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. Continue reading

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

Allah commands the believers in surah al-Hujuraat 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]

In his book of tafsir, sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following regarding this ayah:

نزلت هذه الآية الكريمة في الوليد بن عقبة بن أبي معيط ، وقد أرسله النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – إلى بني المصطلق ليأتيهم بصدقات أموالهم فلما سمعوا به تلقوه فرحا به ، فخاف منهم وظن أنهم يريدون قتله ، فرجع إلى نبي الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – وزعم له أنهم منعوا الصدقة وأرادوا قتله ، فقدم وفد منهم إلى النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – فأخبروه بكذب الوليد ، فأنزل الله هذه الآية ، وهي تدل على عدم تصديق الفاسق في خبره . ـ

This noble ayah was revealed concerning al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt. The Prophet (ﷺ) had sent him to the Banu al-Mustaliq tribe to collect the zakaah from them. When they heard that he was coming, they excitedly went to meet him. However he was afraid of them and thought that they wanted to kill him, so he went back to the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) and claimed that they had withheld the zakaah and had intended to kill him. Later a delegation from that tribe came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and informed him of al-Waleed’s lie, and so Allah revealed this ayah, which indicates that one should not affirm news given by a faasiq.

 وصرح تعالى في موضع آخر بالنهي عن قبول شهادة الفاسق ، وذلك في قوله : ولا تقبلوا لهم شهادة أبدا وأولئك هم الفاسقون [ 24 \ 4 ] ، ولا خلاف بين العلماء في رد شهادة الفاسق وعدم قبول خبره . ـ

And elsewhere Allah has explicitly mentioned the prohibition of accepting the legal testimony of a faasiq, which was His statement:

وَلَا تَقْبَلُوا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً أَبَدًا ۚ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

And do not accept their testimony, ever. Those ones are the defiant sinners [24:4]

and there is no disagreement among the scholars about rejecting the legal testimony of the faasiqoon and not accepting what they say at face value. Continue reading

“O you who believe, avoid much suspicion…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Hujuraat:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And have taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. [49:12]

Commenting on this ayah in his tafsir, Imam al-Sa’di wrote:

نهى الله تعالى عن كثير من الظن السوء بالمؤمنين، فـ { إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ } وذلك، كالظن الخالي من الحقيقة والقرينة، وكظن السوء، الذي يقترن به كثير من الأقوال، والأفعال المحرمة، فإن بقاء ظن السوء بالقلب، لا يقتصر صاحبه على مجرد ذلك، بل لا يزال به، حتى يقول ما لا ينبغي، ويفعل ما لا ينبغي، وفي ذلك أيضًا، إساءة الظن بالمسلم، وبغضه، وعداوته المأمور بخلاف ذلك منه.ـ

Allah prohibited the people from engaging in an abundance of bad thoughts about the believers, for “indeed some suspicions are sins” and that is the truth, such as suspicion that is devoid of any true context, such as bad suspicion which is often associated with an abundance of speech and with unlawful actions. For indeed if bad suspicions are existing in the heart, then that person will not be limited to that alone. Rather, that will remain with him until he says something which is not appropriate and does something which is not appropriate. And that also brings about having evil thoughts about another Muslims, hating him and having enmity towards him, which is contrary to how one is commanded to be towards him.

ـ{ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا } أي: لا تفتشوا عن عورات المسلمين، ولا تتبعوها، واتركوا المسلم على حاله، واستعملوا التغافل عن أحواله التي إذا فتشت، ظهر منها ما لا ينبغي.ـ Continue reading