Conjecture الظَنُّ

Conjecture and Reason

الظَنُّ وَالعقلُِ

1ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ظَنُّ الرَّجُلِ على قَدرِ عَقلِهِ.

1– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘A man’s conjecture is proportionate to the extent of his reason.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 6038]

2ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ظنُّ العاقِلِ أصَحُّ مِن يَقينِ الجاهِلِ.

2– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘An intellectual man’s conjecture is sounder than an ignorant man’s certainty.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 6040]

3ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): اتَّقُوا ظُنُونَ المُؤمِنِينَ؛ فإنَّ اللّه‏َ تعالى جَعَلَ الحَقَّ على ألسِنَتِهم.

3– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Be wary of the opinions given by believers, for verily Allah has made the truth flow from their tongues.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 309]

Look for the Best in Any Situation Involving a Fellow Brother

ضَعْ أمرَ أخيكَ على أحسَنِهِ

4ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): اُطلُبْ لأِخِيكَ عُذرا، فَإنْ لَم تَجِدْ لَهُ عُذراً فَالتَمِسْ لَهُ عُذراً.

4– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Make an excuse for your fellow brother, and even if you do not have an excuse [for his behaviour], then seek out an excuse for him.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 75, p. 197, no. 15]

5ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): ضَعْ أمرَ أخيكَ على أحسَنِهِ حتّى يَأتِيَكَ مِنهُ ما يَغلِبُكَ، ولا تَظُنَّنَّ بكَلِمَةٍ خَرَجَت مِن أخيكَ سُوءاً وأنتَ تَجِدُ لَها في الخَيرِ مَحمِلاً .

5– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘See the best in any situation involving a fellow brother, until you experience something from him which proves you wrong, and do not assume the worst about something that your brother may say if you can find the possibility for good therein.’[Amali al-Saduq, p. 250, no. 8]

The Virtue in Entertaining Good Opinions

فَضلُ حُسنِ الظَّنِّ

6ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): حُسنُ الظَّنِّ راحَةُ القَلبِ وسَلامةُ الدِّينِ .

6– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Entertaining good opinions is a comfort to the heart and [indicates] soundness of faith.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 4816]

7ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): حُسنُ الظَّنِّ يُخَفِّفُ الَهمَّ ، ويُنجي من تَقَلُّدِ الإثمِ.

7– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Entertaining good opinions reduces anxiety, and saves one from being taken over by sin.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 4823]

8ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن حَسُنَ ظَنُّهُ بِالناسِ حازَ مِنهُمُ المَحَبَّةَ.

8– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The one who thinks the best of people gains their love.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 8842]

9ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): أفضَلُ الوَرَعِ حُسنُ الظَّنِّ.

9– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The best of piety is to think the best of people.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 3027]

Caution against Entertaining Low or Suspicious Opinions

التّحذيرُ مِن سوءِ الظَّنِّ

10ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): إيّاكُم والظَّنَّ؛ فإنَّ الظَّنَّ أكذَبُ الكَذِبِ .

10– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Beware of suspicion for verily suspicion is the worst of all lies.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 75, p. 195, no. 8]

11ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): إذا ظَنَنتُم فلا تُحَقِّقُوا، وإذا حَسَدتُم فلا تَبغُوا، وإذا تَطَيَّرتُم فَامضُوا .

11– The Prophet (S) said, ‘If you have assumed the worst [about someone or something], then do not seek to make it true. And if you are jealous [of someone or something] then do not covet them, and if you draw an evil omen from something, ignore it and walk away.’[Kanz al-’Ummal, no. 7585]

12ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّ البُخلَ والجُبنَ والحِرصَ غَرائزُ شَتّى يَجمَعُها سُوءُ الظَّنِّ بِاللّه‏ِ .

12– Imam Ali (a.s.) wrote in his letter to al-Ashtar when he appointed him governor of Egypt, ‘Verily miserliness, cowardice and greed are all evil impulses brought together by entertaining a low opinion of Allah.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 53]

13ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا إيمانَ مَع سُوءِ الظَّنِّ .

13– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘There is no room for faith with suspicion.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 10534]

14ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): سُوءُ الظَّنِّ يُفسِدُ الاُمورَ ويَبعَثُ على الشُّرورِ .

14– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Suspicion corrupts matters and gives rise to evils.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 5575]

15ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إيّاكَ أن تُسِيءَ الظَّنَّ؛ فإنّ سُوءَ الظَّنِّ يُفسِدُ العِبادَةَ .

15– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Beware of entertaining suspicious thoughts for verily suspicion corrupts worship.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 2709]

16ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الشِّرِّيرُ لا يَظُنُّ بِأحَدٍ خَيرا؛ لأنّهُ لا يَراهُ إلّا بِطَبعِ نَفسِهِ.

16– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The evil person cannot think well of anybody because he can only see people as he himself is predisposed.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 1903]

Avoiding That Which Incites Suspicious Thoughts

التَّجَنُّبِ عَمّا يُوجِبُ سُوءَ الظَّنِّ

17ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن وَقَّفَ نفسَهُ مَوقِفَ التُّهَمَةِ فلا يَلُومَنَّ مَن أساءَ بهِ الظَّنَّ.

17– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘He who stands in a suspect place cannot blame anyone for thinking suspiciously of him.’[Amali al-Saduq, p. 250, no. 8]

18ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن دَخَلَ مَداخِلَ السَّوءِ اتُّهِمَ، مَن عَرَّضَ نَفسَهُ للتُّهَمَةِ فلا يَلُومَنَّ مَن أساءَ بهِ الظَّنَّ.

18– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The one who enters bad places naturally stands to be accused, and the one who exposes himself to accusation cannot blame anyone for thinking suspiciously of him.’[Kanz al-Fawa’id, v. 2, p. 182]

19ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مُجالَسَةُ الأشرارِ تُورِثُ سُوءَ الظَّنِّ بِالأخيارِ.

19– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Sitting in the company of bad people engenders suspicious thoughts about good people.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 74, p. 197, no. 31]

20ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): أسوَأُ النَّاسِ حالاً مَن لَم يَثِقْ بَأحَدٍ لِسُوءِ ظَنِّهِ، ولَم يَثِقْ بهِ أحَدٌ لِسُوءِ فِعلِهِ .

20– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The person in the worst state is the one who does not trust anybody because of his suspiciousness, and who is not trusted by anybody because of his evil actions.’[Kanz al-Fawa’id, v. 2, p. 182]

21ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن لَم يَحسُنْ ظَنُّهُ استَوحَشَ مِن كُلِّ أحَدٍ .

21– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The one who does not think well of people feels alienated from everybody.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 9084]

Instances When Suspicion is Allowed

مَوارِدُ جَوازِ سوءِ الظَّنِّ

22ـ رسولُ‏اللّه‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): اِحتَرِسُوا مِنَ النَّاسِ بسُوءِ الظَّنِّ .

22– The Prophet (S) said, ‘Guard yourselves against people with suspicion.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 77, p. 158, no. 142]

23ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إذا استَولَى الصَّلاحُ على الزَّمانِ وأهلِهِ ثُمّ أساءَ رَجُلٌ الظَّنَّ برَجُلٍ لَم تَظهَرْ مِنهُ حَوبَةٌ فقد ظَلَمَ، وإذا استَولى الفَسادُ على الزَّمانِ وأهلِهِ فَأحسَنَ رَجُلٌ الظَّنَّ برجُلٍ فَقَد غَرَّرَ .

23– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘At a time when good prevails over an era and among its people, if a man suspects another person who has never been seen committing an offence, then he has indeed wronged him. And when corruption prevails over an era and among its people, if a man assumes the best about somebody, then he has indeed jeopardised himself.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 114]

24ـ الإمامُ الكاظمُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إذا كانَ الجَورُ أغلَبَ مِنَ الحَقِّ لَم يَحِلَّ لأحَدٍ أن يَظُنَّ بأحَدٍ خَيرا حتّى يَعرِفَ ذلكَ مِنهُ .

24– Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) said, ‘At a time when injustice is more prevalent than good, it is not permitted for anyone to entertain good opinions about another unless he knows him to be such.’[al-Kafi, v. 5, p. 298, no. 2]