Rumors (4:83 – 4:84)

Beware of the Devil’s Rumors

[4:83] When a rumor that affects security comes their way, they spread it. Had they referred it to the messenger, and those in charge among them, those who understand these matters would have informed them. If it were not for GOD’s grace towards you, and His mercy, you would have followed the devil, except a few.
[4:84] You shall fight for the cause of GOD; you are responsible only for your own soul, and exhort the believers to do the same. GOD will neutralize the power of those who disbelieve. GOD is much more powerful, and much more effective. 

Gossip vs. Rumor
Gossip: conversation about unimportant subjects, especially people’s private lives
Rumor: unofficial information that may or may not be true
http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-gossip-and-rumor/

Believers Set the Example

[49:11] O you who believe, no people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you mock one another, or make fun of your names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining faith. Anyone who does not repent after this, these are the transgressors.

Suspicion Is Sinful

[49:12] O you who believe, you shall avoid any suspicion, for even a little bit of suspicion is sinful. You shall not spy on one another, nor shall you backbite one another; this is as abominable as eating the flesh of your dead brother. You certainly abhor this. You shall observe GOD. GOD is Redeemer, Most Merciful.

How to Deal With Rumors and Unproven Accusations

[24:11] A gang among you produced a big lie. Do not think that it was bad for you; instead, it was good for you. Meanwhile, each one of them has earned his share of the guilt. As for the one who initiated the whole incident, he has incurred a terrible retribution.
[24:12] When you heard it, the believing men and the believing women should have had better thoughts about themselves, and should have said, “This is obviously a big lie.”
[24:13] Only if they produced four witnesses (you may believe them). If they fail to produce the witnesses, then they are, according to GOD, liars.
[24:14] If it were not for GOD’s grace towards you, and His mercy in this world and in the Hereafter, you would have suffered a great retribution because of this incident.
[24:15] You fabricated it with your own tongues, and the rest of you repeated it with your mouths without proof. You thought it was simple, when it was, according to GOD, gross.

What to Do

[24:16] When you heard it, you should have said, “We will not repeat this. Glory be to You. This is a gross falsehood.”
[24:17] GOD admonishes you that you shall never do it again, if you are believers.

The Devil Encourages Baseless Accusations

[24:21] O you who believe, do not follow the steps of Satan. Anyone who follows the steps of Satan should know that he advocates evil and vice. If it were not for GOD’s grace towards you, and His mercy, none of you would have been purified. But GOD purifies whomever He wills. GOD is Hearer, Knower.

Redirecting Gossip: Jeff Conway at TEDxYouth@CampHill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kVIErLCcrE

If someone asks you about the behavior of a group is that gossiping?

You can talk about your personal experience, but be cautious not to slander or backbite. If we put motivations behind people’s actions then we are making assumptions about their intent and unless they publicly stated their intent we will not know for sure.

People gossip because they want to be the center of attention and that desire stems from ego. To show that they have information that other people want to have.

What is the responsibility of the person who listens to the rumor?

Their duty is to either (1) disregard it, (2) not participate if they can, (3) or correct them in the best possible manner if it is false information (4) remind them not to gossip. It all depends on the situation.

If we hear something inaccurate should we correct that person? 

[66:3] The prophet had trusted some of his wives with a certain statement, then one of them spread it, and GOD let him know about it. He then informed his wife of part of the issue, and disregarded part. She asked him, “Who informed you of this?” He said, “I was informed by the Omniscient, Most Cognizant.”

It depends what is the purpose of correcting the person. In the above example we see that the messenger disregarded part of the issue. This informs me that we don’t need to be a stickler on every point and can pick and choose our battles.

[25:9] Note how they called you all kinds of names, and how this led them astray, never to find their way back.

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