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The Prohibition of Disclosing Unreliable and Uninvestigated News

Allah said,

﴿ وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمۡ أَمۡرٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡنِ أَوِ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۖ

(When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people);) chastising those who indulge in things before being sure of their truth, disclosing them, making them known and spreading their news, even though such news might not be true at all. In the introduction to his Sahih, Imam Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

« كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ كَذِبًا أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِع »

(Narrating everything one hears is sufficient to make a person a liar.) This is the same narration collected by Abu Dawud in the section of Adab (manners) in his Sunan. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah said that the Messenger of Allah prohibited, "It was said,'' and, "So-and-so said.'' This Hadith refers to those who often convey the speech that people utter without investigating the reliability and truth of what he is disclosing. The Sahih also records,

« مَنْ حَدَّثَ بِحَدِيثٍ وَهُوَ يُرَى أَنَّهُ كَذِبٌ، فَهُوَ أَحَدُ الْكَاذِبَيْن »

(Whoever narrates a Hadith while knowing it is false, then he is one of the two liars (who invents and who spreads the lie).) We should mention here the Hadith of `Umar bin Al-Khattab collected in the Two Sahihs. When `Umar was informed that the Messenger of Allah divorced his wives, he came from his house, entered the Masjid and found the people talking about this news. He could not wait and went to the Prophet to ask him about what had truly happened, asking him, "Have you divorced your wives'' The Prophet said, "No.'' `Umar said, "I said, Allahu Akbar...'' and mentioned the rest of the Hadith. In the narration that Muslim collected, `Umar said, "I asked, `Have you divorced them' He said, `No.' So, I stood by the door of the Masjid and shouted with the loudest voice, `The Messenger of Allah did not divorce his wives.' Then, this Ayah was revealed,

﴿ وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمۡ أَمۡرٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡنِ أَوِ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۖ وَلَوۡ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰٓ أُوْلِى ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنۡہُمۡ لَعَلِمَهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَنۢبِطُونَهُ ۥ مِنۡہُمۡ‌ۗ

(When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly).) So I properly investigated that matter.'' This Ayah refers to proper investigation, or extraction of matters from their proper resources. Allah's statement,

﴿ لَٱتَّبَعۡتُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬

(you would have followed Shaytan except a few of you. ) refers to the believers, as `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas.

﴿ فَقَـٰتِلۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفۡسَكَ‌ۚ وَحَرِّضِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۖ عَسَى ٱللَّهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأۡسَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأۡسً۬ا وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلاً۬ مَّن يَشۡفَعۡ شَفَـٰعَةً حَسَنَةً۬ يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ نَصِيبٌ۬ مِّنۡہَا‌ۖ وَمَن يَشۡفَعۡ شَفَـٰعَةً۬ سَيِّئَةً۬ يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ كِفۡلٌ۬ مِّنۡهَا‌ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مُّقِيتً۬ا وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ۬ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحۡسَنَ مِنۡہَآ أَوۡ رُدُّوهَآ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ حَسِيبًا ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۚ لَيَجۡمَعَنَّكُمۡ إِلَىٰ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ لَا رَيۡبَ فِيهِ‌ۗ وَمَنۡ أَصۡدَقُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ حَدِيثً۬ا

(84. Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And Allah is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing.) (85. Whosoever intercedes for a good cause, will have the reward thereof; and whosoever intercedes for an evil cause, will have a share in its burden. And Allah is Ever All-Able to do everything.) (86. When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.) (87. Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He. Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt. And who is truer in statement than Allah)

Allah Commands His Messenger to Perform Jihad

Allah commands His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , to himself fight in Jihad and not to be concerned about those who do not join Jihad. Hence Allah's statement,

﴿ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفۡسَكَ‌ۚ

(you are not tasked (held responsible except for yourself,) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Ishaq said, "I asked Al-Bara bin `Azib about a man who meets a hundred enemies and still fights them, would he be one of those referred to in Allah's statement,

﴿ وَلَا تُلۡقُواْ بِأَيۡدِيكُمۡ إِلَى ٱلتَّہۡلُكَةِ‌ۛ

(And do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the cause of Allah)) He said, `Allah said to His Prophet,

﴿ فَقَـٰتِلۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفۡسَكَ‌ۚ وَحَرِّضِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۖ

(Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you)).'' Imam Ahmad recorded Sulayman bin Dawud saying that Abu Bakr bin `Ayyash said that Abu Ishaq said, "I asked Al-Bara', `If a man attacks the lines of the idolators, would he be throwing himself to destruction' He said, `No because Allah has sent His Messenger and commanded him,

﴿ فَقَـٰتِلۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفۡسَكَ‌ۚ

(Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself,) That Ayah is about spending (in Allah's cause).''

