Narrating whatever we hear

We receive news all the time. Muslims have been told by Allāh and His Rasūl ﷺ to be very careful, very mindful of what we hear, receive, believe and what we repeat and pass on.
كفى بالمرء كذبًا أن يحدث بكل ما سمع
The Prophet ﷺ said, “It is sufficient for a man to prove himself a liar when he goes on narrating whatever he hears.” A man doesn’t have to be an intentional liar to be a liar, however, it is sufficient for a man to end up lying and become a liar by simply repeating everything he hears.

For example, in a day, we hear 100 things.
10 of them may be truths.
20 may be misconceptions.
20 may be exaggerations.
50 could be total lies.
If a person repeats every one of them, he has only repeated 50 lies, 20 misconceptions, 20 exaggerations and only 10 truths.
So, for a man to be a liar, it is sufficient for him to repeat everything he has heard, this is the ḥadīth of Rasūlullāh ﷺ.

We receive so much information, gossip, calls, texts, IM, people forwarding things all the time. Sometimes it’s frivolous, meaningless, trivial, sometimes serious. Warnings which nobody bothers checking, but if they were to check, it was issued 7 years ago and still being circulated – falsehood.

Before social media and instant messaging, what we would hear in person, that in itself was bad enough as Allāh references this in multiple places in the Qurʿān. We hear so many things all the time and most is gossip, innuendos, insinuations, exaggerations, misconceptions and only part of it is true. We have to be very careful especially when it affects people’s livelihood, honour and dignity. When it comes to rumours and gossip, it is so harmful and detrimental.

Not everything which interests the public is in the public’s interest. We should disregard it as it doesn’t concern us.

[Shaykh Riyāḍ-ul-Ḥaq]

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