Evil Assumption about Others
The main axes of the subject:
1- The forbidden assumption
2- Evil assumption about your brother is an evil assumption about Allah
3- The causes of evil assumption
4- The effects of evil assumption
We will explain the negative outcomes of the evil assumption that happens between the believers coupled with the destructive aftermath on the society of the believers and on the true meaning of religion and faith.
Exporting the Subject:
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “He who makes bad assumption about his brother makes bad assumption about his lord. Allah (the Exalted) says: “Avoid much [negative] assumption.”1
“O you, who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin.”2
The forbidden assumption”
“The purpose behind avoiding forbidden assumption means avoid making bad assumption. The purpose behind avoiding bad assumption means avoiding the resulting effects. In other words, do not make bad assumption about your faithful brother by accusing him of issues of your own conjecture while mentioning them to others, which leads to negative outcomes.
Therefore, certain assumptions are being regarded as evil due to the negative outcome that results in wrongdoing, such as insulting the believer who is being accused falsely plus other bad and forbidden effects.”3
– Evil assumption about your brother is an evil assumption about Allah:
The aforementioned verse clearly shows that forbidding evil assumption with its resulting aftermath is in fact a divine assignment, where all Muslims are obliged to abandon such issue. If we examine the level of the forbidden evil assumption we will find that it equals other grave sins that the doctrine forbade and promised punishment for committing them, such as spying and backbiting.
In addition, the outcome that was stated by the accounts regarding evil assumption is a sufficient evidence for the severity of this issue. Moreover, the stated words and the level where evil assumption is being positioned is another evidence of such issue.
For example, Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Never assume, assumption is the worst lie.”4 We all know the bad level of lying, there-fore, what will be of the issue of the worst lying.
Moreover, commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Never let yourself conquer you with your assumption, and never conquer it with your certainty, because this is one of the worst evils.”5
Therefore, man certainly understands that the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, and this issue was corroborated by the words of Allah (the Exalted): “The soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil.” The Imam (a.s.) described it as being one of the worst evils.
Moreover, the accounts narrate that prophet Jesus (a.s.) had said: “O servants of evil, you blame the people based on assumption whereas you do not blame yourselves based on certainty.”6
However, the worst level of evil that the sayings mentioned was the quotation from Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) when mentioning the level of one’s evil assumption about his faithful brother and that it equaled the evil assumption about Allah (the Exalted).
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “He, who makes evil assumption about his brother, makes evil assumption about his lord. Allah (the Exalted) says: “Avoid much [negative] assumption.”7
– The causes of evil assumption:
Evil assumption is the fruit of the fruits of a number of bad qualities that con-trol man’s soul. The holy doctrine barred its practice and explained the lowli-ness of its level regarding qualities.
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Cowardice, stinginess, and greediness are one instinct united by the evil of assumption.”8
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) added the word tyranny to them, hence, he said in his letter of assignment to Malik al Ashtar when appointed him to govern Egypt: “Cowardice, stinginess, greediness and tyranny are various instincts united by the evil of assumption about Allah.”9
The outcome that we have is that cowardice, stinginess, greediness and tyranny are instincts that stand behind the evil of assumption about Allah. How-ever, some of the causes of man’s evil of assumption about the believers were narrated by the accounts regarding the evil intentions and the soul of the assumer.
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “The evil man thinks no good in anyone; this is because he sees others through his own quality.”10
In other words, the soul of the assumer is the one that draws the image of those assumed according to its own shape. Therefore, he can no longer see anything of the goodness that is installed within the believers.
Another quotation of commander of the faithful (a.s.) reads: “The evil one does not think good of others because he merely sees them through his own quality.”11
The evil innermost of the assumer’s soul judges the behavior of the believer hence renders him hasty in making judgments that are based on suspicions and illusions.
– The effects of evil assumption:
A man’s evil assumption about the others associates devastating outcomes that can cause inescapable damage to the soul. Some of these effects are:
1- Losing the trust of others in him:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “The worst condition amongst the people is he who does not trust anyone due to his evil assumption and no one trusts him due to his wrongdoing.”12
2- People breaking up with him:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “He who is over-whelmed by evil assumption does not leave a space for reconciliation between him and a friend.”13
3- Others contempt him:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “He whose suspicion increases his backbiting increases.”14
4- Has no companion:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “He who does not im-prove his assumption will be alienated by all others.”15
He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “He whose assumptions become evil will assume betrayal from he who does not betray him.”16
5- Loss of religion:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Beware the evil of assumption, the evil of assumption ruins worship.”17
He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “A man with evil assumption has no religion.”18
He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “There is no belief with the evil of assumption.”19
Let alone other several plagues that cannot be stated with this summary.
1- Kanz al Ummal, H. 7587.
2- Surat Al-Ĥujurāt (The Rooms): verse 12.
3- Al Mizan Fee Tafsir al Quran, by Sayyid Muhammad Hussein al Tabtabaei, Vol. 18, P. 323, in summary.
4- Bihar al Anwar, by scholar sheikh Muhammad Taqi al Majlisi, Vol. 75, P. 195, H. 8
5- Ghorar al Hikam was Dorar al Kalam, by al Qadi al A’midi, wisdom 2708.
6- Tuhaf al Uqul Fi Ahadith A’l Ar-Rassoul, by Ibn Shu’bah al Har’aei, P. 501.
7- Kanz al Ummal, H. 7587.
8- Al Bihar, Vol. 73, P. 304, H. 21.
9- Nahjul Balagha, al Ashtar Assignment, No. 53.
10- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 2175.
11- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 1903.
12- Kanz al Fawa’ed, by Abil Fath al Karaji, Vol. 2, P. 182.
13- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 8950.
14- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 8094.
15- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 9084.
16- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 8837.
17- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 5575.
18- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 10511.
19- Ghorar al Hikam, wisdom 10534.