Defending the honour of a Muslim

Q: The Hadith of Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam states: "He who defends the honour of his (Muslim) brother, Allah will secure his face against the Fire on the Day of Resurrection." [Jami al-Tirmidhi]

1. I have been in situations where Muslims (especially Ulama) are defamed. This sometimes happens in face to face conversations and sometimes on social media. I feel that it is my duty to defend my Muslim brother. However, a person told me that if I do not know the background to the entire situation/incident, I should keep silent and I should not defend my Muslim brother.

I wish to ascertain whether or not I should defend my Muslim brother in such situations despite my insufficient knowledge of the entire background.

2. The person who told me this explains that if I do defend my Muslim brother in such a situation without full knowledge of the background, I am indirectly defaming and doubting the person who passed on the information. Is this the correct understanding?

A: If on the surface he seems to be right then you should defend him. Similarly if he has made taubah for the wrong that he has perpetrated then too defend his integrity. Likewise, if the wrong has been done and it was done discreetly then it is also your duty to protect his integrity.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

وعن أسماء بنت يزيد رضي الله عنها قالت قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من ذب عن عرض أخيه بالغيبة كان حقا على الله أن يعتقه من النار (الترغيب والترهيب للمنذري، الرقم: 4312، قال: رواه أحمد بإسناد حسن وابن أبي الدنيا والطبراني وغيرهم)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)