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Journalistic Ethics in Islam
Islam provides ethical rules for media also. The human being is independent and respectable. The material should be beneficial for all. Islamic rules for journalistic ethics are authentic. Muslims are responsible for the reformation of the world. Islam clears the basic concept of the universe, human being, and code of life that is God made. Islam provides rules for media persons, material, and conveying process. These are compulsory for Muslims and general for all over the world. Reformation, through media, is crucial to protect the nations. It is difficult, to tell the truth to rulers and powerful people but very important to stop being cruel to the common people. Media is controlling the thinking level and direction of the world. The media may be wrong or right. Islam provides eternal journalistic ethics. If Muslims, especially and rest of the world, generally act upon these ethical rules, media cannot be harmful.
Journalism, Islam, Ethics, Media, Reformation
Information technology made the world global. People get information about everything from the media. Right and wrong are spreading vastly and technically. Islam is a natural code of life that is the only salvation of every problem. Islam provides ethical rules for media that are authentic and compulsory for Muslims and general for the rest of the world. Media, either national or international, is useful or harmful. Islam provides ethical rules what are beneficial for media persons, material, spreading process, and audiences. Muslims should act upon these ethical rules to solve their issues and provide a model for the world.
Islamic ethics means rules based on The Quran and Sunnah. Media is the way to convey the right thing to the people for their benefit and to protect them from harm.
Communication-based on the source, medium, and audience. Every communication has a purpose. The medium may be sound, words, gestures, figures and movies, etc. Public receive information from the media that acts as a source and medium also.
Technology made the world global in our era, but Islamic rules had a universal background before 1400 years ago. For example, human respect and equal rights, described in The Glorious Quran long before Magna carat, League of Nations, and United Nations Organization.
All the people, generally and Muslims especially, are on the threat of media. In our era, media is a powerful tool for spreading right or wrong ideas for guiding or misguiding people at the local, national and global levels. There are many categories of media that are mentioned below.
Islam is the last version of ALLAH’s message or religion revealed to MUHAMMAD (PBUH). It is the only salvation for humanity on earth. It is in its original form and will be forever applicable without the restriction of time and space. It provides ethical rules for media also that are general for all human beings and special for Muslims.
Muslims must be aware of and act upon these ethical rules for the use of media and spread them to the rest of the world for the benefit of humanity. Every verse or Hadith acts two positions at a time, general for all as a rule and specific for a special issue. In this article, the verses and Ahadith are mostly used as a general rule for the guidance of all the people relating to Journalism/media.
The main character in the universe is a human being. Its life, respect, honor, property, independence are basic rights and values from everything in the world. Every human being is independent to adopt any code of life and act upon it. The basic function of every code of life or idea, either it is God-made or manmade, is to provide benefit to human being and protect it from loss.
The human being is different from animals as the Greek philosopher Aristotle writes:
“But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god” (Jowett, B., & Davis, H. W. C. 1920).
The man without Law
Aristotle writes about a man living without law in his book.
“For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all” (Jowett, B., & Davis, H. W. C. 1920).
Human beings are conveying something to other human beings. If it is right, it will be beneficial for humanity and well rewarded; on the other hand, if it is wrong, then it will be harmful to the rest of the people of the world, which will lead to punishment in this world and hereafter also.
First thing is all human beings are respectable The Quran says:
وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا(Al-ISRA 17:70)
“And we have certainly honored the children of Adam (A.S) and carried them on land and sea and provided for them of the good things and prefer them over much of what we have created, with (definite) preference.”
Either Muslim or non –Muslim, he/she is a respectable being of mankind without any discrimination of race, color, religion, or territory.
The second thing is the religious independence of human beings as The Quran says:
لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَدْ تَبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ(Al-Baqarah 2:256)
“There shall be no compulsion in (acceptance of) the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong.”
It means every person of the world, either female or male is free to accept any religion of the world. ALLAH will ask in the hereafter, but in this world, independence is for all. The extremism due to religion is wrong and not to be spread among the people. Tolerance is the best solution to disagreements.
