Mimicry of Western Culture: Spying, Informing, and Exposing Secrets

[Question 1388]: A number of written reports have arrived about the embezzlement of government property by an employee. After investigation into these charges, the truth of some of these reports have become plain for us. But while investigating the accused, he denied all these stories. Are sending these reports to court permissible or not, since they make someone lose face? Assuming that they are not permitted, what is the duty of those who are not informed on this issue?

Answer: If someone who is responsible for supporting and protecting a government’s treasury or property is aware of the embezzlement of that property by one of the employees or anyone else, he is obliged under the sharia and the law to investigate and present his information on this matter to the responsible institutions. Concern about losing face according to law does not permit coming up short on performing due diligence in protecting the treasury and others should they present their reports with documentation to the relevant officials so that they might take measures after investigating, researching, and confirming the matter.

[Question 1389]: We note that some of the press print news about the arrest of thieves, swindlers, groups of bribe-takers in departments, people who violate chastity as well as corrupt and vulgar groups and night clubs. Shouldn’t the publication of such news be considered spreading lewdness?

Answer: Simply publishing news about events in the press should not be considered spreading lewdness.

[Question 1390]: Is it permissible for students from an educational center to present reports of vice which he has witnessed to the cultural offices to restrain them?

Answer: If the reports about the matters are public and are not spying and gossip, there is not a problem; indeed, it is part of a commencement of denouncing vice and obligatory.

[Question 1391]: Is it permissible to declare oppression or treason by some administrative officials before the people?

Answer: There is no problem in reporting oppression to responsible centers and authorities so they could pursue them after [the authorities’] investigate and become certain of them. Indeed, it is obligatory if it is considered part of the commencement of denouncing vice. But there is no cause for declaring it before the people; indeed, it is forbidden if it might cause sedition, corruption, and the weakening of the Islamic government.

[Question 1392]: What is the decision on investigating the wealth of believers and reporting on it to an oppressor government or ruler, particularly if it leads to persecution and losses to them?

Answer: Such acts are forbidden under the sharia and should there be loses due to spying on believers for the oppressor, it should be compensated for.

[Question 1393]: Is it permissible to spy on a believer’s affairs, private or not, for the sake of commanding propriety and negating vice in the event that they had been seen at indulging in the forbidden or abandoning the proper? What is the decision regarding those who spy on people to uncover their violations, even though they are not obliged to do so?

Answer: Involvement in matters of legal review or inspection concerning the administrative work of employees, etc., by official agents of inspection within the framework of legal rules and regulations is not a problem. But spying on the work of others or inspecting the deeds and behavior of employees to discover their secrets outside legal bounds and regulations is not even permitted to those agents.

[Question 1394]: Is it permissible to speak of private secrets or personal and secret matters before the people?

Answer: It is impermissible to discover or declare private and personal matters in front of others even if it is somehow connected to other people or would cause the righting of corruption.

[Question 1395]: Psychologists usually ask questions about the patient’s personal and family matters to find the causes of illness and the means to cure it. Is it permissible for the ill person to respond to them?

Answer: If corruption not result from it and it is not considered tale bearing or insult regarding another, there is no problem.

[Question 1396]: Sometimes, some of the security forces consider it urgent to enter some centers and infiltrate groups to uncover centers of lewdness and terrorist groups. Even though techniques of spying and investigation require this, what is the decision about this from the perspective of the sharia?

There is no problem if it is done with the permission of the relevant authorities, if the legal rules and regulations are followed, and if contamination with sin and the perpetration of forbidden acts are avoided. It is also obligatory upon the authorities to fully supervise and pay attention to their work.

[Question 1397]: Some venture to raise in front of others shortages and weaknesses which exist in the Islamic Republic. What is the decision concerning listening to such talk and tales?

Answer: It is clear that any deed which causes the visage of the Islamic Republic, which stands up to the infidel and world arrogance, to be insulted is not to the benefit of Islam and the Muslims. Therefore, if this talk leads to a weakening of the Islamic Republican system, it is not permitted

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