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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Fear Allah

Abu Hurayrah (R.A. - may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (SAW - may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Beware of suspicion, for verily suspicion is the most misleading form of conversation." [Collected by Bukhari & Muslim]

Suspicion based on evidence is natural and allowable. For example, if something was missing from someone's school bag and one student was known to have been alone in the classroom, he would naturally be a suspect. But one must avoid excesses in suspicion. A true Muslim is not overly suspicious. He does not judge all those around him guilty until proven innocent. Such excesses always lead to corruption. Often a person who is overly suspicious will openly express his opinion about others by accusing them with little or no evidence. And by doing that he falls into the grave sin of slander.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, in the above mentioned hadith, confirmed Allah's warning to avoid a lot of suspicion by telling us to be very careful when dealing with suspicion whether in large or small quantities. He then went on to explain why extreme caution must be taken. When suspicion is spoken about, it becomes the most deceptive from of conversation. It often fools both the one expressing it, as well as the one who hears it, because it often carries with it the possibility of being true. The one who raises the suspicion does not feel that he is lying because he is only expressing a thought. The one who hears it then develops a suspicion. He, in turn, passes the suspicion on to others and others to others. And, that is how rumours are born and spread.

The greatest danger of suspicion is that it leads to the break-up of friendships and communities. Trust is destroyed by suspicion. And without trust there can be no friendships or community. Thus, Islam stands opposed to suspicion by encouraging trust among Muslims. We should always think the best of others until they prove themselves otherwise. In that way, simple misunderstandings will not become the basis for hate and anger and the break-up of relationships.

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