Allah SWT has provided strict guidelines regarding the moral and ethical foundations in building a civilized and cultured society. This is confirmed in Surah An-Nur [24]: 19, which orders believers not to spread bad news. Through this verse, Allah commands Muslims not to be easily influenced by unhealthy information, prejudice, ghibah, and all other forms of abomination.

In line with that, in verse 12 surah al-Hujurat [49] Allah establishes a prohibition for those who believe to be negatively prejudiced towards others. Because some of the prejudices are sinful.

In addition, believers are also prohibited from looking for the ugliness of others and gossiping about it. Al Quran analogizes people who like gossiping like someone who eats the flesh of his deceased brother.

That is how Islam preserves the honor of fellow human beings by prohibiting the shame of others and broadcasting one’s disgrace. Although it is possible from an economic point of view that gossip news brings benefits to the media, in terms of the moral and psychological aspects of the community it is clearly detrimental.

It has become a sunatullah in society that an exposed crime and vices will flourish even more. This is where we believe in the wisdom of Allah’s prohibition to not broadcast disgrace and the ugliness of fellow human beings.

The news of pornography, sadism, rape, and various other acts of crime that grow in society is to be dealt with and eradicated, not vice versa as a guide for people to imitate and do so. The news should be a filter for every Muslim person to take wisdom so that they will always do their best.

Bad news such as infidelity, sexual crime, murder, and robbery, clearly leaves a deep mark on society. Conscious or not, the spread of bad news, let alone presented repeatedly, can arouse the subconscious mind of people who are morally corrupt to do the same thing.

Prohibition in religion is not only about the act of broadcasting bad news, but people who like themselves exposed as bad news material and should be warned of its risks.

“All my people can be forgiven of their sins, except those who openly commit sins. And, including those who commit sins openly is someone who commits sin the whole night, which Allah had covered, but then he himself opens (his secret) and says, “Last night I did this and that.” He always opens something that Allah has covered up.” (HR Bukhari and Muslim).

The duty of a Muslim is not to look for the weaknesses and vices of others. But, inviting others to do good and forbid doing munkar. Suppressing bad news is certainly not to protect the bad and the culprit, but rather to protect the public from the bad influence that are damaging. Wallahu a’lam.


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