Disapproval of Fault-Finding: Guidance from the Sunnah

Disapproval of Fault-Finding: Guidance from the Sunnah

Muhammad Mubashir Raza Attari (Fourth Year Student, Jamiat al-Madina Faizan-e-Farooq-e-Azam Sadhoke, Lahore)

In Islam, a human’s dignity and honour are highly valued, particularly when they are fellow Muslims. To safeguard this honour, Islam prohibits any actions that might compromise someone’s respectability. Among these actions is the act of seeking out a person's faults and disclosing them to others. This action plays a significant role in diminishing a person's respect and honour. For this reason, the religion of Islam has prohibited the act of seeking out faults and disclosing them to others without permission from Islamic law and as a deterrent has warned of severe consequences for those who do not refrain from it, as stated by Allah Almighty:

وَّ لَا تَجَسَّسُوۡا

 “And do not search for (hidden) faults”[1]

In this verse, the command is given to avoid finding faults in Muslims and refrain from searching for their hidden matters which Allah Almighty has concealed. (See: Khaza'in al-Irfan, p. 930) Let us read a few sayings of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in regards to seeking out faults.

1. O those who have verbally embraced faith but it has yet to enter your hearts! Do not search for the faults of a Muslim, for whoever searches for the faults of a Muslim brother, Allah will expose his faults, and whoever Allah exposes, He humiliates him, even if he is within his own home.[2]

2. The best servants of Allah are those who, when seen, remind you of Allah, and the worst of Allah's servants are those who walk with gossip, cause separation among friends, and search for faults in virtuous people.[3]

3. Save yourself from ill-assumption, for ill-assumption is the worst lie. Neither seek faults in others nor delve into their private matters. Dear servants of Allah, be brothers ˹in faith˺.[4]

4. On the Day of Judgment, Allah will raise those who engage in talebearing and fault-finding against virtuous individuals in the likeness of dogs.[5]

Up until this point, you have read about the condemnation of seeking faults, that is to say, we should not try to find the faults of others. But what should we do if we come to know about someone's fault?

5. In this regard, the teacher of all creation, the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: "Whoever sees his brother’s fault and then hides it, Allah will admit him into Paradise due to his concealing."[6]

The ruling on seeking faults:

Searching for the faults of Muslims is prohibited.[7] The religion of Islam has prohibited searching for faults and disclosing them without the permission of Islamic law.

Just as illnesses can have multiple causes, so too does the inclination to find faults. Memorize these causes to protect yourself from this destructive trait: enmity, personal grudges, jealousy, spreading rumours, hypocrisy, pessimism, and the insatiable pursuit of fame and wealth. May Allah grant us the ability to refrain from seeking out the faults of others and to rectify our own faults.

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

[1] Al-Quran, 49:12, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān

[2] Sunan Abī Dāwūd: 4880

[3] Mishkāt: 4871

[4] Mishkāt: 5028

[5] Al-Targhīb wa al-Tarhīb, vol.3, p. 325, hadith 10

[6] Al-Mujam al-Kabīr: 2795

[7] Fatāwā al-Razawiyyah, vol. 14, p. 271




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