Class 7 – Harming Others – II

Class 7
Major Sins committed by causing harm to the Society – II (to the society as a whole)


Allah, the Almighty says,

  • {The blame is only against those who Oppress men with wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land defying right and justice: for such there will be a chastisement grievous.} (AI-Shura: 42)
  • {Think not that Allah doth heed the deeds of those who do wrong. He but giveth them respect against a Day when the eyes will fixedly stare in horror, they running forward with necks outstretched, their heads uplifted; their gaze returning not towards them, and their hearts a (gaping) void!} (Ibrahim: 42-43)

Now let us consider the following hadiths:

  • “He who deceives us is not of us.” (Bukhari)
  • “Oppression will be darkness on the Day of Judgment.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
  • “All of you are trustees and each is responsible for those entrusted to his care.”(Bukhari& Muslim)
  • “Any superior who misrules his followers shall go to Hell.” (Muslim)
  • “If a person who is appointed in authority over people, does not look after the people (placed under his care) with goodwill and sincerity, he will not get even the aroma of paradise.” (Muslim)
  • “Every governor will be seized on the day of Judgement in front of the Hell-Fire. From the back of his head he will be held by an angel. The angel, then, raises his head before Allah (a warning for His command). Being commanded to throw him, only after forty will the governor reach the bottom of a vacuum.” (Ahmed)

Of the Prophet’s supplication is that,

“0 Allah! When a person who is placed in authority over my Ummah (people) is strict with them, be Thou also strict with him, and when such a person is kind on them, be Thou also kind on him. (Muslim)

“There will come corrupt, tyrannical rulers: whoever confirms their lies and assists them in their oppression is not of me, nor I of him, and shall not meet me at my watering place in Paradise.”


Allah says, {As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hand: retribution for their deed and exemplary punishment from Allah, and Allah is exalted in power, full of Wisdom.} (5:38)

Ibn Shihab commented, ‘ Allah severely punished whosoever steals people’s property by cutting off his / her hand. And He is Almighty in retribution and full of wisdom in dispensing the penalty he has prescribed for thieves.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it, and when somebody drinks an alcoholic drink, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, he is not a believer at the time he is stealing. The door of repentance is usually open “.

Ibn ‘Umar narrated, ‘Allah’s apostle cut off the hand of a thief for stealing a shield that was worth three dirhams.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said, “The hand of a thief was not cut off except for stealing something equal to a shield in value.” It was said, “`Aishah: How much is shield worth?’ She answered: “A quarter of a Dinar.” 

According to another narration the Prophet said, “Cut off (hands and feet) for stealing what is worth a quarter of a Dinar, but not less“.

A quarter of a dinar, by then, was worth three “Dirhams.”

`Aishah quoted, “A woman from Banu Makhzum used to borrow things and never give them back. Consequently, the Prophet passed an order to get her hand cut off.”(Bukhari)

Subhaan Allah this is again a very common and widespread thing amongst Muslims i.e. to borrow things and not even have the intention to return it. May Allah protect us.

The Muslim Jurists viewed that a thief’s repentance is not valid unless he gives back what he has robbed. In case he is bankrupt, he should ask the real owner of the stolen thing to pardon him.


Allah says,

{The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hand and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land that is chief disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter.} (AI-Ma’idah: 33)

AI- W ahidi comments, “To wage war against Allah and his Messenger means to disobey them.” To strive for mischief through the land” refers to killing people, robbing them, and violently consuming their property. Hence, to take arms against a Muslim stands for fighting with Allah and his Messenger. Such an opinion was held by Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i, and AI-Awza’i.

As to Allah’s saying, “Execution…………… Or exile from the land”, AI-Wahidi said from Ibn ‘Abbas that “or” in this verse is used for giving the choice and permissibility. Hence, the Imam- the Muslim leader has the full option to enforce killing, or crucifixion or banishment. AI-Hasan, Sa’id fun AIMusayyab, and Mujahid supported this view.


Allah Most High says,

  • And if any fail to judge by what Allah hath revealed, they are unbelievers. 