Inciting the Believers to Fight

Allah said,

﴿ وَحَرِّضِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۖ

(and incite the believers) to fight, by encouraging them and strengthening their resolve in this regard. For instance, the Prophet said to the believers at the battle of Badr, while organizing their lines,

« قُومُوا إِلى جَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّموَاتُ وَالْأَرْض »

(Stand up and march forth to a Paradise, as wide as the heavens and Earth.) There are many Hadiths that encourage Jihad. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ، وَصَامَ رَمَضَانَ، كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ هَاجَرَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ أَوْ جَلَسَ فِي أَرْضِهِ الَّتِي وُلِدَ فِيهَا »

(Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger, offers prayer, pays the Zakah and fasts the month of Ramadan, will rightfully be granted Paradise by Allah, no matter whether he migrates in Allah's cause or remains in the land where he is born.) The people said, `O Allah's Messenger! Shall we acquaint the people with this good news' He said,

« إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مِائَةَ دَرَجَةٍ أَعَدَّهَا اللهُ لِلْمُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ، فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ، فَإِنَّهُ وَسَطُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَأَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وَفَوْقَهُ عَرْشُ الرَّحْمنِ، وَمِنْهُ تَفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّة »

(Paradise has one hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His cause, the distance between each two grades is like the distance between the heaven and the Earth. So, when you ask Allah, ask for Al-Firdaws, which is the best and highest part of Paradise, above it is the Throne of the Most Beneficent (Allah) and from it originate the rivers of Paradise.) There are various narrations for this Hadith from `Ubadah, Mu`adh, and Abu Ad-Darda'. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يَا أَبَا سَعِيدٍ مَنْ رَضِيَ بِاللهِ رَبًّا، وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا، وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلّم نَبِيًّا، وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّة »

(O Abu Sa`id! Whoever accepts Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammad as the Prophet, then he would rightfully acquire Paradise.) Abu Sa`id liked these words and said, "O Allah's Messenger! Repeat them for me.'' The Prophet repeated his words, then said,

« وَأُخْرَى يَرْفَعُ اللهُ الْعَبْدَ بِهَا مِائَةَ دَرَجَةٍ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْض »

(And (there is) another deed for which Allah raises the servant a hundred grades in Paradise, between each two grades is the distance between heaven and Earth.) Abu Sa`id said, "What is it, O Allah's Messenger '' He said,

« الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ الله »

(Jihad in Allah's cause.) This Hadith was collected by Muslim. Allah's statement,

﴿ عَسَى ٱللَّهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأۡسَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ‌ۚ

(it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. ) means, by your encouraging them to fight, their resolve will be strengthened to meet the enemy in battle, to defend Islam and its people and to endure and be patient against the enemy. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱللَّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأۡسً۬ا وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلاً۬

(And Allah is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing.) means, He is able over them in this life and the Hereafter, just as He said in another Ayah,

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ وَلَوۡ يَشَآءُ ٱللَّهُ لَٱنتَصَرَ مِنۡہُمۡ وَلَـٰكِن لِّيَبۡلُوَاْ بَعۡضَڪُم بِبَعۡضٍ۬‌ۗ

(But if it had been Allah's will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others) (47:4).

Interceding for a Good or an Evil Cause

Allah said,

﴿ مَّن يَشۡفَعۡ شَفَـٰعَةً حَسَنَةً۬ يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ نَصِيبٌ۬ مِّنۡہَا‌ۖ

(Whosoever intercedes for a good cause, will have the reward thereof;) meaning, whoever intercedes in a matter that produces good results, will acquire a share in that good.

﴿ وَمَن يَشۡفَعۡ شَفَـٰعَةً۬ سَيِّئَةً۬ يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ كِفۡلٌ۬ مِّنۡهَا‌ۗ

(And whosoever intercedes for an evil cause, will have a share in its burden.) meaning, he will carry a burden due to what resulted from his intercession and intention. For instance, it is recorded in the Sahih that the Prophet said,

« اشْفَعُوا تُؤْجَرُوا، وَيَقْضِي اللهُ عَلى لِسَانِ نَبِيِّهِ مَا شَاء »

(Intercede and you will gain a reward of it. Yet, Allah shall decide whatever He wills by the words of His Prophet.) Mujahid bin Jabr said, "This Ayah was revealed about the intercession of people on behalf of each other.'' Allah then said,

﴿ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مُّقِيتً۬ا

(And Allah is Ever Muqit over everything.) Ibn `Abbas, `Ata', `Atiyah, Qatadah and Matar Al-Warraq said that,

﴿ مُّقِيتً۬ا

(Muqit) means, "Watcher.'' Mujahid said that Muqit means, `Witness', and in another narration, `Able to do.'

