes to you, then look into the related circumstances and evidences. Then if the outside evidences indicate that his news is acceptable, accept it. But if the outside evidences indicate that his news is not acceptable, then reject it. This is in contrast to the news of an upright honest person, for the norm when it comes to an upright honest person is that his news is accepted, and this is understood from this ayah by implication.

إذاً هذه الآية ليس فيها : أن خبر الفاسق مردود ، بل فيها : أن خبر الفاسق يتثبَّت فيه ، يعني : ينظر في القرائن . ـ

So then, this ayah is not saying that the news of a faasiq is rejected automatically. Rather, it is saying that the news of a faasiq should be checked, meaning, the outside evidences should be investigated.

ومن القرائن : أن يأتي الخبر نفسه من طرق متعددة ، ولو كانت هذه الطرق عن من هذه صفتهم ولكن بدون مواطأة واتفاق ، هذه من القرائن . إذ كيف يُعقَل أناس مختلفين بلا اتفاق وكلاً في جهة وكلاً في مكان وكلاً في بلد لم يلتقوا ولم يتصلوا ببعض، كلهم يأتي ويَنقُل نفس القضية إما بلفظها أو بمعناها ، أليست هذه قرينة على صِدقهم ، وإن كانوا في الأصل كذابين؟! إذاً هذه من القرائن التي يتثبَّت فيها ، فقد يُقبَل بها خبر الفاسق . ـ

And one example of outside evidences is that the same news would come by a multitude of different routes. This is even if these routes are of people of varying character, so long as they do not involve any collusion. That is one example of outside evidences. For it is outside of the norm for a number of different people who were never all gathered together on an issue or in the same place or even in the same country, who never met or had contact with one another to all bring and narrate the same piece of news, whether it be the same in wording or meaning. Isn’t this an outside evidence showing their truthfulness [i.e. in that issue], even if otherwise they are liars? So then this is an outside evidence which could be used to verify what they said, and so the news of a faasiq could be accepted.

ومثله هذه الأيام أخبار الجرائد، فلو نَقَلت جريدة خبراً أن في المكان الفلاني حدث كذا ، انفردت جريدة بهذا الخبر ، هذا الخبر هل تقبله أم تُرُدَّه ؟ انظر إلى أصحاب الجريدة إن كان مسلمين وأهل عدالة فالأصل أن خبرَهم مقبول ، إما إذا كانوا ليسوا مسلمين ، أو مسلمين لكن ليسوا أهل عدالة ، يعني : فساقاً ، فالأصل أن خبرهم لا يُقبل ولا يُرَد بل يُتوقف فيه ، فننظر في القرائن إذا كانت كل الجرائد لم تذكر هذا الخبر ، زيادة على ذلك : أن الجرائد الصادرة من نفس البلد التي حصل فيها الخبر لم تذكره زيادة على ذلك ثبت عندنا كلام الجرائد الأخرى على خلاف هذا الخبر ، فنقول : إذاً خبر هذه الجريدة مردود ، أليس هذا تطبيقاً لنفس القاعدة ؟!. ـ

And something like this today is the news found in newspapers. So if a newspaper were to report some news that such-and-such happened in such-and-such a place, but this newspaper is alone in reporting that, should this news be accepted or rejected? Look at the staff and writers of this newspaper; if they are Muslims and people of uprightness, then the normal state of affairs is that their report is accepted, but if they are not Muslims or if they are Muslims however they are not people of upright character – i.e. they are faasiqs -, then the norm is that their report is not automatically accepted or rejected; rather, judgement is withheld. So we look at the outside evidence. If no other newspapers mention this incident, – or what’s more, that the newspapers based in the country where this incident was said to have occurred do not report the incident – then this would increase our trust in other the newspapers as far as the differences in reporting this incident go. So we say: therefore, the report of this newspaper would be rejected, and isn’t this an application of this very principle?

لذلك تسمعون نفس الجرائد تقول : ولم يأتنا الخبر من جهة محايدة ، لأن ناقل الخبر إذا كان بين بلدين حرب، وناقله من أحدهما ، فناقل الخبر يريد أن يشن حرباً نفسية على الفريق الآخر ، فإذا لم يُنقَل من جهة محايدة لا يُقبَل لأنه لا مصلحة للجهة المحايدة في أن تكذب ، بينما هذه الجهة لها مصلحة في ذلك ، وهذه التهمة تقتضي التوقف في قبول خبرها . ـ

And in line with this, we hear this same newspapers sometimes saying, “but this report did not come to us from a neutral source”. For if two countries are at war and the person reporting this piece of news is from one of those countries, perhaps he wishes to engage in psychological warfare against the opposing side. So if a report does not come from a neutral source, then it should not be automatically accepted. For there is no benefit for a neutral source to lie, while others may have reason to do that, so such an accusation requires one to pause before automatically accepting the reports of a source which is not neutral.

فهذه قضايا عقلية حتى عامة الناس بتأملهم يصلوا إلى هذه النتيجة . ـ

And these are issues which make sense, such that even the common person could arrive at the same conclusion by thinking it through.

[Sharh al-Muqaddimah fee Usool al-Tafsir pg 56,57. This comes from the sheikh’s seventh lesson explaining this book of ibn Taymiyah, which took place on Rajab 8th, 1423 AH, corresponding to September 12th, 2002 CE.]

See also: “If a Faasiq comes to you with news, verify it…”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee and al-Sa’di

See also: Referring issues back to their experts – Imam al-Sa’di

See also: “Do not Follow that of which you have no Knowledge”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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2 thoughts on “Applying Allah’s Guidance regarding the News of the Faasiq: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

  1. Pingback: Referring issues back to their experts – Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “If a Faasiq comes to you with news, verify it…”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee and al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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