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Suspicion and Conjecture

Taken from:


Said in Al-Qur'an:

"O you who believe! Avoid suspicion much, for suspicion in some cases is a sin..." [Al-Hujuraat: 12]

Abu Hurayrah

narrated that the Messenger of Allaah


"Beware of conjecture, for conjecture is the most lying of speech..." [Agreed upon]

1. Suspicion comes from conjecture. How many a problems and mistrust take place between the hearts of Muslims due to errors and (mis)information that come through conjecture or suspicion? The attribute of the believer is that when suspect information comes to them, they verify it while maintaining Husn ad-Dhan; and that one should not accept anything without checking nor take a position or build an opinion upon weak and fluid news.

2, And from maintaining distance from these two ills, is that a Muslim leaves what does not concern him. As the Prophet said:

From the goodness of ones Islam is to leave what does not concern him.
[At-Tirmidhi, 2317 - An established hadeeth; graded as hasan by An-Nawawi in Al-Adhkar, 502 & saheeh by Ibn Qayyim in Al-Jawab al-Kafi, 122; Ahmad Shakir in his takhreej of Musnad Ahmad, 3/177 and Al-Albani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 5911]

Mullah Ali Qari commented on this hadeeth in his Mirqat al-Mafatih, 8/585 (4840) and said it means: " leave whatever is not important or befitting of him, whether in speech, actions, or thought. Therefore, From the goodness of ones Islam is its perfection, such that one remains steadfast in submitting to the Commands and Prohibitions of Allaah... The reality of that which does not concern him is whatever is not needed for a worldly purpose nor for the Akhirah nor does it aid in attaining his Rabbs Pleasure, such that it is possible to live without it This includes excess acts and unnecessary speech"

3. Ibn Jawzi quoted a most insightful statement from Al-Junayd in his Sifa as-Safwah, who said: From the marks of Allaah's Wrath upon a servant is that He makes him very busy with what is of no concern to him." - This is partly because he wastes his time and life away in the affairs of others and those affairs that have nothing to do with him - while neglecting the needs and obligations that are required of him. 4. If one does not occupy his time and concerns with what will benefit ones dunya and akhirah, they will be occupied with a curious tongue, often leading to sin and harm. Insisting upon asking unscrupulous questions out of curiosity or for reasons of entertainment to fill a void, Allaah Said when speaking about the believers:

"And those who turn away from Al-Laghw." [Al-Mu'minoon: 3] 'Al-Laghw' denotes vain, obscene and evil talk. 'Lisan al-Arab' provides a number of meanings for Laghw including 'idle talk' or 'loose talk' - something that is said without care and attention that (eventually) leads to the very things that Allaah and His Messenger have told us to avoid and beware of. In Surat al-Baqarah, 226 we read: - "( - Allaah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths...") - Here 'Laghw' has been used to describe something that is said unintentionally; usually reflecting a gross carelessness of a person in his speech.

5. Al-Baghawi writes in his tafseer:

"If they (i.e. those indulging in laghw) were to hear themselves talk, it would offend their honour (i.e. their own speech would seem repulsive to them) and thus they would not enter into (vain talk)."

6. Ibn Baaz . :

beautifully commented on 'Laghw' and explained: : . : :

"Scholars of language explain 'Laghw' to mean three things: First: Shirk, and it is therefore batil (invalid [speech]) and we must be mindful and cautious of it. Second: Sin, and it is also batil and we must be cautious of them. Third: Everything that is of no benefit and there is no interest to be gained from it - and is idle (speech) and so the believer leaves it.

Hence the believer (finds) all of these interpretations to be correct. The believers are those who avoid all types of shirk and they avoid sin and they avoid everything that has no benefit or interest (taken from it); because (indulging in laghw) will distract them from what is really important. This is how the believer should always be careful (of all types of shirk) and this is what Allaah has forbidden of all other sins and warned against being occupied with anything except what is important. Thus (to stay away) from things from which benefit cannot be taken from, in words and deeds."

6. On the matter of 'qeela wa qaala', The Messenger of Allaah


"It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears."

