People of the Sunnah, Be Kind With One Another

Author: Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad

Source: Rifqan Ahlis Sunnah Bi Ahlis Sunnah
Translator: Tarik Preston

Published: Wednesday 29th June, 2005

Suspicion and Spying

Allaah the Most High says:

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not…” [Soorah Al-Hujuraat: 12]

This noble verse contains the command to avoid most suspicion, and informs us that some suspicions are sins. This verse also prohibits spying which is: searching for the faults of others, which only takes place after first suspecting someone of something bad. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said:

“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales. And do not look for the faults of others, and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not cut off relations with one another, and do not hate one another, and be, all of you, as fellow brothers and worshippers of Allaah.” [1]

The Leader of the Believers, ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) said:

“Do not assume anything but good about something that your brother in faith said, and try to find a good interpretation for what he said.” [2]

And Bakr Ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-Muzanee said:

“Beware of saying something that, even if you were right about it, you would not be rewarded for having said it. And if you were wrong about it you would be punished for having said it. This is (saying an) evil suspicion about your brother in faith.” [3]

Abu Nu’aym quoted Abu Qulaabah ‘Abdullaah Ibn Zaid Al-Jurmee as saying:

“If you hear something that you do not like about your brother, then try as hard as you can to find an excuse for him. If you cannot find an excuse for him then say to yourself: perhaps my brother has an excuse that I cannot think of.” [4]

Sufyaan Ibn Husayn said:

“I mentioned something bad about a man in the presence of Iyaas Ibn Mu’aawiyah who looked at me and said: ‘Have you fought against the Romans?’ I said: ‘No.’ He said: ‘What about Sind and India and Turkey?’ I said: ‘No.’ He said: ‘Rome, Sind, India, and Turkey are all safe from you but your Muslim brother is not safe from you?!’ Sufyaan Ibn Husayn said: ‘I never did that again.’” [5]

I said:

“What a great response from Iyaas Ibn Mu’aawiyah who was well known for his intelligence. That response is an example of his intelligence.”

Al-Imaam Abu Haatim Ibn Hibbaan Al-Bustee said in his book entitled Rawdat-ul-‘Uqalaa wa Nuzhat-ul-Fudalaa:

“It is obligatory upon the intelligent person not to search for the faults of others, and to busy himself with trying to correct his own faults. Verily, he who busies himself with his own faults rather than the faults of others will have peace of body and mind. Every time he realizes one of his own faults, the similar faults of his brother have less importance to him. However, he who busies himself with the faults of others instead of his own, tires himself out, and his heart becomes blind (to his own faults), and he begins to make excuses for not correcting his own faults.” [6]

Al-Imaam Ibn Hibbaan also said:

“Spying is one of the branches of hypocrisy, and thinking the best (of others) is one of the branches of faith. The intelligent person thinks the best of his brothers, and is personally concerned about the grievances and sorrows of his brother. However the ignorant person assumes the worst about his brothers and is unconcerned about the grievances and sorrows of his brother.” [7]


[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (Eng. Trans. Vol. 8, pg. 58, #90). Saheeh Muslim, (Eng. Trans. Vol. 4, pg. 1361, #6214).

[2] This quote was mentioned by Ibn Katheer in his explanation of Soorah Al-Hujurat.

[3] Refer to the biography of Bakr Ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-Muzanee in Tahdheeb-ut-Tahdheeb.

[4] Al-Hilya (Vol. 2, page 285).

[5] Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (Vol. 13, page 121).

[6] Rawdat-ul-‘Uqalaa wa Nuzhat-ul-Fudalaa (Page 131).

[7] Rawdat-ul-‘Uqalaa wa Nuzhat-ul-Fudalaa (Page 133).


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