As salamu Alaykum Dear Mufti,
I would like to know if it is permissible for a person to have doubts about another person (spouse/father/mother) concerning the fact that this one has fornicated and/or has committed immoral acts, although I myself do not have any evidence of it. I simply have suspicions, and these suspicions are based on nothing at all, quite simply on my intuition. Is it allowed for me to orient the husband or the wife or the ex-husband or the ex-wife to the former partner with whom his spouse or former spouse had committed this immoral act?
What is the name of a person who directs people in order to go and check if that they committed a sin and that also without any legal proof, just on intuition? Am I in virtue or in sin by doing this?
Please can you state the principles by which this is good or bad because I know several people who act like that in my entourage and that cause irreparable damage?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
It is not permitted for a Muslim to have a suspicion of his Muslim brother based on mere assumption.
Allah (swt) says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” (Surah al-Hujaraat, Verse 12)
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّ، فَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيثِ، وَلاَ تَحَسَّسُوا، وَلاَ تَجَسَّسُوا، وَلاَ تَحَاسَدُوا، وَلاَ تَدَابَرُوا، وَلاَ تَبَاغَضُوا، وَكُونُوا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ إِخْوَانًا
"Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others' faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and O Allah's worshipers! Be brothers!” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith Number 6064)
Having suspicion and doubts about another Muslim can be a cause of great corruption and an infringement of their rights. If we look at the ayah above Allah (swt) first says don’t have a suspicion, then He (swt) says don’t spy or backbite because that is usually the next stage after having a suspicion of a person.
Shahid Syed Qutb quotes in his tafsir a hadith from Tabaraani, where the Prophet (pbuh) says:
“If you have doubts, then do not investigate.”
The Salaf would say that you should make 70 excuses for your brother.
Doubts, are baseless and do not have any evidence. They are from the tricks of Shaytaan to create animosity and disunity between brothers.
It is imperative that you ignore these unfounded suspicions and divert your mind from pondering and developing these ideas in your mind.
If you have certain evidence that someone was involved in sin and immoral acts, only then will you be eligible to speak out.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham