In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Brave Muslim and non-Muslim Scientists – In The West – Who Ask Critical Questions and Demand Transparency Regarding a Specific Drug or Medical Treatment – Why Verify News Given By Those In The Media Who Seek to Vilify, Ostracize and Silence Them?!
Question: “The believer does not get stung in the same hole twice”, is this a Prophetic narration?
Answer: Yes, it is an authentic narration and its meaning is that it is obligated on a believer to be cautious if he was harmed by a person. If Zayd once deceived him, then he should be cautious so that Zayd does not deceive him again. If Amr committed injustice against him in a mutual dealing, he is cautious in another mutual dealing. This is what the affair is, meaning that it is obligated on him to prevent the evil of the one who deceived or harmed him the first time. (1)
Trickery In Mutual Dealings Is Forbidden:
Imaam Al-Bukhaari [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Chapter: Avoiding the Use of Tricks and everybody will get the reward according to his intention. Umar Ibn al-Khattaab [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he intended. So, whoever emigrates for Allaah and His Messenger, then his emigration will be for Allaah and His Messenger, and whoever emigrates to take a worldly benefit or for a woman to marry, then his emigration will be for what he emigrated for”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari Number 6953]
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “There is neither place for trickery in Ibaadaat [i.e. acts of worship] nor in Mu’aamalaat [i.e. mutual dealings]. Therefore, it is obligatory to approach affairs through their appropriate paths [i.e. carrying out deeds without tricks or ulterior motives]. (2)
Indeed, there has been fines against pharmaceutical companions in the past due to the following reasons: Off-label promotion, failure to disclose safety data, paying kickbacks to physicians, making false and misleading statements concerning the safety of some specific drugs, reporting false best prices, poor manufacturing practices, monopolistic practices, misclassification under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program etc The amounts some of these companies had to pay for different offences was between $345 million to $3 billion.
Therefore, how can any scientist become opinionated to the extent that his opinion regarding the safety of some specific drug or medical treatment cannot be questioned by other independent scientists who have no affiliation with Pharmaceutical Companies?! The Muslim doctor should be careful of what is transmitted in the medical journals (or textbooks) and he should not accept everything transmitted in them without ascertaining its correctness, for indeed knowledge is established either through a trustworthy transmission or an unquestionable view point. The affairs of medicine attributed to the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] should be examined as to whether their chains of transmission are authentic, and the affairs of medicine that are established by way of opinions [i.e. through study and research etc] should be examined to find out whether they are [sound, unsound, or whether they contain flaws, sin, offence etc]. He should not be an easy and legitimate prey whom the enemies of Allaah use as a path to transmit that which opposes the Religion of Islaam and causes harm to the Muslims; rather he should know that everything that comes to him regarding modern medicine has to be subjected to research and has to be ascertained. (2.2)
Therefore, neither accept nor entertain the bully tactics of those journalists and agents of the pharmaceutical who argue aggressively, vilify and seek to silence all other scientists who ask critical questions and demand transparency; but rather verify news and seek second opinions. Do not rush to accept the opinion of any journalist regarding a scientist who critically questions the safety of a drug or medical treatment lest you do injustice by participating in slander and discrediting someone innocent. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
[ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوۤاْ إِن جَآءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوۤاْ أَن تُصِيبُواْ قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُواْ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ – O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done]. [Surah Al-Hujuraat. Aayah 6]
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This is also one of the moral etiquettes that are obligated on the people of (sound) understanding to adorn themselves with and put into practice. And that is if a rebellious sinful person informs them of some news, they should verify his news and not to merely accept it, because indeed there is great danger (in doing so) and (possibility) of falling into sin. That is because if his news is placed at the same level with the news given by truthful reliable person, one might pass a judgement based on that news and what it necessitates, so loss of life and wealth occurs without right due to that news and thus brings about regret; rather, what is obligated with regards to the news given by a rebellious sinful person is that it is verified and clarified. So, if the proofs and clear indications demonstrates his truthfulness, then it (i.e. the news) is acted upon and declared to be true; but if they demonstrate that he is lying, then it is declared to be lies and not acted upon. Therefore, in this there is a proof that the news of a truthful person is accepted, the news of a liar is rejected and the news of a rebellious sinful person is suspended as we have stated. (3)
Finally, read “An Advice Regarding Differing Over COVID-19 ― And Understanding The Ijitihād Of Scholars In Worldly Affairs” – By Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah protect him]: https://abukhadeejah.com/advice-regarding-differing-over-covid-19/
Hunayn Ibn Ishaq – [Neither Coercion and Fear of Blame Nor Blind-following Changed Stance of This Doctor Who Gave Absolute Loyalty to His Profession]: https://salaficentre.com/2021/09/04/hunayn-ibn-ishaq-coercion-fear-of-blame-nor-blind-following-changed-stance-of-this-doctor-who-gave-absolute-loyalty-to-his-profession/
[Ref 1: Paraphrased: https://binbaz.org.sa/fatwas/12579/%D9%87%D9%84-%D9%87%D8%B0%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AB-%D9%84%D8%A7-%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%BA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%88%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%AC%D8%AD%D8%B1
[Ref 2: Source: Ab Excerpt from Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min Ta’leeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ 4/353. footnote 1. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2.2: An Excerpt from Akhlaaq At-Tabeeb Al-Muslim pages 4- 18]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’. Slightly paraphrased]