[Imam Muslim in his 'Muqaddimah', 6 and Abu Da'wud, 4992 - graded as saheeh (see 'Saheeh al-Jaami', 4482 and 'Silsilah al-Saheehah', 2025)]

Imam an-Nawawi commented in his sharh of Saheeh Muslim that: "Usually a person hears truth and lies, so if he speaks of everything that he hears, he is lying by telling of things that did not happen, and lying by speaking of something other than the way it happened; and he does not have to do that deliberately (in order to be regarded as telling lies)." He further states elsewhere: Every responsible person should refrain from saying anything except when there is a clear advantage to speaking. Whenever speaking and not speaking are of equal benefit, it is Sunnah to remain silent [note: as per the hadeeth: "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say what is good or remain silent."]. This is because permissible speech easily leads to that which is unlawful or offensive - as what happens much of the time; and there is no substitute for safety.

7. The Prophet said as part of a beautiful hadeeth: "...And He (i.e. Allaah) dislikes gossip for you..." [Saheeh al-Bukhari, 2231] Al-Hafidh ibn Hajar said in his 'Fath al-Bari': "With regard to the words 'And He dislikes gossip [qeela wa qaala (lit. "it was said and he said")] for you', al-Muhibb at-Tabari said, there are three points of view as to the meaning of this hadeeth:

i - That it indicates that it is makrooh to speak too much, because it leads to mistakes. ii - That it refers to wanting to pass on what people say and looking for that in order to tell others of it, so that one can say, So and so said such and such, and Such and such was said The prohibition on this is either a rebuke for doing too much of it or it refers to a particular type of talk, which the person spoken of dislikes to have mentioned. iii - That it refers to narrating differences of opinion concerning religious matters, such as saying, This one said such and such and that one said such and such. - The reason why this is disliked is that speaking of such matters may lead to mistakes. This applies especially to those who transmit such views without verifying them, merely imitating those whom they hear from without exercising any caution. I say: this is supported by the saheeh hadeeth, "It is enough sin for a man to speak of everything that he hears."

8. It was narrated that Abu Qalaabah said: "Abu Masood said to Abu Abd-Allah, or Abu Abd-Allah said to Abu Masood: What did you hear the Messenger of Allaah say about saying "they say?" He said: "I heard the Messenger of Allaah say:

'How evil (it is) for a man to claim (say), 'They say'"
[Abu Da'wud, 4972 - graded as saheeh by Ibn Hajar, An-Nawawi, Ajluni, Ahmad Shakir, Al-Albani, Al-Wadi' (Muqil) and others - also see Silsilah as-Saheehah, 866]

9. Al-Azeemabadi said in his 'Awn al-Ma'bood': This means, it is a bad way to reach ones objective, by saying, they say (because) saying they say is akin to conjecture, thus the worst habit of a man is to use the phrase they say to serve his purposes. Therefore he tells of something, merely repeating what others have said without verifying it, and thus he transmits lies this was the view of al-Manawi...

10. And from the rest of the original hadeeth (above), the Messenger commanding words of guidance:

continued with

"...Do not spy or pry. Do not be rivals nor envy one another. Do not cut one another off nor show enmity to one another. Do not hate one another nor envy one another. Be slaves of Allaah, brothers. Be slaves of Allaah, brothers, as you have been commanded to be. The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He does not wrong him nor disappoint him nor despise him. Taqwah is here" and he pointed to his chest. "It is enough evil for a man that he should despise his Muslim brother. The blood, honour and property of every Muslim is sacred to another Muslim. Allaah does not look at your bodies nor your forms, but He looks at your hearts and your actions."

11. Being ever-mindful of the preciousness of time, we should therefore be competing with each other towards virtue and goodness as Allaah has Commanded of us; and helping each other in birr and taqwah and not in sin and transgression. Unnecessarily inflicting trials and penalties of conjecture upon each other will continually weaken faith, increase Shaytan's influence over us and increase attachment to this world thereby making one negligent of the Hereafter.

May Allaah safeguard us against curious pleasures for He alone is the source of guidance and strength.