Necessary procedures towards those who make accusations against innocent people
Fatwa No: 50053

Question

I am a final-year university student. I am successful and religiously committed; praise be to Allaah Almighty. However, some imprudent people accused my honor . None of them has the courage to confront me as I understand from their way that they want to distort my fame. Someone of them says: “I saw her naked.” Some other says: “She smokes.” A third group says: “She drinks alcohol.” May Allaah guard us against that! What confuses me is that I do not mix with anyone and my relationship with my neighbors is rather superficial. My family is religiously committed, my manners are well known, and, above all of that, Allaah Almighty knows that I am innocent of what they have claimed. Please advise.

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.

What those people whom you described as imprudent are saying about you is not permissible. You have the right to refer their case to the Islamic judge so as to give you your due rights. Indeed, they deserve Ta‘zeer (discretionary punishment) for the evil accusations they have attributed to you. Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said about the case of someone who insulted a man:

"If one is abused by means of insult, then he has the right to abuse him (the original abuser) in the same way he was abused. So he can insult him, unless he would do so in a way that is prohibited in itself, such as lying about him. However, if he (the original abuser) uses a way of abuse that is prohibited in itself, such as slander that does not involve accusation of Zina (unlawful sexual intercourse), the he should be subject to severe discretionary punished so that he and the foolish of his like may be deterred."

The author of Ma‘alim Al-Qurbah fi Ma‘alim Al-Hisbah, who belongs to the Shaafi‘i school of Fiqh (jurisprudence), said:

"Whoever commits a sin for which no corporal punishment nor expiation is prescribed, such as indulging in a prohibited sexual relationship outside the vagina, robbing something whose value is less than the Nisaab (amount on which Zakah is to be paid once it has been in one's possession for a lunar year), or slandering someone beyond any accusation of Zina, he should be subject to Ta‘zeer."

Az-Zayla‘i  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Nasb Ar-Rayah:

"Whoever slanders a slave man or woman with Zina should be subject to discretionary punishment. The same applies to the one accusing any Muslim individual of something other than Zina, such as saying: "O Faasiq (big sinner), O disbeliever, O wicked, O thief," because he has abused and defamed him."

You should know that you are not entitled to impose Ta‘zeer on those people you have mentioned by just claiming that they are saying so and so about you, unless you can prove that with evidence or they admit their sin before the court. Although you have the right to do all what we have mentioned, we advise you to observe patience and not to refer the matter to anyone except Allaah Almighty. You should know that the end of patience is praiseworthy in this life and the Hereafter. 

Allaah Knows best.

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