On Harshness | 6 | An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness: Chasing Each Other’s Faults
by The Albaani Blog
Many times severing ties and harshness occur due to suspicions and mistaken impressions crossing one’s mind regarding one’s Muslim brother. So this hadith which is the last [to be mentioned] came along to warn and forbid us from having bad suspicions of a Muslim.
So he عليه الصلاة والسلام said, ‘Beware of suspicion, for it is the worst of false tales and don’t look for the other’s faults and don’t spy, and don’t hate each other, and don’t desert [cut your relations with] one another. O Allaah’s slaves, be brothers!’ Bukhaari 6724
In the first part of the hadith he forbids us from having evil suspicions of a Muslim brother and further clarifies that by saying that it is the worst of false tales, that you [for example] say, ‘So and so is like this, so and so is like that,’ [it is the worst of false tales because] you have no proof from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic for what you say, and if you did have a proof which permitted you to have evil suspicions about your brother then it is [still] not allowed to backbite him.
Rather, as we stated at the beginning of this lecture, it is upon you to advise him and guide him and direct him to that course which you see is in accordance with the Legislation.
And oftentimes this evil suspicion will push the one harbouring it to commit these violations which the Prophet عليه السلام mentioned along with the prohibition of having evil suspicions about a Muslim when he said, ‘…and don’t spy …’ ‘… don’t look for the other’s faults [tahassus] and don’t spy [tajassus] …’
Tajassus is to follow after a Muslim’s mistakes in order to defame him and slander him and vilify him. As for tahassus then some scholars say that both these words [i.e., tajassus and tahassus] have the same meaning, but the reality is that tahassus [i.e., ‘looking for the other's faults’] has a meaning which differs from that of tajassus [i.e., ‘spying on’] because sometimes it is not correct to use the word tajassus in place of tahassus, for in the Noble Quraan there is the saying of Ya’qoob عليه السلام to his sons, ‘… go and find out [tahassasu] about Joseph …’ Yusuf 12:87
So tahassus is running after someone’s news, and listening to it, so here it is as though tahassus is more specific than tajassus.
Tahassus can be regarding something good and bad, but as for tajassus then it is only regarding evil. In this hadith the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited both things, he prohibited chasing up people’s affairs and spying, for affairs are judged by their intent, so if the purpose behind tahussus is to attain some good then there is no harm in it, as for tajassus then there is no good in it whatsoever, for this reason it is not allowed for a Muslim to follow up on and listen to what a Muslim says with the intent of chasing up his mistakes and hidden matters, and to land him in something he would not like.
‘Don’t spy and don’t be envious of one another,’ why does a person envy his Muslim brother?
This is something which most regrettably a person–almost–has a natural propensity for, and I say ‘almost’, because I do not believe that Allaah created a person with a natural disposition to envy his Muslim brother, that is why I said, ‘a person–almost–has a natural propensity for …’ [but I said this] due to just how much jealousy [does in fact] overcome the people.
And the reality is that this disease, jealousy, is a chronic one and how often it emerges amongst the wealthy–whether rich in material gains or wealthy in terms of knowledge. So the person who is rich in materials gains is envied by those like him, and the wealthy in knowledge is envied by those like him, and then that results in being a cause for hatred and envious people to enter.
And the Prophet عليه السلام said, educating/disciplining us, ‘…and don’t look for the other’s faults and don’t spy, and don’t hate each other, and don’t desert [cut your relations with] one another. O Allaah’s slaves, be brothers as Allaah the Blessed and Most High ordered you to,’ i.e., in His Saying, the Most High, ‘And hold firmly to the rope of Allaah all together and do not become divided.’ Aali-Imraan 3:103
So this was a speech and exhortation which I hope Allaah the Blessed and Most High will cause to be of benefit, and [I hope] that He grants us true brotherhood and friendship which we are all in need of actualising.
We ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to aid us in obeying Him in all that He has ordered.
Glory is to You, O Allah, and praise is to You. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but You. I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 23.