This is a weekly series of Friday Khutbah by QuotesOfIslam.com. The Khutbahs are based from Singapore’s context, via the official body of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, also known as Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore (MUIS). 100% of the content is sourced from their official website. With these efforts, I hope to spread its good message and intention to the rest of our Muslim counterparts in the other parts of the world. Insya’Allah.
Friday Khutbah from MUIS (21st April 2017)
Blessed Friday Jemaah,
Let us continue to strive to increase taqwa in Allah s.w.t. by obeying all of His commands and abstaining from His prohibitions. May Allah accept our efforts and multiply His rewards for us, amin.
Let us reflect on what Allah s.w.t has said in surah al-Hujurat verse 6:
Meaning: “O you who believe! If a troublemaker brings you any news, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become regretful for what you have done.”
Imam Ibn Kathir in his tafsir the reason for the revelation of this verse is the incident of al-Walid ibn Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’it. He was sent to Bani Mustaliq to collect zakat from them. Instead al-Walid returned and told Rasulullah s.a.w. that the people of Bani Mustaliq refused to pay zakat and wanted to murder him, when in fact he did not even meet them! Hearing that, the Prophet s.a.w. sent Khalid ibn al-Walid to meet with the people of Bani Mustaliq to verify the information that was relayed by al-Walid ibn Uqbah. It was then that they confirmed al-Walid ibn Uqbah had lied.
The aforementioned Quranic verse clearly explains to us that it is indeed our responsibility to verify and ascertain the truth of any information and news that we read or hear, to ensure that we do not end up inflicting more harm and damage by relaying the fake news that we have received. This is because, spreading lies, slander and bad news are among the dangers and sins of the tongue that we must avoid, as mentioned by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in a hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Amru r.a.:
A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands the Muslims are safe; and a Muhajir (Emigrant) is the one who refrains from what Allah has forbidden. (Hadith reported by Bukhari)
Blessed Friday Jemaah,
In today’s world where information spreads like wildfire, everything that we say or post on social media sites, websites, blogs and so on, can easily be read and accessed by others. In fact, it can spread fast, and even those who do not know us personally can come to find out about it. This makes the reminder in surah al-Hujuraat earlier to be extremely critical in today’s times, and is something that we have to pay close attention and adhere to.
I am sure that almost every one of us here has received messages via WhatsApp that talks about an individual or conveys certain news. Some people enjoy hitting that “forward” button and sharing it in various WhatsApp groups without first verifying or ascertaining the truth of the information that they are sharing, hoping to be the first to share the news so that they will gain attention from others.
This is not the right approach. If we study the verse in surah Al-Hujurat, we will understand that we need to question the information before we spread it along, as well as to ask ourselves whether it is of any benefit to spread news that may not be true in the first place. It is worse if the “news” turns out to be fake and we end up slandering the people involved. Allah s.w.t. says:
Meaning: “Fitnah is worse than killing.” [Surah Al-Baqarah verse 191].
Let me share some religious guidelines that we should consider whenever we are faced with unverified news, or when we are faced with fitnah or slander.
First, be patient and calm in facing it.
Rasulullah s.a.w. once praised a companion who had both these noble traits that Allah loves.
He said to the companion: “Verily in you there are two qualities loved by Allah: patience and calmness (not rushing)” (Hadith reported by Muslim).
This should hence be the guideline that each believer (mukmin) adheres to, whether we are being slandered or when we receive unverified news. Do not rush, or panic and hasten to spread the news. Calmness comes from Allah, whereas being hasty comes from Syaitan. Anything that is done without being thought through will surely lead to bad outcomes.
Second, to uphold justice and to tread the middle ground.
This matter is clearly explained by Allah in surah al-An’aam verse 152, which means:
And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative.
What is meant by being just here is to ensure that we do not allow our desires (nafs) to be our guiding compass, but that we are just towards the news that we have received. This is especially the case when the news is linked to us, or someone whom we love and care for. Surely we will be more careful. Hence, do onto others how we would like others to treat us. Justice begins with us.
May Allah s.w.t. protect us from those who spread slander, and guard our families and fellow Muslims from fitnah that can divide the community. Amin ya rabbal ‘alamin.
Source from: http://www.muis.gov.sg/officeofthemufti/khutbah.html