And if any fail to judge by what Allah hath revealed, they are wrong-doers. (AI-Ma’idah 44-45)

  • {And if any do fail to judge by what Allah hath revealed, they are those who rebel.} (AI-Ma’idah: 47)

AI-Hakim reported also in his Sahih on the authority of Brada, (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The judges are of three types: One type will go to Paradise and the remaining two will end up in the fire of Hell. The judge who will go to Paradise is one who understands the truth and judges accordingly. One who judges unjustly after understanding the truth will go to Hell. Likewise, the judge who judges in ignorance also will go to Hell. The Companions then asked, “What is the guilt of the ignorant one?” He ﷺ replied,

“Accepting the position of judge is his guilt until he gets a profound knowledge.” (Tirmidhi)

‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say,

“On the Day of Judgment, the just judge would face a great trial that he wishes if he were not appointed to judge between people even in the division of a palm-date.”(Ahmad)


Allah Most High says,

{And spy not on each other.} (Al-Hujurat: 12)

The meaning of this command is that a Muslim should avoid searching about his brother’s faults that Allah has concealed.

Once a man said to Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him), “This man, Al-Walid Ibn ‘Uqbah, seems to be drunk for the traces of wine appears on his beard.” Ibn Mas’ud replied, “We are commanded to avoid spying but when something ascertained to us we judge accordingly.”

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ declared,

“Whoever listens to people who are averse to his listening shall have molten lead poured into his ears on the Day of Judgment.”(Bukhari)


Here, the reference is to a person who passes on to others what he hears from someone in such a manner that will cause dissension among people. It is unanimously unlawful according to the opinions of the Muslim scholars. There are many proofs that maintain the prohibition of that abhorred action. The following are some of them:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

  • “He who stirs up enmity among people by quoting their words to each other will not enter paradise.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
  • “You find that among the worst people is someone who is two-faced, showing one face to some and another face to the others.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
  • “Who he stirs up enmity among people by quoting their words in this world, Allah will severely torment him in the Hereafter;”(Abu Dawood)

Once the Messengers of Allah ﷺ passed by two graves and said,

“The two are being tormented, and not for anything excessive: one of them did not free himself of traces of urine, while the other was a talebearer.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Imam Abu Hamid AI-Ghazali highlighted the fact that this heinous sin is not confined to transforming the speech of others only but it includes unveiling what one does not like to be unveiled even if it is done through speech, writing, gestures etc. One should, however, keep silent concerning what he discovers of the affairs of others except incase when publicizing it would benefit the Muslims or prevent them from committing a sin. Moreover, the one to whom talebearer told news of others, should abide by the following:

  • Disbelieving what this person told him for such a man is of no piety,
  • Advising the talebearer to abstain from this heinous sin,
  • Detesting the sinner for the sake of Allah,
  • A voiding suspicion as the Glorious Qur’an instructs, {O ye who believe! A void suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin.} (AI-Hurjurat: 12)
  • Avoiding spying and searching out the other people’s faults as the Glorious Qur’an commands, {And spy not on each other.} (AI-Hujurat: 12)
  • Abhorring this sin: A man came to ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd AI-‘Aziz and told him something about another person which the latter would have disliked being mentioned. Thereupon ‘Umar said to him, “Let us examine your case: If you are lying, you are one of those who mentioned in the verse, ~If a sinner comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth. t (AI-Hujurat: 6), and if you are telling the truth, you are one of those mentioned in the verse, {A slanderer; going about with calumnies.} (Al-Qalam: 1) But if you wish we mayforgive you.” The man replied, please forgive me, O Commander of the Believers. I shall never do it again.

AI-Hasan AI-Basri, said, “Assuredly, the one who tells you about the speech of others would also tell others about your speech.”


In the two Sahihs, it is reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

  • “By Allah, he does not believe. By Allah, he does not believe. By Allah, he does not believe.” Someone asked, Whom, Messenger of Allah? And he said, “He whose neighbor is not safe from his evil conduct.” (Bukhari)
  • “The one whose neighbor is not safe from his evil conduct will not enter Paradise.” (Muslim)
  • “The one who hurts his neighbor, does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day.” (Bukhari)
  • “On the Day of Judgment, the poor neighbor will hang himself on to the rich neighbor saying, ‘O Lord! Ask him why he deprived me of his charity and closed his door before me.” (Bukhari)

Ibn ‘Arnr (may Allah be pleased with him) had a Jewish neighbor. Whenever he slaughtered sheep, he used to say, “Carry some of it for our Jewish neighbor.” (Bukhari)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ also said,

“For a person, to commit fornication with ten women is lesser than to commit it with the wife of his neighbor and to steal from ten houses is lesser than to steal from the house of his neighbor.” (Bukhari)


Allah, the Almighty said,

{And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin.} (AI-Ahzab: 58)

{O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nick names: ill-seeming is a name connecting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: and those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.} (Al-Hujurat: 11)

{And spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other… } (AI-Hujurat: 12)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

  • “On the Day of Judgment, the worst status will be for the one whom the people exclude because they fear his evil conduct.” (Bukhari)
  • “The whole of a Muslim is sanctified for another Muslim with regards to his blood, his property and his honour.”(Muslim)
  • “The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He does not oppress him, hang back from him, coming to his and or belittle him, it is sufficiently wicked for someone to demean his fellow Muslim.”(Bukhari)
  • “Insulting the Muslim is wickedness and fighting him is unbelief…………’
  • “When I was taken up in the ascent (Mi’raj), I passed by people with fingernails of copper who were scratching their faces and chests with them. I asked who are they, Gabriel? And he said, “They are those who slandered others (ate people’s flesh) and attacked their reputations.”

Intimidation against instigation amongst the believers, animals and all kinds of beasts, whoever instigates the sons of Adam against each other and spreads amongst them whatcauses them harm, he is a tale bearer and he is among the people of the Satan who are the worst of creatures.

The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said,

“Will I tell you about the worst amongst you? The companions replied, ‘Yes, Messenger of Allah.’ He said,”

The worst amongst you are the talebearers, who instigate the friends against each other and who seek hardship for the innocent”. (Bukhari)

The talebearer is the one who transfers speech among people or between two friends in a way that harms them or makes their hearts alienated towards each other. He said, such and such said about you so and so and did so and so, unless it will be of a benefit or in his interests such as warning him against an evil which may happen or is expected.

As for instigating animals, beasts or birds against each other, it is not allowed such as bickering among cocks, bullfights among rams and instigating dogs against each other.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ prohibited such actions and whoever does it, he disobeys Allah and his Messenger. Making the heart of the wife alienated towards her husband, or a servant towards his master, also comes under such evil doing. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said,

“Whoever instigates the wife against her husband or a slave against his master is a cursed person.” We seek refuge in Allah from such doing.” (Abu Dawood)


Allah, Most High says, {Say, ‘See ye? If your stream was lost one morning (in the underground), who then can supply you with clear flowing water?}

The Prophet ﷺ said,

  • “Do not withhold excess water to withhold pasturage.”(Bukhari)
  • “Whoever denies others his surplus water or pasturage, Allah shall deny him His blessings on the Day of Judgment.”(Ahmad) 
  • “There are three people whom Allah will not speak to, look at, or exonerate on the Day of Judgment, and who will have a painful torment: he who withholds excess water from a traveler in the desert, he who sells merchandise after ‘Asr (late afternoon) swearing by Allah that he paid more for it than he actually did, and a man who gives the pledge to a governor only for the sake of this world, and is only loyal if he gets something of this worldly life.”(Bukhari)
  • “Whoever denies others his surplus water, Allah will say to him, “Today I will deny you my bounty as you did with what you could not create.” (Bukhari)


Allah, Most High say,

  • {But the plotting of evil will hem in only the authors thereof} (Fatir: 43)
  • {They seek to deceive Allah, but it is Allah who deceive them.} (An-Nisa: 142)

Al-Wahidi said, “They will be treated in the manner they treated others: they will be shown the light as the believers but when they approach the Sirat (a bridge on fire) the light diminishes and they will be left in darkness.

The Prophet ﷺ said,

“The people of Hell-Fire are five” and mentioned a man who disaffects one’s wife or property from him day and night.”(Muslim)


Included in this subject is the hadith of Hatib Ibn Abi Balta’ah (1) (who sent a secret letter telling of the Muslims military plans to his relatives in Mecca in hopes that they would not get hurt), ‘Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) wanted to kill him for what he had done, but the Prophet ﷺ forbade ‘Umar to, as Hatib had fought at Badr (and by accepting Hatib’s excuse, left nothing for any Muslim to criticize. (Bukhari)

If someone’s spying entails undermining Islam and its people, or the killing of captives, enslavement, or plundering of the Muslims, or anything of the like, then he is one of those who strive for corruption in the land, destroying tillage and offspring, and he is subject to death, and deserves the torment (of Hell- Fire), may Allah save us from it, Anyone who spies necessarily knows that if ordinary talebearing is a major sin, spy’s carrying information is far more abominable and heinous, May Allah save us from that for He is the Ever-Clement?