Investigating and spying

Oct 9, 2021 | Uncategorized


If you have seen a married woman behaving inappropriately. She sometimes smiles, laugh, joke and becomes friendly with non-mahram
males or shes too nice with non-mahram males. She maybe a good person overall but some of her behaviours require further investigation. For example if she receives a delivery, if the delivery man starts conversation with her shes doesn’t mind talking to him. I understand no one is perfect. My view about her she knows this kind of behaviour inappropriate but she still does it because of charismatic and bubbly or immature personality. I’m very sure she will never do adultery, she doesn’t seems like that. I seen her pray salah sometimes. She stays at home most of her free time. If we suspect her doing wrong actions can we further investigate her? By following what she does when we shes when with non-mahram males.


Allah says in the Qur’ān;

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other (49:12)

This verse, as well as numerous ḥadīth’s of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), prohibit Muslim’s from spying. Similarly, a person was once brought to Ibn Masʿud (may Allah be pleased with him) and he was told that this person’s beard drips with alcohol, indicating that he drinks a lot of alcohol. Ibn Masʿūd responded, “We have been prohibited from spying on people. However, if something becomes apparent then we will act according to it”. 

Muftī Shafīʿ writes in his Maʿārif al-Qur’ān that “… one may take into account what is presented in evidence, but it is not permitted to search for faults that are not overt”. He then quotes from Bayān al-Qur’ān that “…if there is an apprehension that some members of the Muslim community may be harmed by some mischief-makers, it is permitted for others to spy on them to protect the innocent and peaceful people, and search furtively for the intentions and conspiracies of such people who are a danger to society”. 

From the above we understand that spying and searching for hidden faults of others is prohibited in Islām. However, if there is clear evidence of something wrong taking place which would result in others being harmed then it would be permissible to carry out an investigation. 

However, even then extreme caution must be taken in this regard. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) has said, “Do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house.”

You have not mentioned in your question what your relationship is with this woman and why her acts are of a concern to you which makes it difficult to issue a specific ruling for your scenario. In addition to this, you have stated that she knows what she is doing is wrong and that she would not go to the extent of committing adultery, rather, this is just the way she interacts due to her personality. Hence, even though it maybe wrong, it is not something which should be investigated as this could create unnecessary problems between her and her husband.

We would suggest that if she is under your care and you are in a position to advise her then you should advise her in a friendly and caring manner but not investigate her private life.

سنن أبي داود (4/ 272

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنِ الْأَعْمَشِ [ص:273]، عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ وَهْبٍ، قَالَ: أُتِيَ ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ فَقِيلَ هَذَا فُلَانٌ تَقْطُرُ لِحْيَتُهُ خَمْرًا، فَقَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ: «إِنَّا قَدْ نُهِينَا عَنِ التَّجَسُّسِ وَلَكِنْ إِنْ يَظْهَرْ لَنَا شَيْءٌ نَأْخُذْ بِهِ»

أحكام القرآن للجصاص ت قمحاوي (5/ 289

 قَوْله تعالى وَلا تَجَسَّسُوا حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَكْرٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُد عَنْ الْقَعْنَبِيِّ عَنْ مَالِكٍ عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنْ الْأَعْرَجِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّ فَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيثِ وَلَا تجسسوا ولا تحسسوا وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَكْرٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُد قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ عَنْ الْأَعْمَشِ عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ وَهْبٍ قَالَ أُتِيَ ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ فَقِيلَ هَذَا فُلَانٌ تَقْطُرُ لِحْيَتُهُ خَمْرًا فقال عبد الله إنا قد هينا عَنْ التَّجَسُّسِ وَلَكِنْ إنْ يَظْهَرْ لَنَا شَيْءٌ نَأْخُذْ بِهِ وَعَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ لَا تَجَسَّسُوا خُذُوا بِمَا ظَهَرَ لَكُمْ وَدَعُوا مَا سَتَرَ اللَّهُ

 معارف القران 138:8

  سنن أبي داود (4/ 270

 قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «يَا مَعْشَرَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِلِسَانِهِ، وَلَمْ يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ قَلْبَهُ، لَا تَغْتَابُوا الْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا عَوْرَاتِهِمْ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ عَوْرَاتِهِمْ يَتَّبِعُ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ، وَمَنْ يَتَّبِعِ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَفْضَحْهُ فِي بَيْتِهِ


Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel