Islam’s Guidelines for Muslims: A Lesson for Journalists


Dr. Aamir Saeed



Sprouting from French Revolution and UN Charter, the political nature of human rights that provide the overall shelter to freedom of speech is the center of power for the journalistic freedom. Ethics for journalists are by their very definition hinged to freedom rather than being a limiting force of check and balance. The body of literature that has evolved in the name of Islamic journalistic ethics has also not been free from biasness. It was mostly shaped in reaction to the practices of western journalistic ethics (WJE). Consequently, the full potential of the benefits built in Islam’s guidelines could not be realized. The study mainly focuses on journalistic best practices in Islam as studied by various researchers and aims at a more comprehensive list of Islamic guidelines for journalists. The study identifies salient features of Islamic guidelines that help in shaping up the societal outlook and determines Islam’s rich contribution in human enlightenment.



How to Cite
Dr. Ghalib Ata, & Dr. Aamir Saeed. (2021). Islam’s Guidelines for Muslims: A Lesson for Journalists. Al Qalam, 25(2), 339-368.

Unpublished proceedings of the First International Conference of Muslim Journalists, jointly organized by the Organization of Islamic Conference, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Information, Government of Indonesia, held at Jakarta, September 1981
Though nasihah was translated by author as independence instead of advice
يُّصْلِحْ لَكُمْ اَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوْبَكُمْ ۭ وَمَنْ يُّطِعِ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوْلَهٗ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيْمًا
(If you do so i.e. talk to the point,) Allah will correct your deeds for your benefit, and forgive your sins for you. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger achieves a great success. (Al-Ahz’ab 33:71)
explanation of the verse 33:70 in Tafseer Mafardaat by Mulana Abduhu Ferozepuri 1108 AD/502 AH
Finding spies necessitate existence of organization with committed human and material resources to locate probable spies at all times and giving them the punishment, in light of the Hadees
حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ حَدَّثَنَا قَالَ أَبُو نُعَيْمٍ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عُمَيْسٍ عَنْ ابْنِ سَلَمَةَ بْنِ الْأَکْوَعِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ أَتَی النَّبِيَّ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَيْنٌ مِنْ الْمُشْرِکِينَ وَهُوَ فِي سَفَرٍ فَجَلَسَ عِنْدَ أَصْحَابِهِ ثُمَّ انْسَلَّ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اطْلُبُوهُ فَاقْتُلُوهُ قَالَ فَسَبَقْتُهُمْ إِلَيْهِ فَقَتَلْتُهُ وَأَخَذْتُ سَلَبَهُ فَنَفَّلَنِي إِيَّاهُ
Ibn Salamah bin Al Akwa’ reported on the authority of his father. A spy of the polytheists came to the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) when he was on a journey. He sat near his Companions and then slipped away. The Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) said “look for him and kill him”. He said “I raced to him and killed him. I took his belongings which he (the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) gave me (as reward/ghaneemah).
(Abu Dawood, Vol. 2 Hadees No: 88, with different words, Hadees has been narrated by Muslim and Bukhari too)
وَالَّذِيْنَ يَرْمُوْنَ الْمُحْصَنٰتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَاْتُوْا بِاَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاۗءَ فَاجْلِدُوْهُمْ ثَمٰنِيْنَ جَلْدَةً وَّلَا تَــقْبَلُوْا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً اَبَدًا ۚ وَاُولٰۗىِٕكَ هُمُ الْفٰسِقُوْنَ ۝ۙ
Those who accuse the chaste women (of fornication), but they do not produce four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes and do not accept their any evidence any more. They are the sinners
(Al-Noor 24:04)