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Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth all things.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes,

We can make a public scandal of evil in many
ways.

  1. It may be idle sensation-mongering:
    it often leads to more evil by imitation, as where
    criminal deeds are glorified in a cinema, or talked
    about shamelessly in a novel or drama.
  2. It may be malicious gossip of a foolish, personal
    kind:
    it does no good, but it hurts people’s feelings.
  3. it may be malevolent slander or libel:
    it is intended deliberately to cause harm to people’s
    reputation or injure them in other ways, and is rightly
    punishable under all laws.
  4. It may be a public rebuke or correction or
    remonstrance, without malice.
    1, 2 and 3 are absolutely forbidden.
    4 may be by a person in authority; in which case the
    exception applies, for all wrong or injustice must be
    corrected openly, to prevent its recurrence. Or
    4 may be a person not vested with authority, but acting
    either from motives of public spirit, or in order to help
    some one who has been wronged; here again the
    exception will apply. But if the motive is different, the
    exception does not apply.
    4 would also include a public complaint by a person who
    has suffered a wrong; he has every right to seek public
    redress.

References:

Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. Microsoft Word – 004 Nisa’.doc (quran4u.com)

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