the verse: “If a faasiq comes to you with news…”
Question: Concerning the verse “If a faasiq (sinner) comes to you with news then verify it”  – can we deduce from this verse that if it is not a faasiq then we do not need to verify it (the news)?
Answer: The verse explains that the news of a faasiq must be checked as more often than not, he tells a lie. However, in matters of dispute where the dispute is before a judge, then an individual regardless of who he is should have some form of character reference. This is why when a person goes in front of a judge there must be some verification to say that this person is an upright individual.
The Shaykh حفظه الله gave the example of a person who came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab رضي الله عنه and wanted to be a character reference for a man, he asked him, “Did you travel with him?” He said “No.” He asked if he was a neighbour to him and he said “No” He asked if he had some business transaction with him with dinaar or dirham (units of money)? He said “No”. He said “Then you don’t know him.” So the person who is going to be a character reference for someone must know the individual that he is talking about and recommending.
The verse may be misunderstood because the implied understanding is not something that is general. In normal circumstances, if an individual comes e.g. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan, ‘Ali or someone like that who is trustworthy, then unless there is something to prove otherwise, their word is accepted.
Answered by: Shaykh Abdullah Al Ghuydaan
Title of lecture: Tafseer Surah Al-Hujuraat, Class #3
Date answered: 3rd February 2007