Friday, 30 October 2009

:"Do you know what backbiting is?"

Backbiting – mere words – but they are words that bring upon the one who utters them shame and ignominy and that consign him to the Fire. Such a person has given in to his vain desires and succumbed to his destructive tendencies.
Backbiting is one of those Islamic topics that often gets sidelined. Appearing as one of the frequent tarbīyyah topics in common circles and gatherings, the issue may be forgotten or ignored. This is severely problematic, as backbiting is one of the most devastating sins a person can ever commit, and not keeping ourselves reminded about it can lead to grave consequences.

Instant gratification. That’s what one finds when one indulges in some deeply heart-warming gossip.
I’m sure many of us have been in a similar situation. While the fairer sex is famous for gossip and back-biting, I have come across many men, who can just as easily bad-mouth a person behind their back — and thoroughly enjoy it. I always thought it was good revenge for those who wronged me, until an ugly head called conscience showed itself.
After a long conversation of apparent ‘revenge’ on my offenders, a bad feeling crept up inside me. A guilt I couldn’t explain, and a feeling of remorse that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. There came a time when I questioned the very idea of back-biting — simply because it made me feel sick inside.
Life is governed by karma, what goes around comes around. That thought began creaking my grey matter (which, my better half affectionately calls idle) into action. Did that mean life itself would avenge my offenders in its own way and at its own sweet time, and that I had no need to stoop to their level behind their backs? I wondered.
Some things that are haram in this life, however, won’t be found in Jannah. One of them is backbiting.

In Surat an-Naba, Allah [swt] says,

“There they shall neither hear ill speech nor any falsehood.” 78:35

Here, Allah clearly states that one thing that’s forbidden to us now will always be forbidden, even in Jannah, is backbiting (along with other forms of evil speech).

Imam Nawawi said:
"Be aware that it is incumbent upon every competent Muslim to guard his tongue against all kinds of talking except when it is evident that talking will be a means of beneficence. When talking and being quite are both equal as a prudent measure, then the Sunnah is to abstain from talking. Because often even lawful talking may lead to unlawful or distasteful matters. This is common practice."

Usually "back biting" is the equivalent of "back stabbing." That is, you smile at someone and pretend to be friendly, but when they're away you'll tell their secrets and say terrible things about them.

Islam, the religion founded by Prophet Mohammed, means submission to the will of God. It is a religion of self-surrender, acceptance of the revelations and following the commands of God. Islam establishes a universal brotherhood of man. Islam teaches that "No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. God will not be affectionate to that man who is not affectionate to God's creatures. He is the most favored of God from whom the greatest good comes to His creatures."

In Islam, abuse, anger, avarice, back-biting, blood-shedding, bribery, dishonesty, drinking, envy, flattery, greed, hypocrisy, lying, miserliness, pride, suicide, violence, wickedness, warfare, etc., are deprecated and virtues such as brotherhood, charity, cleanliness, chastity, forgiveness, friendship, gratitude, humility, justice, kindness, love, mercy, moderation, modesty, purity of heart, righteousness, truth and trust are enjoined. (9)

The Qur'an states: (10) Those who abstain from vanities and the indulgence of their passions, give alms, offer prayers, and tend well their trusts and their covenants, they shall be the heirs of eternal happiness.   

Backbiting & Slander - an Islamic perspective
And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander" (Quran 24:16)
A commentary on one of the most destructive of major sins

Islam is a religion of peace, love and compassion. Lies, suspicion, back biting, slander and gossip are totally alien to Islam. In fact they are considered amongst the most destructive of major sins. This is so because these sins sow enmity and discord among the Muslim Ummah and lead to its destruction. They cause hostilities between people of the same household, and between neighbors, friends and relatives.

Islam demands that our relationship with mankind should be one of sincerity and responsibility. It should be one where we have respect for the honor, reputation and privacy of others. Islam teaches us that we are not only held accountable for our own attitudes and actions but also for anything else over which we have control or influence over, in our society or the world around us.

Verses: Let's see what the Quran states about backbiting and slander - This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God. (2:2)

God has forbidden the believers from backbiting

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (49: 12)

When we reflect deeply over this assimilation it should be enough to keep us away from backbiting!

Do not treat the issue of Backbiting & Slander with indifference because it is a great sin

Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of God (24: 15)

Many of us back bite and gossip without thinking. We think it is minor matter, however God reminds us to be careful and even though we think we are doing something little it is in fact very big in the sight of Allah(.God)!

God teaches us to speak out against Slander and try to put a stop to it
Allah swt said:
And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander" (24:16)

Many people are so busy spreading the slander they hear that they do not even stop to think if it is true or not.

Shaitan (Satan) wants us to use our tongue to create conflict and hatred

Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best, for Satan does sow dissensions among them, for Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (17:53)

Are we falling into Shaitan's (Satan's) trap? We can all analyze ourselves.

Hadiths: Let's see what Prophet Muhammad  said about Backbiting in the hadiths. God states in the Quran - You have indeed in the Messenger of God an excellent pattern of conduct. (33:21)

The definition of Backbiting & Slander

Prophet Muhammad  said :"Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "God and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of God  said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim)

We should guard our tongue from sins and use our limbs in acts of obedience

Prophet Muhammad  said : "Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The definition of the best muslim

"I asked the Messenger of God : Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of God replied, "He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands." (Muslim)

Deriding people in their presence by making negative facial expressions or by hand gestures while they are unaware is also a form of backbiting.

We need to beware of the slipping of our tongues

"When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear God as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.’" (At-Tirmidhee)

Backbiting and slander .

Backbiting and slander is so widespread that it has become the topic of people’s meetings and an avenue for expressing their anger, misgivings and jealousy. Those who indulge in backbiting are oblivious of the fact that they are only harming themselves. This is because of the fact that on the Day of Resurrection both the wrongdoer and the wronged will stand before God, Who is the Just Judge, God will then give this wronged person from the good deeds of the person who wronged him in accordance with his wrong by backbiting.

Some situations allow us to inform others of what someone has done. It is allowed for us to inform the authorities when someone does injustice to us or others. It is allowed for us to inform someone who can help a perpetrator from committing further vice. It is also permissible for us to tell whoever seeks our advice on a person for business dealings or marriage. In this case it is not allowed for us to hide what we know about the person so that the enquirer will not be deceived. All these types of speaking about others are lawful.

Islam teaches us that if people are being ridiculed or backbited in our presence, we should defend their honor. If we neglect this, we shall deprive ourselves of ever needed help and mercy from God - If a man's Muslim brother is slandered in his presence, and he is capable of defending him and does so, God will defend him in this world and in the next. But if he fails to defend him, God will destroy him in this world and the next.  What will we do the next time we are tempted to backbite or hear slander in our presence? Right now the choice is ours!

We ask God the Most High, the All Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn. May God grant blessings and peace to our Prophet Muhammad  and his family and companions.

let’s not forget to ask Allah to forgive us for any comments we may have made knowingly or unknowingly. Because now that we know that speaking bad is not a characteristic of the people in Paradise, we know that it’s not a characteristic we want to come close to having.

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