Third, the benefit or loss of one human being is the benefit or loss of the whole of humanity. The Quran clears it:
مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا (Al-Maida 5:32)
“Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption (done), in the land it is as if he had slain mankind entirely? And whoever saves one, it is as if he saved mankind entirely.”
Everything which should be spread through media must be for the benefit of all human beings of the world.
Media person’s Qualities
Those are successful who invite people to good
and forbid evil according to Quran:
وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ۔ (Al-Imran 4:104)
“And let there be (arising) from you a nation inviting to (all that is) good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be successful.”
وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ (Al-Isra 17:36)
“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge.”
ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ عَمِلُوا السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنْ بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (Al-Nahal 16: 119)
“Then, indeed your Lord, to those who have done wrong out of ignorance and then repent after that and correct themselves-indeed, your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful.”
Quality of Material:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا (Al-Nisaa 4:82)
“Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been (any) other than ALLAH, They would have found within it much contradiction.”
Standard of Right, only Proof
According to Islam single person is at right if he/she has evidence of the issue with the contrary to many people. The Holy Quran says:
Get ALLAH’s Support
Good people are supported by ALLAH Almighty. They only fear ALLAH, say right and forbid wrong as He Says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ مُحْسِنُونَ (Al-Nahal 16: 128)
“Indeed, ALLAH is with them who fear Him and those who are doers of good.”
Advice is Reformation
The contemporary world situation is very bad. It is difficult to differentiate between right and wrong. In this situation, continuous advice of rights is very necessary as the Holy Quran says:
وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنْفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ( Al-Zariat 51:55)
“And remind (advise), for indeed, the reminder (advice) benefits the believers.”
Wrongdoers will be punished
ALLAH gives some time to repentance or compensation for mistakes. On the other hand, it is His rule that bad people will get punishment; the Quran says:
فَإِنَّ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ذَنُوبًا مِثْلَ ذَنُوبِ أَصْحَابِهِمْ فَلَا يَسْتَعْجِلُون
Purpose of Journalism
The purpose of journalism or media is to provide benefit to people and protect them from harm.
Be Annunciator or Warner
The great purpose of the prophets was to inform good and warn bad. It is the road map for journalism, as The Quran says:
وَمَا نُرْسِلُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ فَمَنْ آمَنَ وَأَصْلَحَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (Al-Alam 6: 48)
“And We send not the messengers except as bringers of good tidings and warners. So whoever believes and reforms-there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.”
Don’t lose Truth for Reward
The reward of spreading right is more than a worldly reward, as The Holy Quran mentioned.
إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا (Al-Insan 76: 9)
“(Saying), we feed (serve) for the countenance of ALLAH. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.”
The reward should not be the issue in conveying the truth to the people.
Convey which you Received
The respect of human beings is very high, so ALLAH said to MUHAMMAD (PBUH):
يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ (Al-Maida 5:67)
“O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord.”
This verse provides a rule to convey things or material you receive from any source whose detail is given below.
Speak the Truth
But what should be conveyed to the people that must be true as The Holy Quran says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا (Al-Ahzab 33:70)
“O you, who have believed, fear ALLAH and speak words of appropriate justice.”
Spread right only
Islam guides us everything as the Prophet (PBUH) said
«بَلِّغُوا عَنِّي وَلَوْ آيَةً، … ، وَمَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا، فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ»(BuKhariHadith No: 3461)
“Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence,…….and whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the fire(Hell).”
First, convey what you received but never tell a lie because liars will go to Hell in the hereafter but cursed in this world.
Don’t Mix up Right with Wrong
And you should not allow mixing upright with wrong after knowing the right. The Quran says:
وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
“And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know (it).”
Don’t become Dishonest
Betraying is a great sin that is punishable here and hereafter, according to the Holy Quran.
وَمَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَغُلَّ وَمَنْ يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ (Al-e-Imran 3:161)
“And whoever betrays (taking unlawfully) will come with what he took on the day of resurrection. Then will every soul be (fully) compensated for what it earned, and they will not be wronged.”
