Not to trust persons whose words are not to be trusted

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In searching for the truth, the Qur’an advises us to consult others in situations where one’s own experience or knowledge is insufficient. Often, when Muslims fear they may have made a mistake, they seek advice about how to find the right thing to do and avoid wrong actions. That is, the aim of seeking advice is to find out what is right and proper.

However, not everyone has the wisdom and honesty to make the right decisions or to lay his own interests aside. There are people, too, whose words cannot be trusted. Anyone who gives advice must possess particular qualities, the foremost of which is faith in Allah. Only by acting according to his conscience can a person make a right evaluation of a situation and explain it to someone else, even if such an explanation is not in his own best interests. His love and fear of Allah make him conscientious and trustworthy.

Any person who fails to employ his conscience and displays moral failings has neither the ability to see the right choice nor the ability to lead another to the truth. Consequently, a Muslim must be meticulous in choosing his advisors. In the Qur’an, Allah forbids obedience to wicked people and makes clear the type of person whose words and admonitions are not to be trusted - someone who easily transgresses Allah’s limits:

But do not obey any vile swearer of oaths,

Any backbiter, slandermonger,

Impeder of good, evil aggressor,

Gross, coarse and furthermore, despicable,

Simply because he possesses wealth and sons.

When Our Signs are recited to him, he says, ‘Just myths of previous peoples!’ (Surat al-Qalam; 10-15)

And in another verse, Allah reveals that there are two types of individuals who should not be listened to:

"Therefore wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord. Do not obey any evildoer or thankless man among them.” (Surat al-Insan; 24)

In the Qur’an, Allah reveals clearly whose word is to be trusted; that is, whose guidance and advice should be relied upon. According to this distinction, when it is a matter of his material and emotional welfare, a Muslim should never act on the advice of liars, gossipmongers, or aggressive, argumentative individuals, who easily disregard the limits set by Allah or people who are deceitful or sarcastic.

2011-10-05 15:59:44
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