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Subject : Spreading Rumors via Social Media or else is Forbidden

Fatwa Number : 3078

Date : 24-05-2015

Classified : Social & Psychological Problems

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling on spreading rumors via social media?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Social media has turned the world into a small village through facilitating communication amongst people, and this goes in line with their nature. Allah Says in this regard {what means}: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). “ {Al-Hujurat/13}.

On the other hand, social media could be misused, and turned into a cause of corruption, making mischief, malicious rumors, smearing, transgression against people`s honor and committing sins.

On its part, the General Iftaa` Department has issued Fatwas pertaining to the use of social media, indicating that the ruling of Sharia in this regard depends on the purpose for which it is employed. Thus, if it is used for lawful purposes such as promoting good deeds, inviting people to Islam and engaging in constructive dialogue, then it is permissible. Not only that, but the Muslim is commanded to employ useful means for promoting all that is good and for self-development. However, if it is used for unlawful purposes, then using it is forbidden. Moreover, promoting sin and lies via social media is forbidden and rejected by people of sound mind and righteous nature. Allah Says {what means}: “Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: God knows, and ye know not.” {An-Noor/19}. This verse is a direct threat to those who love to see scandal published broadcast among the believers, so how severe is the penalty awaiting those who promote rumors?!

Promoting rumors, which are initiated by individuals who don`t care about society and its security, is impermissible, and the Noble Quran showed that such an act is a characteristic of the hypocrites. It explained our responsibility when receiving such rumors, taught us how to deal with them and warned us against following in the footsteps of the devil. Allah The Almighty Says {what means}: “When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they had only referred it to the Apostle, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have Tested it from them (direct). Were it not for the Grace and Mercy of God unto you, all but a few of you would have fallen into the clutches of Satan. “ {An-Nissa`/83}.

In addition, promoting lies isn`t only forbidden, but is also considered amongst the major sins, for Allah The Exalted Says {what means}: “O ye who believe! Fear God and be with those who are true (in word and deed).” {At-Tawbah/119}. Those who commit such acts should be addressed with wisdom and fair preaching.

Finally, it is incumbent upon every Muslim to verify every piece of information that he receives since a Muslim is endowed with tact and awareness. The Prophet (PBUH) said (What means): ” It is enough falsehood for a man to relate everything he hears.” {At-Tirmizi}. And Allah knows best.



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