Returning the Salam, With a Better Salam

Allah said,

﴿ وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ۬ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحۡسَنَ مِنۡہَآ أَوۡ رُدُّوهَآ‌ۗ

(When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally.) meaning, if the Muslim greets you with the Salam, then return the greeting with a better Salam, or at least equal to the Salam that was given. Therefore, the better Salam is recommended, while returning it equally is an obligation. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Raja' Al-`Utaridi said that `Imran bin Husayn said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum''. The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Ten.'' Another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah, O Allah's Messenger.'' The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Twenty.'' Then another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh.'' The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Thirty.'' This is the narration recorded by Abu Dawud. At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Al-Bazzar also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''. There are several other Hadiths on this subject from Abu Sa`id, `Ali, and Sahl bin Hanif. When the Muslim is greeted with the full form of Salam, he is obliged to return the greeting equally. As for Ahl Adh-Dhimmah the Salam should not be initiated nor should the greeting be added to when returning their greeting. Rather, as recorded in the Two Sahihs their greeting is returned to them equally. Ibn `Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِذَا سَلَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَهُودُ، فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ أَحَدُهُمْ: السَّامُ عَلَيْكَ، فَقُلْ: وَعَلَيْك »

(When the Jews greet you, one of them would say, `As-Samu `Alayka (death be unto you).' Therefore, say, `Wa `Alayka (and the same to you).') In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا تَبْدَأُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى بِالسَّلَامِ، وَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُوهُمْ فِي طَرِيقٍ فَاضْطَرُّوهُمْ إِلى أَضْيَقِه »

(Do not initiate greeting the Jews and Christians with the Salam, and when you pass by them on a road, force them to its narrowest path.) Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَا تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّـةَ حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا، وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا، أَفَلَا أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى أَمْرٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ تَحَابَبْتُمْ؟ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ بَيْنَكُم »

(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Should I direct you to an action that would direct you to love each other Spread the Salam among yourselves.) Allah said,

﴿ ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۚ

(Allah! none has the right to be worshipped but He) informing that He is singled out as the sole God of all creation. Allah then said,

﴿ لَيَجۡمَعَنَّكُمۡ إِلَىٰ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ لَا رَيۡبَ فِيهِ‌ۗ

(Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt.) swearing that He will gather the earlier and latter generations in one area, rewarding or punishing each person according to his or her actions. Allah said,

﴿ وَمَنۡ أَصۡدَقُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ حَدِيثً۬ا

(And who is truer in statement than Allah) meaning, no one utters more truthful statements than Allah, in His promise, warning, stories of the past and information of what is to come; there is no deity worthy of worship nor Lord except Him.

﴿ فَمَا لَكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ فِئَتَيۡنِ وَٱللَّهُ أَرۡكَسَہُم بِمَا كَسَبُوٓاْ‌ۚ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَهۡدُواْ مَنۡ أَضَلَّ ٱللَّهُ‌ۖ وَمَن يُضۡلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ ۥ سَبِيلاً۬ وَدُّواْ لَوۡ تَكۡفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُواْ فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَآءً۬‌ۖ فَلَا تَتَّخِذُواْ مِنۡہُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءَ حَتَّىٰ يُہَاجِرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوۡاْ فَخُذُوهُمۡ وَٱقۡتُلُوهُمۡ حَيۡثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمۡ‌ۖ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُواْ مِنۡہُمۡ وَلِيًّ۬ا وَلَا نَصِيرًا إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِۭ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَہُم مِّيثَـٰقٌ أَوۡ جَآءُوكُمۡ حَصِرَتۡ صُدُورُهُمۡ أَن يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمۡ أَوۡ يُقَـٰتِلُواْ قَوۡمَهُمۡ‌ۚ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فَلَقَـٰتَلُوكُمۡ‌ۚ فَإِنِ ٱعۡتَزَلُوكُمۡ فَلَمۡ يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمۡ وَأَلۡقَوۡاْ إِلَيۡكُمُ ٱلسَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡ سَبِيلاً۬ سَتَجِدُونَ ءَاخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَأۡمَنُوكُمۡ وَيَأۡمَنُواْ قَوۡمَهُمۡ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلۡفِتۡنَةِ أُرۡكِسُواْ فِيہَا‌ۚ فَإِن لَّمۡ يَعۡتَزِلُوكُمۡ وَيُلۡقُوٓاْ إِلَيۡكُمُ ٱلسَّلَمَ وَيَكُفُّوٓاْ أَيۡدِيَهُمۡ فَخُذُوهُمۡ وَٱقۡتُلُوهُمۡ حَيۡثُ ثَقِفۡتُمُوهُمۡ‌ۚ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكُمۡ جَعَلۡنَا لَكُمۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡ سُلۡطَـٰنً۬ا مُّبِينً۬ا

(88. Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites Allah has cast them back because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him a way.) (89. They wish that you reject faith, as they have rejected, and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Awliya' from them, till they emigrate in the way of Allah. But if they turn back, take (hold of) them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Awliya' nor helpers from them.) (90. Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with their breasts restraining from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So, if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then Allah has made no way for you against them.) (91. You will find others that wish to have security from you and security from their people. Every time they are sent back to Fitnah, they yield thereto. If they withdraw not from you, nor offer you peace, nor restrain their hands, take (hold of) them and kill them wherever you Thaqiftumuhum. In their case, We have provided you with a clear warrant against them.)