Assalaamu alaykum. In these times of tribulation, some of the Muslims have begun to accuse the Muslims of terror, murder, and other sins like drugs and alcoholism, lying, and prostitution when they see it in the Western news. They claim that because its permissible to narrate from Banu Israa‘eel (the Israelites) and that their sources are unknown and they sometimes are liars, it is permissible to spread these rumors and gossip. Others claimed that it is not permissible to accuse these Muslims without proof and say that these photos and videos can be edited with computers. We want to know what the correct stance of the Muslim is concerning these stories and whether or not the rules of the Isnaad (chain of narration) can be applied to these stories. May Allah bless you.
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
The religious principle governing this matter is that the information must be verified, as we have previously underlined in fatwa 288535.
It is obligatory to verify the truthfulness of the information, even if the informant is a Muslim, and the obligation is more confirmed if it is a non-Muslim. Prejudice towards Muslims is quite common nowadays, and many people falsely accuse Muslims of doing such actions to defame them.
It is invalid to bring forth the concession to relate the stories of Banu Israa‘eel as proof, for the following reasons:
First, the concession in this regard is pertinent to the aspect of legislation and what they narrate about their divine laws.
Second, it does not mean that we are allowed to narrate everything from them. Rather, it is allowable to narrate only that which is known to not be false. As for what is known to be false, it is impermissible to narrate it from them. Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar quoted this meaning from Maalik and Ash-Shaafi‘i in his book Fat-h Al-Baari. This is related to the matters in their statements which the Shariah did not make reference to. Therefore, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Whatever the people of the Book tell you, neither believe them nor disbelieve them, and say, ‘We believe in Allah and His Books and His Messengers.’ Hence, if what they said is true, you did not disbelieve it, and if it is false, you did not believe it.” He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, thus clarified that the rationale (for the permissibility of narrating their statements) is fearing to disbelieve them regarding what may be true.
Allah knows best.
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