Don’t spread Doubtful Material
If source is doubtful, confirm before conveying
the material to the public. The holy Quran says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَنْ تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ(Al-Hujrat 49:6)
“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done regretful.”
Muslims are Responsible
Muslims must adopt the latest information technology means of all types of media and provide the correct information not only about Islam but other current affairs of the world using these ethical rules to save the Muslims and the rest of the world from misguidance and violation of media for the peace of the world.
The well-known scholar Abul Hassan Ali Nadvi said in his Arabic book “ماذا خسرالعالم بانحطاط المسلمین”(what loss have to bear world after Muslim decline)
When Muslims are promoting sectarianism, territory and linguistic prejudice, racialism, and many more ethical flaws, how they will become a role model? The Holy Quran warns:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ۔كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ (Al-Saf 61:2-3)
“O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of ALLAH that you say what you do not do.”
So Muslims must fear ALLAH Almighty and reform their self-according to Quran and Sunnah for their solvation and guidance for the rest of the world.
Save your Nation from the Destruction
Violation of rules is present in the world but in the Muslim nation more than others also. Muslims are destroying their nation. They can save their nation from more destruction using media to guide the people for the ways of construction and to unite them against the destructor of the nation in the light of the Prophet’s teaching.
«إِنَّمَا هَلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُقِيمُونَ الحَدَّ عَلَى الوَضِيعِ وَيَتْرُكُونَ الشَّرِيفَ، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ أَنَّ فَاطِمَةَ فَعَلَتْ ذَلِكَ لَقَطَعْتُ يَدَهَا»BuKhari Hadith No.6787)
“The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet) did that (i.e. stole,), I would cut off her hand."
Be aware! MUHAMMAD’s (PBUH) daughter was more respectable than us all. Reject those who are spreading sectarianism, racialism, and every type of prejudice for their benefit by destroying the Muslim nation.
Reformation of the Leaders
Media is a powerful tool to inform the people about a leader's violation, wrong decisions, policies, and contracts to other nations that may harm the nation. The Prophet (PBUH) mentioned this obligation:
«أَفْضَلُ الْجِهَادِ كَلِمَةُ عَدْلٍ عِنْدَ سُلْطَانٍ جَائِرٍ، أَوْ أَمِيرٍ جَائِرٍ»
“The best fighting (jihad) in the path of ALLAH is (to speak) a word of justice to an oppressive ruler.”
Reformation of the public
Leaders and reformers must reform people according to their positions of faith, as described in the following Hadith.
مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَا (Beirut, Hadith No.49)
“He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it,(even), then he should(abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.”
Polite Discussion Methods
Conflicts are present among and even in between the nations, and also Inter-nation, or inter-religion debates are the best way to solve problems and disagreements. Ethical rules for debate or discussion are given in the Holy Quran.
ادْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُمْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ (Al-Nahal 16:125)
“Invite the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.”
Ethics of Agitation
Agitation is a way to inform cruels and the rest of the world about violations at a personal, national, or international level; the Holy Quran says:
لَا يُحِبُّ اللَّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ إِلَّا مَنْ ظُلِمَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ سَمِيعًا عَلِيمًا (Al-Nisa 4:148)
“ALLAH does not like the public mention of evil except by one who has been wronged. And ever is ALLAH Hearing and Knowing.”
Do good to Finish Badly
Evil cannot be reduced or finished by evil; it can be reduced or finished by good deeds despite evil or bad deeds. The media should promote this behavior; the Holy Quran says:
وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ (Hamm Sajda 41:34)
“And not equal are the good deeds and the bad. Repel (evil) by that (deed) which is better, and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity (will become) as though he was a devoted friend.”
Forgive and Avoid Ignorant
Ignorance creates great problems for leaders and the public also. Authorities should forgive and avoid ignorant people. The media should follow the Islamic rules of the Quran.
خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ ۔ وَإِمَّا يَنْزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ (Al-Aaraf 7:199-200)
“Take what is given freely, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant. And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in ALLAH. Indeed He is Hearing and Knowing.”
Don’t Deny the Truth
There are so many violations in the world. It means some people or groups are not accepting the natural human independency and want to become it, slave, for their worldly benefits either politically, economically or religiously, The Holy Quran exposes as:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِالْبَاطِلِ وَكَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
“And they who believe in falsehood and disbelieved in ALLAH they are those who are the losers.”
Don’t become Unjust
People post blindly without knowing its reality. Some post wrong things to produce tension in the society or to gain any other benefits or just for fun. Life is not fun; it is a fact. The Quran gives a rule.
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُ
“And who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about ALLAH or denies the truth when it has come to him?”
Don’t conceal the Testimony
Cruelty becomes more dangerous when peoples are afraid of powerful people and conceal the testimony of crimes. Media can play an important role. The Glorious Quran describes.
وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ وَمَنْ يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ (Al-Baqarah 2:283)
“And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it his heart is indeed sinful, and ALLAH knows of what you do.”
Anyone should not conceal, if it is against oneself, parents, relatives, rich or poor.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ إِنْ يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَى أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا وَإِنْ تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا(Al-Nisa 4:135)
“O you, who have believed, be persistently standing for the firm in justice, witnesses for ALLAH, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, ALLAH is more worthy of both. So follow not (personal) inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort (your testimony) are refuse (to give), then indeed ALLAH is ever, with what you do acquainted.”
Tit for Tat
Every person will be rewarded according to one’s deeds, The Glorious Quran says:
مَنْ يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً حَسَنَةً يَكُنْ لَهُ نَصِيبٌ مِنْهَا وَمَنْ يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَكُنْ لَهُ كِفْلٌ مِنْهَا وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُقِيتًا (Al-Nisa 4:85)
“Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a reward therefrom, and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a burden therefrom and ever is ALLAH, over all things, a Keeper.”
Behave better than others. It is a good ethical rule which will create harmony, love, and respect among people. The Holy Quran says:
وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُمْ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا (Al-Nisa 4:86)
“And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet (in return) with one better than it or (at least) return it (in a like manner). Indeed, ALLAH is ever, over all things, An Accountant.”
Social media is a place of abuse. It is a very bad ethical situation. How is it allowed for Muslims when it is not allowed to abuse any non-Muslim? The Holy Quran says:
وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ Al-(Anam 6:108)
“And do not insult those they invoke other than ALLAH, lest they insult ALLAH in enmity without knowledge. Thus we have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is there return, and He will inform them about what they use to do.”
No Vulgarity or Immorality
Immoral programs should not allow which are harmful to the ethics of the new generation. Our young ones are our future. We should protect them from any vulgarity. The Glorious Quran warns.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَنْ تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ (Al-Noor 24:19)
“Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread (or publicized) among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and hereafter. ALLAH knows, and you do not know.”
Immorality is the way of Satan. The Quran says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ وَمَنْ يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ ٌ (Al-Noor 24: 21)
“O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footstep of Satan indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing.”
Avoid Immoral Customs
If some nations show immoral customs and protect them against morality, they are not accepted. The Glorious Quran describes.
وَإِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً قَالُوا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا آبَاءَنَا وَاللَّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا قُلْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ( Al-Aaraf 7:28)
And when they commit an immorality, they say, “We found our fathers doing it, and ALLAH has ordered us to do it”. Say, “Indeed, ALLAH does not order immorality. Do you say About ALLAH that which you do not know”?
The Threat of Poverty-way of Immorality
Poverty is also a human problem. Poverty can be managed, but immorality cannot. Mostly, media is spreading immorality. The Holy Quran forbids it.
الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَاللَّهُ يَعِدُكُمْ مَغْفِرَةً مِنْهُ وَفَضْلًا وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ (Al-Baqarah 2: 268)
“Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while ALLAH promises you forgiveness for Him and Bounty, and ALLAH is all-encompassing and Knowing.”
