Islamic Ethics

Quran Times Cultural Institute

The Advanced Level of Islamic Understanding Courses

A short Commentary of Chapter Al-Noor

Session 4 (15 -20)

إِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِأَلْسِنَتِكمُ‏ْ وَ تَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِكمُ مَّا لَيْسَ لَكُم بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَ تحَسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَ هُوَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيم

(When you were receiving it on your tongues, and were mouthing something of which you had no knowledge, supposing it to be a light matter, while it was a grave [matter] with Allah).

Meaning: "Some of you were relating it to others,'' where one says, `I heard this from so-and-so, and so-and-so said such and such, and some of them mentioned such and such.' Others recited the Ayah: ("When you were inventing a lie with your tongues...'')

In fact three important sins mentioned in this verse. First listening and accepting rumors, second propagating it without any knowledge about the matter and third supposing it as a little thing while it is related to the honor of Muslims and it is so grave in Allah’s sight.

وَ تحَسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَ هُوَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيم

You thought that it was a trifling and insignificant matter, but even if she was not the wife of the Prophet, it still would not be an insignificant matter - so how about when she is the wife of Prophet! Allah, (glorified and exalted), feels great fury and anger over such matters, and He would never decree such a thing for any Muslim.

وَ لَوْ لَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُم مَّا يَكُونُ لَنَا أَن نَّتَكلَّمَ بهذَا سُبْحَانَكَ هَاذَا بهُتَانٌ عَظِيم

(And why did you not, when you heard it, say," It is not for us to say such a thing. O Allah! You are immaculate! This is a monstrous calumny)

This is further discipline, in addition to the command to think well of people, i.e., if something unbefitting is mentioned about good people, then one should think well of them, and not feel towards them anything but good. Then if a person has any unsuitable thoughts about them, insinuated into his mind and imagination by Satan, he should not speak about that and should say “This is a great lie”.

يَعِظُكُمُ اللَّهُ أَن تَعُودُواْ لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِين

Allah advises you lest you should ever repeat the like of it, should you be faithful

Meaning, Allah is forbidding you and warning you from doing anything like this again in the future. If you believe in Allah and His Laws, and you respect His Messenger.

وَ يُبَينِ‏ُّ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الاَيَاتِ وَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيم

Allah clarifies the signs for you, and Allah is all-knowing, all-wise

Meaning, He makes clear to you the rulings of Shari`ah and His divine decrees and He knows what is right for His servants and He is Wise in His Laws and decrees.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يحبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فىِ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لهمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فىِ الدُّنْيَا وَ الاَخِرَةِ وَ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَ أَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُون

Indeed those who want indecency to spread among the faithful there is a painful punishment for them in the world and the Hereafter, and Allah knows and you do not know.

This is a third instance of discipline directed at those who hear evil talk, believe it to some extent, and start to spread it; they should not spread such talk or pass it on to others.

About having a share of propagating slander on behalf of people, we have many traditions of our Infallibles (A.S.). For example the Holly Prophet (S.A.V.S) said: Do not annoy the servants of Allah, nor abuse them, nor seek their hidden shortcomings. Whoever seeks out the faults of his Muslim brother, Allah will expose his faults and degrade him, even if he is hiding in his house.

Or He said: one, who circulates rumors in society, is like the one who fabricated it.

Somebody asked Imam Kadhem (A.S.) I heard something bad which I don’t like it on behalf of one of my Muslim brother. I asked him about but he denied it while the narrators were trustful, now what’s my duty? Imam (A.S.) replied: accept him even if fifty of people come to you and swear he did such and such and so and so.

وَ لَوْ لَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَ رَحْمَتُهُ وَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِم

Were it not for Allah's grace and His mercy upon you, and that Allah is all-kind, all-merciful.

Meaning, if it were not for this, it would have been another matter altogether, but He, may He be exalted, is full of kindness towards His servants and Merciful towards them. He accepts the repentance of those who repent to Him from this sin, and purifies those among them who are purified by the prescribed punishment carried out on them.

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