Consequences of denouncing evil publicly should be considered
Fatwa No: 195853

  • Fatwa Date:13-1-2013 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 2, 1434
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Question

Asalamu alaykum, we live in a none Muslim land and there are some Muslims who I have no personal relationship with (can’t advise them). They setup a company to do some work for the government and the company subcontracts a group of people mainly Muslims to perform the job. The company and a lot of these subcontractors have an agreement where they charge the government for the job as a fully completed job even though the job hasn't been done or it was done at the lowest level possible, then the company would take a commission from the payment and pay the rest to the subcontractors. will I be sinning if i inform the authorities about it because some of this money gets fed to young innocent Muslim children who are suppose to be the next generation of Muslims, donated to mosques, given to orphans and needy Muslims. When some of them get caught it taints Islam/Muslims with bad behaviour and morals. A lot of Muslims know about it, but they just turn a blind eye to it. Please advise me might Allah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

Having no relationship with the one who does something wrong does not prevent from denouncing his evil deeds; however, this should be done with wisdom and good instruction. So, if that person rejects advice and refuses except to wrong people and consume their wealth unjustly, then he should be threatened with informing the authorities if he insists on doing that. If this was not effective and one can inform the authorities with the bad things he or others do without causing greater evil than that, then it is obligatory to inform them to save the rights of the people by those who have power to do so. However, the resulting benefits and harms should be taken into consideration.

Scholars have pointed out the degrees of changing evil according to its consequences. So, it has four degrees:

Firstly, if denouncing it will remove it totally, in the sense that good will follow and no harm will result, then it is obligatory to change it.

Secondly, if denouncing it will lessen it, although it may not be removed completely, then it is also obligatory to change it.

Thirdly, if denouncing and changing it will remove it; however, evil of the same degree will follow, then one should use his personal diligence to decide the most appropriate course of action.

Fourthly, if denouncing and changing it will remove it, but greater harm and evil will follow, then it is prohibited to be changed or denounced.

What you asked about, i.e. informing the authorities, is most likely included in the last impermissible kind that may cause disadvantages which outweigh (the benefit of) changing such evil. So, you should only advise, instruct and explain the prohibition of cheating and deception and the bad end of those who do that as we have explained in Fataawa 87677 and 131330.

Allaah Knows best.

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