Women are the part of media. Islam provides the rule to protect women from any harassment or violation. The Holy Quran says.
وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ (Al-Noor 24:31)
“And not expose their adornment except that which (necessarily) appears thereof and to wrap (a portion of) their headcovers over their chests."
Adornment and denudation may cause problems for women in the environment.
Don’t Compel women for Immorality
This situation may be at media houses where men and women work together. The owners of the media houses should follow it. They should not compel women for immoral actions, dresses, dialogues, etc., for their economic benefit.
وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَنْ يُكْرِهْهُنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution if they desire chastity, to seek (thereby) the temporary interest of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, indeed ALLAH is (to them), after their compulsion Forgiving and Merciful.”
The wrong allegation is a common practice in media from political and religious groups to their opponents. This verse is about innocent women but generally is a rule.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (Al-Noor 24:23)
“Indeed those who (falsely) accused chaste unaware and believing women are cursed in the world, and the hereafter and they will have a great punishment.”
No Evil Propagation
Evil propagation is prohibited.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَحِيمٌ (Al-Hujrat 49:12) (
“O you who have believed, avoid much (negative) assumption. Indeed some assumption is sin and does not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear ALLAH indeed, ALLAH is accepting of repentance and Merciful."
Don’t create Trouble for people
Some people propagate wrong information for their benefit, but this may harm the common people. Media is a place of such things due to vulgarity, immorality, wrong allegation, wrong news, etc.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ) (Al-Buroj 85:10
“Indeed those who have tortured the believing men and believing women and then have not repented will have the punishment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of burning fire.”
Don’t Create Disagreements
Those people produce hatred among the people and divide them into groups based on sectarianism and other prejudice. They will be punished.
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَأُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ (Al-Imran 4:105)
“And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment.”
You are Recorded
Every person’s mind is recording right or wrong propagated information. The Quran
وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ (o) كِرَامًا كَاتِبِينَ (o) يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ
“And indeed, (appointed) over you are keepers, Noble, and recording. They know whatever you do."
Every person has to answer about his/her deeds as the Quran says.
إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا
“. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart about those entire ones) will be questioned."
And at the Day of Judgment, everyone will be given a book to read.
اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا( Al-Isra 17:14)
“(It will be said), “read your records. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as an accountant."
Fear ALLAH’s Anger
We are spreading sectarianism, racialism, and many types of prejudice to harm their selves. How can we develop ourselves as a civilized nation among the developed nations of the world?
وَلَا تَطْغَوْا فِيهِ فَيَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبِي وَمَنْ يَحْلِلْ عَلَيْهِ غَضَبِي فَقَدْ هَوَى (Taha 20:81)
“And do not transgress (or oppress others) therein, lest My anger should descend upon you. And he upon whom My anger descends has certainly fallen.”
Don’t Blame others for your Faults
It is a common practice of our political and religious leaders to blame others even if they themselves are the victims of that national or religious loss. The Quran says:
وَمَنْ يَكْسِبْ خَطِيئَةً أَوْ إِثْمًا ثُمَّ يَرْمِ بِهِ بَرِيئًا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلَ بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُبِينًا (Al-Nisa 4:112)
“But whoever earns an offence or a sin and then blames it on an innocent (person) has taken upon himself a slander and manifest sin.”
The humble people try to maintain a peaceful environment with their deeds. Become humble
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا (Al-Furqan 25:63)
“And the slaves of Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them (harshly), they say (word of) peace.”
Basic rules about the universe, human beings, and the code of life are very important and beneficial. Islam provides ethical rules for conveying things to the people’s, i.e. media. Muslims should first act upon these ethical rules. National and international media is treating Muslims and non-Muslims. Media houses and media persons may avoid spreading wrong and fabricated material to the public. Peace is in danger due to news and views propagation for the earning money only. Advertisements of different things are also violating ethics, even facts. Extremism, disinformation, sectarianism, prejudice of language, race, and territory may be reduced with the help of these ethical rules applying to Journalism or media.