In the first place, we would like to highlight that all of us have a responsibility to the society and world we live in, and we are also responsible to make tomorrow a better day through the accuracy of information we spread or publish. That is why Islam forbids that we base our opinions on circulate rumors and half information.
Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states: It is well known that verifying news is something of high importance according toShari`ah, as Allah Almighty says, (O ye who believe! If an evil person brings you tidings, verify it, lest ye smite some folk in ignorance and afterward repent of what ye did) (Al-Hujurat 49: 6).
The Lawgiver issued a stern warning against passing on all news that one hears. It was narrated that Hafs ibn `Asim said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” (Reported by Muslim)
It was also narrated from abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “It is enough sin for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” (As-Silsilah as-Sahihah, 2025)
Commenting on the above hadith, imam an-Nawawi said: “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.)”
It was narrated that al-Mughirah ibn Shu`bah said: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers, to bury your daughters alive, to not pay the rights of others and to beg from others. And He dislikes gossip for you, asking too many questions, and wasting money.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
In his commentary on the previous hadith, al-Hafiz ibn Hajar said: With regard to the words “and He dislikes gossip for you”, there are certain points that should be clarified concerning the meaning of this hadith:
1. It indicates that it is disliked (makruh) to speak too much because it leads to mistakes.
2. It refers to narrating differences of opinions 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 without exercising caution. This is supported by the Prophetic hadith that states, “It is enough sin for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” (Reported by Muslim).
It was reported that ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say,
“How bad it is for a man to keep saying, ‘They (i.e. other people) say…” (As-Silsilah as-Sahihah)
the above may explain why our righteous ancestors were keen to establish proof and were wary of rumors. `Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Beware of temptation (fitnah), for a word at the time of fitnah could be as devastating as the sword.”
the following are some of the examples that show to what extent spreading rumors is dangerous among the Ummah:
1. When the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) migrated from Makkah to Abyssinia, they were safe, but then a rumor spread that the kuffar (disbelievers) of the Quraysh in Makkah had become Muslims. So some of those Companions in Abyssinia left it and traveled to Makkah. To their amazement, they found that the report was not true, and they met with persecution at the hands of Quraysh. All of that happened because of rumors.
2- During the Battle of Uhud, when Mus`ab ibn `Umayr (may Allah be pleased with him) was killed, there was a rumor that the one who was killed was the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), so the army of Islam withdrew because of a rumor, and some of them fled to Madinah and some stopped fighting.
Proper Shari`ah Methodology in Dealing with Rumors
there are certain ways which help one deal with rumors, especially those related to news. Here are some of them:
the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Deliberation is from Allah and haste is from the Satan.” (As-Silsilah as-Sahihah)
It is worth stressing here that the one who deliberates may meet some of his needs while the one who is hasty may slip.
2. Verifying News
Allah Almighty says, (O ye who believe! If an evil person brings you tidings, verify it, lest ye smite some folk in ignorance and afterward repent of what ye did) (Al-Hujurat 49: 6).
What is meant by verifying is to make strenuous effort to find out the facts behind a certain issue so as to establish whether this can be proven or not. Verifying also means to be sure of the truth of a certain report and its circumstances. Al-Hasan al-Basri said: The believer reserves judgment until the matter is proven.
In conclusion, we advise everyone to verify matters and not to rush to pass on news until they are sure that it is true, even if the news is good because if it becomes apparent that the one who passed it on is mistaken, he will lose credibility before the people, and anyone who bears a grudge towards him will use it against him.