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49.6. O you who believe! If some transgressor brings you news (that requires taking action), verify it carefully (before you believe and act upon it), lest you harm a people in ignorance and then become regretful for what you have done. Print E-mail

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْماً بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

6. O you who believe! If some transgressor brings you news (that requires taking action), verify it carefully (before you believe and act upon it), lest you harm a people in ignorance and then become regretful for what you have done.4


4. The principle laid down in this verse after the commands concerning behavior toward the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, requires attention in many respects, such as follows:

  • In another verse (17: 36), God orders: Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge (whether it is good or bad), and refrain from groundless assertions and conjectures. Surely the hearing, the sight, and the heart – each of these is subject to questioning about it (you are answerable, and will be called to account, for each of these on the Day of Judgment). So a Muslim cannot judge anything without confirmed or true knowledge about it. Especially in matters requiring responsibility and concerning social relationships, Muslims must be very careful that they are acting on certain knowledge. This knowledge must be based either on eye-witness reports, or on true, verified reports and never arise from conjecture, individual opinions, or false reports. As will be decreed in verse 12 below, a Muslim cannot have an ill opinion of another Muslim.
  • One who, even if a believer, lies, has been proven to be a slanderer, or has been witnessed committing any of the decisively prohibited actions cannot be listened to in a court; and the report of such a person is not acceptable.
  • Based on this verse, the scholars of the Hadith developed a very important and significant science, called the Science of jarh and ta'dīl – the science of establishing whether one who reports any of the Prophetic sayings, actions, and confirmations, is reliable or not. This must be true for all matters, especially those concerning social relationships and court trials.
  • One is regarded as trustworthy until such a transgression as lying, slander, or the committing of any decisively prohibited action has been established.
 
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