Al-Ifk (Slander) was an Act to Defame ar-Rasul and Disrupt the Ummah. Today, Muslims Use It Against One Another.

History shows that slander was a lethal weapon utilised strategically by the enemy to crush the Ummah. Today, unfortunately, instead of learning the positive lesson of al-Ifk, Muslims are exploiting such perverse strategy when fighting among themselves and to bring down the Ummah.

Annoyed with political lies and endless public misdirection? 

We get you. Many of us have been fighting hard against Muslims using fake information associated with religion for their business profits — the sunnah food, for example. 

And now we find that Muslim leaders and Daies themselves are portraying a similar behaviour for the benefit of their group’s interests.

Such a confusing situation today reminds us of the incident of al-Ifk.

Al-Ifk (slander) happened several years after Hijrah, when Aisha, the wife of ar-Rasul, was accused of ‘inappropriate conduct’ between her and one Muslim soldier by the name of Safwan.

History shows that slander was a lethal weapon utilised strategically by the enemy to crush the Ummah.

Today, unfortunately, instead of learning from the bad lesson of al-Ifk, Muslims are exploiting such perverse strategy to fight among themselves and thereby bring down the Ummah.

Here are the three main roles involved in al-Ifk. Which role are we playing, if unknowingly, to ‘help’ with the disintegration of the Ummah?

1. The Mastermind

During al-Ifk, although the news was not proven true, the hypocrites led by Abdullah bin Salul managed to cause a ruckus among the Sahabah.

He did it in a way that was not a direct character assassination of the personalities involved.

Instead, he created a false impression so that the listeners would arrive at a negative and wrong conclusion by themselves.

Today, we are doing the fighting in the mass media and faced with the prominence of some activists who are skilful in stealing the spotlight on social media.

Even the notion of Islamophobia, as we know it, stands on the foundation of selective reporting and misdirecting the public perception. 

Unfortunately, that same strategy that was originally used against Islam is now launched by Muslim strategists themselves to fight among each other.

Despite the differences are merely in strategy, politics and approaches – those in the field of ijtihadi.

2. The Believers From Within

During al-Ifk, it was the insiders of the Muslim community who further spread the rumours without determining the truth of the matter.

Among the Companions who were tested by Allah in this matter were Hamnah binti Jahsy, Hassan ibn Thabit and Mistah ibn Uthathah, the latter being the member of al-Badr! (May Allah forgive them).

Today, while the evil deeds do originate from the enemies of Islam, the aggravating component has always been the Muslims themselves from within.

Even if the leaders and Daies didn’t commit the slander, their lay supporters shared it by blind loyalty, and by being oblivious of the possibility of it being a slander.

Ever heard of the Nazi-proposed law of propaganda “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”?

3. The Accused and Their Circle

During al-Ifk, one of the wives of ar-Rasul, Zaynab did highlight Aisha’s devoutness when being asked about the incident.

Even ar-Rasul sought for clarification from Aisha herself.

He didn’t dismiss the accusation just because she was his wife, or fell into the rumours blindly as his image was being tarnished publicly.

The positive lesson of al-Ifk today is that it is vital for us to put forward the good thought (husnuzhon) first – moreover so as the slander about a Muslim is spread by another Muslim.

But not in the sense of total blindness, no matter who the accused are – our own leaders, our brothers in Islam, or ordinary Muslims.

In addition, we do have to consider the possibility of deliberate or manufactured misdirection.

What more with the massive number of ‘Islamic’ fake accounts and cyber troopers mushrooming today.

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