Why do I stay away from reading newspapers?
Written by: Shaykh-e-Tareeqat, Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat ‘Allamah Maulana Abu Bilal Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qaadiri Razavi دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ
I was once given a pamphlet in which some faults were attributed to a certain person. I placed the pamphlet in my pocket without reading it and began to ponder as to whether I would be sinful for reading this pamphlet? In order to bring this point to attention of the one who gave me the pamphlet, I asked, ‘How many good deeds will I receive for reading this pamphlet?’ He said, ‘You will not receive any good deeds.’ Then I said, ‘The one about whom this pamphlet is written, if he was to find out that you gave me this pamphlet and I read it, will he be happy or upset?’ He replied, ‘Upset.’ I said, ‘The reading of a pamphlet which only entails loss should not be read.’ Therefore, I disposed of it.
O devotees of the Prophet! Just as mentioning a fault that is found in a Muslim behind his back is backbiting, and mentioning a fault that is not found in him is calumny, the same is the case for writing it and printing it. Attacking the character of a Muslim without Shar’i permission is Haraam and an act which leads to Hell; regardless of whether it is done through the tongue, newspapers or in the form of a pamphlet. Those rulings which apply to saying something with the tongue apply to writing with a pen also. Just as A’la Hadrat, Imam of the Ahl-us-Sunnah, Maulana Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: اَلْقَلَمُ اَحَدُ اللِّسَانَیْن (the pen is also a tongue). Those rulings which apply to saying something with the tongue apply to the pen (also). (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 14, p. 607)
Therefore, one should save himself from reading or listening to those newspapers, posters and pamphlets which contain the faults and defects of Muslims. According to my knowledge, most newspapers in today’s age are full of unveiled women and columns that are full of sins. There are probably very few newspapers in which the honour of Muslims is upheld; sometimes a Muslim prime minister is being criticised and sometimes a president, at other times, a chief minister is seen to be disparaged and sometimes a governor. Particularly during the times of election, people write articles full of slander and backbiting and publish them in newspapers in an attempt to defame others. Saving oneself from sins in such state of affairs is extremely difficult.
It is due to these reasons that I stay away from reading newspapers, non-Shar’i advertisements and pamphlets that are full of sins. Yes! If there is a risk of someone’s mischief harming others, then with Shar’i permission and with the intention of saving others from harm, one can mention that specific misdeed in speech or writing etc. If only every Muslim would keep his eyes on his own shortcomings, and instead of mentioning or writing and publishing the faults of others, attempt to conceal them, thereby protecting their life, wealth and honour.
May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to focus on our own shortcomings and rectify them instead of focussing on the faults of others.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
(Note: This article is being presented with the help of the booklet: Faizan-e-Madani Muzakarah (episode: 33), ‘Repay cruelty with goodness’, and after further consultation with Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ).