The Technological Revolution has indeed delivered ease to countless lives, however, there have been many unfortunate ramifications. Due to the phenomenon of the Internet, humanity has become more connected and aware of the situation of their brothers and sisters around the globe. Naturally the more we know about each other the more we speculate.
Allah Almighty has stated in the Qur’an: “O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other.” (49:12) This verse is one that the majority of us fall short of acting upon. It is commonplace that many of us wrongly assume our brother or sister is in sin due to their social media profiles. Again everybody is responsible for what they post, tweet, like, favorite etc. But it is a believer’s duty that they do not assume bad of their fellow believer. A good thought does not cost a thing in this worldly abode, but it will be a very precious commodity in the Hereafter.
Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Beware of suspicion, Indeed suspicion is the most untruthful of speech.” (Bukhari 6067) (Muslim 6536) If you suspect your brother or sister has done something wrong then entertain a good thought about them, give them the benefit of the doubt, give them an excuse. Do not be trigger-happy in your suspicions; do not brand them sinners so easily. This is why our Prophet has cautioned us about this disease of suspicion.
Do not believe everything that is said about a believing man or woman, and it does not befit a muslim that he believes or spreads something due to somebody else’s assumption, that person might have malicious intent for the one they are narrating about. The Best of creation has warned: “It is sufficient as a sin for an individual to narrate everything he hears.” (Muslim) You should verify instead of relating everything without thinking especially when it concerns another muslim. Beware of slander. It is no small sin. Unfortunately, many of us are suffering from a case of verbal diarrhea. The story you are relating today about such and such a person may be the reason your good deeds are taken away from you on the Day of Judgement. Allah protect us.
Even if you know a person is in sin, do not relate their shortcomings. The Prophet has counselled us: “No person conceals (the faults of) another of this world but Allah will conceal him (his faults) on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim 2590) So instead of relating an incident to gratify your own ego, give Allah an excuse to hide your sins. You must ask yourself: ‘What will benefit me on the Day of Reckoning?’ It will definitely not be what your brother is supposedly involved in, or that woman down the road is up to, or Ibrahim who works in the corner shop. No, worry about your own self. Correct yourself before you start your own little crusade on others.
May Allah forgive the times we fell into this trap. May he give us the ability to stay well away from violating anyone’s right. May he always keep us safe from suspicion and save us from being the ones who are on the receiving end. Ameen.