Tuesday, 2 November 2010

KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.(My name is gossip)

Do you know what is backbiting?

To talk about backbiting we need to first define exactly what backbiting is. If we turn towards the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (saw) we can find a very accurate definition of this term and it differentiates between the term "backbiting" and "slander”.
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (May peace be upon him) as saying: Do you know what is backbiting? They (the Companions) said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Backbiting implies your talking about your brother in a manner which he does not like. It was said to him: What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of? He said: If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact have backbitten him, and if that is not in him it is a slander. [Sahih Muslim Book 32, #6265]

From the above hadith it is seen that if we speak anything about a person that he may not like others to know then we are backbiting.

Investigating about people is allowed under certain circumstances e.g. to find out about a person who has proposed for one's daughter. We are allowed to find out about him but this does not mean that one goes and tells the entire world about the person.

Backbiting is strictly prohibited in Islam and one can find evidence in the Quran and the Hadith. Often backbiting is compared to one eating flesh of the dead.

Gheebat (backbiting) is perhaps the most commonly committed sin of the tongue. Most people who are religious conscious would refrain from lying, swearing, slandering, etc. However, even such people invariably become entrapped in the snare of Shaitan and allow their conversation to drift into gheebat. Indeed only the one who has a firm control of his tongue can be saved from this malady, but what is gheebat?

It is thus imperative that Gheebat be accurately identified and recognized in order to be able to refrain from it. The Hadith have defined this malady very simply and clearly. It is reported in a hadith that Rasulullah (saw) once inquired of the Sahabi (ra): "Do you know what gheebat is?" "Allah and His Messenger know best," they replied. "To mention something about your brother whom he would dislike" Rasulullah (saw) informed them.

A person then asked: "What if this is true?" (That the person being spoken about is actually involved in that sin). The Messenger of Allah (saw) replied: "If it is true then you have indeed backbitten about him. But if it is untrue, then you have slandered him (which is worse)."

Hence to mention anything about a person in his absence which he would dislike is gheebat. The magnitude of the sin, the gravity of this malady could be gauged from the following Hadith. Rasulullah (saw) is reported to have said: "Gheebat is worse than zina (adultery)." In another hadith it is reported that there are more than seventy stages of consuming interest, the lowest of which is equivalent to cohabiting with one's mother. To consume one Dirham of interest is worse than committing adultery thirty five times.

However, a sin more severe than interest is the dishonoring of a Muslim (which is a natural consequence of gheebat). (Baihaqi) Engaging in gheebat is also an extremely costly affair. It is reported in a Hadith that on the day of Qiyamah the person who was backbitten about would claim retribution from the one who spoke ill of him. Allah (swt) will compensate the victim by handing over the good deeds (the currency of the Hereafter) of the culprit to him. If the latter has no good deeds to his credit, the sins of the victim would be transferred to him.

Hence Salah, Sawm, Zakat, Hajj, etc, of a person would all be lost due to gheebat. A tremendous loss indeed! How often do we engage in gheebat, yet regard ourselves as free from this crime? This is due to certain misconceptions. Many people assume that gheebat does not apply if one could mention the same facts about a person in his presence. How often does a person retort: "This is not gheebat. I can say it to his face." This, however, is the deception of Shaitan. The Hadith contain no such restriction which excludes the above from the purview of gheebat.

Likewise many people believe that gheebat only applies if the sin of the spoken person is not known. This is another misconception. If the sin is well known, it is gheebat only, however, if such a sin of a person was discussed which the next person was unaware of, two severe sins have been incurred; one is the sin of gheebat, and the other is the sin of disclosing the fault of another Muslim.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

"O you who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! Some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor that. And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful." [Quran 49:12]

Just as one finds it rather repulsive and loathes the idea of eating the flesh of a dead human, one should also loathe the idea of backbiting. Just like one is forbidden so is the other.

Backbiting has been labeled as a destructive sin. Hasan al-Basri said: "I swear by Allah, backbiting is swifter in consuming the religion of a Muslim than a gangrenous infection is in consuming the human body."

Today this disease is so widespread that it is seen in every house. What we need to do is take this disease out of us. We have to control our tongues. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:

Narrated by Sahl bin SA’d: The Prophet said, "Whoever guarantees me (the chastity of) what is between his legs (i.e. his private parts), and what is between his jaws (i.e., his tongue), I guarantee him Paradise." [Sahih Bukhari Vol 8, Book 82, #799]

The problem is not with the evidence that it is forbidden. The problem is how to eliminate this from within ourselves? How do we make sure we do not commit this sin anymore?

Islam is a religion of peace, love and compassion. Lies, suspicion, back biting, slander and gossips 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.

Major sins are indeed the cause for all misery, evil and torment in this world and the hereafter.

And the worst of all sins are those that are greatest in harm and danger to humanity. Among the destructive major sins: are backbiting and slandering. These two sins are forbidden by Allah because they sow enmity, evils and discord among people and lead to destruction. They cause hostilities between people of the same household and between neighbors and relatives. They can decrease in good deeds and increase in evil ones and lead to dishonor and ignominy.

We are all answerable to Allah (swt) and one day we will be questioned for what we spoke. What will we do then? It is important to have fear of Allah (swt) in our hearts. We have to know and realize that our deeds are being recorded, that Allah (swt) is seeing everything:

"Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsels? Indeed (We do), and our messengers are by them, to record." [Quran 43:80]

Another important factor that many of us need to change is "bad company". A good companion would discourage you and stop you from doing bad. A bad companion would however encourage you and in many cases make you do wrong and that is one of the reasons why we are suffering from the negative "Peer Pressure" problem.

Abu Musa reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, and the owner of musk would either offer you free of charge or you would buy it from him or you would. Smell its pleasant odor, and so far as one who blows the bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell. [Sahih Muslim Book 32, #6361]

We just have to be more determined to end this disease in us.


My name is gossip.
I have no respect for justice.
I maim without killing.
I break hearts and ruin lives.

I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society.
My victims are helpless.

They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no face.
To track me down is impossible for you.
The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody’s friend.

Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.
I topple governments and wreck marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses. I am called Gossip.
Office gossip, Shop gossip, Party gossip, Telephone gossip.
I make headlines and headaches.

Before you repeat a story ask yourself, is it true?
Is it fair? Is it necessary? If not— KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!
If you spend as much time praying as you do talking about others behind their backs, you would be further ahead spiritually.

May Allah make our efforts sincere and keep us all on the straight path...........

Feel free to Share the information here with everyone you know,
And earn Sawab-e-Jariya...May Allah swt make it a source of Sawab-e-Jariya for u and me .Ameen

P.S.: "Have fun praying    don’t forget to make dua for me."

1 comment:

Ati said...

backbiting and slandering...

Sometimes we didn't even realise that we're doing it because we are so used to living with them...

Thank you so much for this reminder. May Allah reward you with lots and lots of happiness in life. Ameen.