Sunday, 9 May 2010

Backbiting and Slandering

In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful

Backbiting, what do we know about backbiting? We may feel that backbiting are just mere words – but they are words that bring upon the one who utters them shame and dishonour and consign him to the Fire. Such a person has given in to his vain desires and succumbed to his destructive wants.

Subhanallah, it’s a common disease in our society, people backbites a lot knowingly and unknowingly. Backbiting is very dangerous. We should avoid talking about people behind their back completely. If we see someone talking evil about someone we should remind them that backbiting is a very severe sin and it will lead to a severe punishment. Sometime unknowingly we end up talking bad about someone; we should immediately repent to Allah Ta'ala and also ask for forgiveness from that person. But we see people nowadays they love backbiting about other people for fun, we should look at our own shortcomings and try to correct them instead of talking about the bad that other people are doing.

Backbiting can be defined as the utterance of words whereby one mentions his fellow Muslim in a bad way or mentions him in a manner that he would be displeased with. It is called backbiting because a person generally berates another person in that person’s absence.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) defines backbiting in the following way, and his definition is preferred over any other: He said: “Do you know what backbiting is? They said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “It is to mention about your brother something that he would dislike having mentioned about him.” [Sahîh Muslim (2589)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) goes on in the same hadith to explain the difference between backbiting and slander. He said: “It is to mention about your brother something that he would dislike having mentioned about him.”

Someone enquired: “O Messenger of Allah! How do you see it if what I said about him is true?” He replied: “If what you said about him is true, then you have backbitten him. If what you said about him is false, then you have slandered him.” [Sahîh Muslim (2589)]

Slander is a false statement of enormous sinfulness deserving of severe punishment. Allah says: “And those who malign believing men and women undeservedly bear upon themselves the guilt of slander and a manifest sin.” [Sûrah al-Ahzâb: 58]

My brothers and sisters we should avoid backbiting and slandering all together, before looking at other people faults, we should look at our own short comings . We should realise that everyone will be accountable for their own actions. My brothers and sisters, if you see someone doing something wrong, or they have a quality that is not liked in Islam then the best way to try and correct that person is by going to that person directly (in private) and telling them in a nice way about the shortcomings that they have. This is masha Allah the best way to help someone, and by doing this Allah Ta'ala will be more pleased with us.

How to rid ourselves of this ignoble trait?

1. We can protect ourselves from speaking ill of others by cultivating our fear of Allah and our sense of shame before of our Lord. This can be achieved by reflecting often upon the verses of the Qur’ân and the hadîth of our Prophet (peace be upon him) that speak about Allah’s punishment, that encourage us to repent, and that warn us against evil deeds.

Allah says: “Or do they think that We do not hear their secrets and their private counsels? Indeed we do and our messengers are by them to record.” [Sûrah al-Zukhruf: 80]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Feel shame before Allah as you ought to feel shame before Him. So guard the head and what it contains, guard the stomach and what you put in it, and think upon death and returning to dust.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (2458)]

2. We can reflect upon just how much we lose every time we utter some bad words about another person.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) once asked his Companions: “Do you know who is bankrupt?”
They replied: “The person among us who is bankrupt is the one who possesses neither money nor provision.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The one who is bankrupt from among my followers is he who comes on the Day of Resurrection with prayer, charity, and fasting to his credit. However, he had insulted this person, struck that person, and seized the wealth of another, on account of which his good deeds will be taken from him. Then, if his good deeds are exhausted, the sins of those whom he wronged will be taken from them and foisted upon him and then he will be cast into the Fire.” [Sahîh Muslim (2581)]

3. A beneficial remedy that can help us to rid ourselves of this evil habit is to reflect upon our own shortcomings and work to improve ourselves. If we preoccupy ourselves with our own faults, we will not find time to worry about the faults of others. We should fear that if we speak about someone else’s shortcomings, that Allah might punish us by afflicting us with the same.

Al-Hasan al-Basrî said: “We used to remind one another that whoever faults his brother on account of a sin and he had repented for it will be punished by Allah by falling into it himself.”

Abû Hurayrah said: “One of you sees the dust in his brother’s eye but fails to see the crud in his own.”

4. Keeping to the company of righteous people and avoiding bad company helps us to avoid backbiting.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The likeness of a good companion and a bad companion is that of a person carrying musk and another who works the bellows. The person carrying musk might give you some of it or at the very least you will enjoy the pleasant scent. The person with the bellows will either singe your clothing or at least make you suffer from the bad smell.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2101) and Sahîh Muslim (2628) and the wording is that of Muslim]

Al-Nawawî rahimahullah writes, commenting on this hadîth: “It discusses the virtues of keeping the company of the righteous and people who carry out good works and possess good manners… It prohibits us from the company of people who engage in bad deeds and innovations, those who backbite others, and those who are habitually sinful and idle.”

5. A person who has a habit of backbiting others needs to make a firm and determined resolution to stop.

We can look at the example of Rasûl ibn Wahb who said: “I swore an oath that for every time I backbite someone, I would fast a day. This just wore me out, since I would backbite and fast. Then I resolved that for every time I backbite someone, I would spend one silver coin in charity. Then, for the love of money, I gave up backbiting.”

I make dua that Allah protect myself first and everyone else from backbiting and slandering, may Allah forgive our shortcomings, and may Allah grant us Jannah through



Reemz said...

Jaazak Allah Brother,

In the twelfth verse of surah Al-Hujuraat, Allah made it clear that defaming another muslim in his absence is like EATING THE FLESH OF YOUR DEAD BROTHER, which obviously everybody abhors. Hence, It is the most horrible sin.

The Prophet (PBUH)said:
" Back biting is a worse sin than adultery."
It is further explained in saying of the Prophet (PBUH), narrated by Abu Sa'eed and Jubair in Bayhaqi:
" Allah may forgive a person if he repents after committing adultery. However, Allah will not forgive the one who back bites, till his victim forgives him " ...

Muhazam Nauthoo said...

Jazakallah ,May Allah reward you. Ameen

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece of work. Forever keep submitting!