It has been reported that a man was brought before ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) because his beard had wine. Ibn Mas’ud said:
“We have been prohibited from spying [on Muslims] and finding faults [with them]. But we can take to task only and only if the sin is overt.
Please can you give commentary for the above Hadith.
Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration (Hadith: 4854) under the chapter, ‘The prohibition of spying.’ He has cited Hadiths under this chapter which prohibit us from intentionally spying and inspecting a Muslim for faults.
Regarding the Hadith in question, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) explained that we are prohibited from spying and he could not mete out the punishment for drinking due to alcohol being drops being found in his beard [He could have been forced to consume it in which case the punishment will not be meted out]. He further explained that if this person was openly seen consuming alcohol and the required witnesses came forth and testified, then in this case the judge could mete out the punishment.
(Refer: Sharh Ibn Raslan, Hadith: 4890)
Note: This is merely an explanation regarding the aforementioned text of the Hadith. This should therefore not be viewed as a Fiqh ruling/fatwa. Kindly contact a Mufti/Darul Ifta for a fatwa on this matter.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.