anything that is a means to create doubt (n:
in eternal truths). Such
things vary in their degree of unlawfulness.”
“(2) Searching Out
A Person’s Faults. [The
treatise] Reliance of the Traveler addresses critical inquiry
“Asking about and searching out the faults of others is
spying, which Allah Most High has forbidden by saying:
‘Do not spy’ (Sura 49:12 [being Qur’an, ch. 2, verse-law
12]), meaning to look for the shameful points of Muslims.
The Prophet said:
“(1) ‘If you search
for people’s shameful points, you corrupt them.’
“(2) ‘O, you who
have entered Islam with your tongues but whose hearts faith has not
entered: do not slander
people, and do not ferret out people’s shameful points.
Whoever searches out the shameful points of his brother, Allah will
search out his own shameful points; be
sure that He will disgrace him even if he should remain in the middle of
his house.’” [see
“(a) Within this
provision is a clear warning. Those
impugn Islam will be subjected to retribution.
the Koran exist references to actions
to be taken by God [Allah] in addressing
wrongs visited upon Islam.
provisions exist within the Koran for [Muslim] believers to take action on
behalf of [Allah] God for addressing these wrongs.
This interpretation of the [Qur’an]…gives rise to a wide range
of autonomous, decentralized, asymmetrical operations by individuals and
small groups against those conducting penetrating inquiries [about Islam].
The very object of analytical works, focusing on Islamic
subjects, involves searching out the truth.
For the Muslim, [however,] this may be a struggle to preserve
secrets. In an all-Muslim
setting, it is preferable to keep secrets, unless the rights of a fellow
Muslim are being violated. In
that case, it is recommended to reveal the secret.
“’…(Muhammad) said: ‘When
a man says something. Then
glances left or right, his words are a confidence to be kept.’
[see note 10]
“’Telling a secret means to inform others of a remark, action,
or state which one learns of from someone who wants to remain hidden,
whether it be good or bad. This
is hurting him, and hurting others is unlawful.’
“’When two people meet, it is obligatory to keep secret any act
that occurs, any word spoken, or any state attributable to someone, when
these concern something one would normally wish to remain confidential,
while not being unlawful.’
“’If it is against Allah Most High alone, and does not involve
legal measures such as prescribed legal penalties or disciplinary action,
then it must be kept secret.’
“’If it involves legal measure, as do fornication and drinking,
then one has a choice between revealing [the secret]…or not, though it
is superior to conceal it.’
“’If it involves another person’s rights, then if concealing
it entails harm to anyone, or if [the secret]…concerns prescribed legal
measures such as retaliation for an injury or death…then if the person
whose rights have been infringed is ignorant of …[the secret], one is
obliged to make the matter known, and must testify to it if asked to.’
“’If it involves another’s rights, but concealing it does not
entail harm to anyone and it does not concern prescribed legal measures,
…but the person concerned already knows of it through another and one
has not been asked to testify about…[the secret], then one is obliged to
conceal the matter.’” [see
This [above] provision has applicability when trying to ascertain
the inner workings of Islamic institutions and processes, [and] the
differences in Muslim-supplied English translation of texts being at
variance with (and less militant than) their Arabic counterparts, and the
glossing-over of sensitive issues in Islamic history.
“(b) For example,
Muhammad, the Prophet, was personally responsible for several murders and
actively consipired to commit murders of his detractors.
This topic, along with a wide range of other issues, is never
addressed in the straightforward manner associated with Western standards
analysts dependent solely on Muslim sources risks inducing bias in their
in the Western context, is the utterance
of false charges or misrepresentations which
defame and damage another’s representations.
Within the Sunni Islam tradition, ‘[s]lander means to mention
anything concerning a person that he would dislike.’
The truth, then, becomes slanderous when an author or source
mentions ‘anything concerning a person that he would dislike.’
“(a) The Koran
provides specific guidance on slander.
49:11 [being Qur’an, ch. 49, verse-law 11] -- Oh, you who believe!
Let not a group scoff at one of another group, for it may be that
the latter are better than the former.
Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, for it may be that the
latter are better than the former. Nor
defame another, nor insult one another by nicknames.
How bad it is to insult one’s brother after having Faith (i.e.,
to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as:
‘Oh, Sinner’ or ‘O, wicked’).
And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun
49:12 [being Qur’an, ch. 49,
verse-law 12] -- Oh, you who believe!
Avoid much suspicion; indeed,
some suspicions are sins. And
spy not, neither back-bite one another.
Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?
Would you hate it (so hate back-biting)?
And fear Allah. Verily,
Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful.’
aforesaid Islamic legal treatise] Reliance of the Traveler also
provides specific discussions on slander.
means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike,
whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition,
property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements,
smiling, dissolution, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything connected with
you know what slander is?’ They
answered, ‘Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] know best.’
He said, ‘It is to mention of your brother that which he would
dislike.’ Someone asked,
‘What if he is as I say?’ And
he replied, ‘If he is as you say, you have slandered him, and if not,
you have calumniated him.’ [see
Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He does not betray him, lie to him,
or hang back from coming to his aid. All
of the Muslim is inviolable to his fellow Muslim: his
reputation, his property, his blood. Godfearingness
is here (the heart). It is
sufficiently wicked for someone to belittle his fellow Muslim.’”
“(c) An in-depth,
truthful and factual analysis of Muhammad’s murders, and his
participation in conspiracy to commit murder, then, becomes slanderous and
inappropriate for detailed pursuit. So
then are the misdeeds of modern day activists pursuing their agenda
“(d) Criticism of
Islam is slander, critics of Islam are slanderers, and Muslim scholarship
cannot risk inquiry characterized as slander.
intelligence] analysts may not be able to rely on sole-sourced Islamic
scholarship, for discerning the whole truth of matters under
Deception and Lying. In
specific situations, a Muslim
has a positive duty to lie.
As described in Reliance of the Traveler, lying is permitted
in ‘war, settling disagreements, and a man talking with his wife or she
with him.’ [see note 15]