It has become a common practice in the community today that when news is brought or a message spread, it is swallowed hook, line and sinker. This is done without verifying how true and important such message is. It creates hatred among brothers and colleagues, defying Allah's admonition, which warns thus, 'O you believe! If a Fasiq comes to you with any news, verify it lest you should harm people in ignorance and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.'
Investigation is one of the beauties in Islamic social reform order. As Islam enjoins that the receiver of information should be very careful and observant in receiving the information.
Also, Islam warns those who spread the news about others without proper knowledge of event. Allah (SWT) in this regard says ' O ye who believe! Avoid much suspicion, 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 fear Allah, verily Allah is the one who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful 'Q49:12.
In an authentic tradition, the Prophet warns against being given the news about other people to him. Ibn Mas'ud relates that the Holy Prophet said, 'No companion of mine should convey to me anything unpleasant concerning another for I desire that when I meet you, my mind should be clear with regard to everyone.' (Abu Daud and Trimidhi).
In this regard, spreading of information about another person to the third party leads to two things. If the information is true about the person, yet displeasing to the hearing of the person you are speaking about then it is referred to as backbiting, while if such information is false then it is referred to as slandering. Both backbiting and slander are as a result of suspicion. This is because every human act is intended to be judged from the overt conduct not knowing the correct reason behind it.
Aside this human action is being misinterpreted and misunderstood. Instead of confirming the reasons behind such act, it is spread as information. Ibn Mas'ud said 'We have been forbidden to search for faults, we can take note only of that which is overt' (Abu Daud)
For whoever has taken to be suspicion of every act of his brother, he should go and know that this leads to loss of trust in that fellow. Also this brings about jealousy and leads to enmity in the community. As a result the Prophet said in another narration: ' Beware of suspicion, for every suspicion is the worst of false tales and do not practice Najsh ( to offer a high price for something in order to allure another customer who is interested in the thing) and do not be jealous of one another and do not hate one another and do not desert one another and oh Allah's worshippers! Be brothers!' (Sahih Bukhari)
For a person who knowingly carries false tale about others, he has a very worse case. Spreading false tales about others is done for several reasons among which are:
•As a result of ignorance of its prohibition, causing enmity, separation among friends, destruction of families, spread malice and causes fight among Muslims.
•To criticize, create hatred and malice about other people alike.
• The intention of hurting the person being discussed, such as talking to a person in authority or power with the intention of harming the person by any means.
•To show love and loyalty to the person he tells things.
• Pretending to have knowledge about people and their secrets and status.
When such bearers of such tales come before you, it is better to discard them and do the following to them;
•Disbelieve them for they are evil and reject their testimony.
•Advise them and tell them how ugly and despicable their action is.
•Dislike them for the sake of Allah; Allah does not like a slanderer, so dislike whom Allah dislikes.
•Do not be pushed by what has been said to go and check on others.
•Do not accept for yourself what you have forbidden others doing to you.
Allah says 'Woe to every slanderer and backbiter' Q104:1
Dear readers, an act of slander and backbiting should be shun for this is a distasteful act in the face of Allah. Avoid raising suspicion about your brethren. Always create brotherhood and friendship among people and avoid disunity. Hudhafah reported that the prophet said.' A Nammaam (a slanderer) will not enter paradise' (Bukhari and Muslim). Also in another narration, he (SAW) waid, 'shall I tell you the most evil ones from amongst you?' they said 'of course,' he said 'those who go around Nammemah (slandering. they make enmity between friends and they seek problems for the innocent' (Ahmad and Bukhari).