Saturday, 26 January 2019

Gheebat* *A Cancer of Society*

*By Ameer Ahle Sunnat*

Majority of ours is involved in committing the severe sin of 

backbiting, whether it is the father or the mother, the brother or the sister, the husband or the wife, the mother-in-law or the daughter-in-law, the father-in-law or the son-in-

law, the teacher or the student, the employer or the employee, the buyer or the seller, the foreman or the labourer. Similarly, the rich or the poor, the ruler or his subject, the materialist or the spiritual, the old or the young and the ones affiliated with a religious 

organization or members of a worldly institution – almost everyone is involved in backbiting. These days, none of our gatherings are devoid of this heinous act of speaking ill against others because of the habit of constant gossip.

On page 313 of ‘Uyūn-ul-Ḥikāyāt, volume 2 [the 413-page publication of Maktaba-tul-Madīnaĥ, the publishing department of Dawat-e-Islami], a saying of Sayyidunā Ḥāriš Muḥāsibī is narrated, ‘Refrain from backbiting. It is such an evil that a person seeks it willingly. What do you think of an action that entices you to be disloyal to the one who has favoured you and causes good deeds, earned by you, to be given to those who you slandered until they are pleased because wealth will not come to your aid? 

Your religion will be taken away from you, equal to the measure of the harm that you caused to a Muslim’s reputation. Therefore, refrain from backbiting, make yourself awareof it and recognize its different forms and how it entraps you.’ He further added, ‘Take this to heart! Indeed some ignorant and naive individuals indulge in backbiting by manifestingtheir anger on the sins committed by others. They make false assumptions and are jealous 

of them. May Allah grant us refuge. Satan further misleads these people into thinking that by manifesting their anger; they are actually protecting the faith. They make claims of 

showing anger by speaking ill and making derogatory remarks against another person, not for personal reasons, but for protecting the religion. The evil of such thought and action 

is not hidden from the wise. 

Even some learned people have been observed to make statements like, ‘We are only doing this for their rectification. We are their well-wishers and only want the best for them.’ 

The fact of the matter is that if these people wanted the best for the others they would not have indulged in such an evil action (of backbiting). The thought of giving advice would not cause them to indulge in backbiting (i.e. they would have taken the adopted 

the method that is permissible by Islamic law which is to directly advise the one who has made a mistake and not to make a public display of others’ faults). Embed this in your heart! At times, even seemingly religious and righteous individuals commit backbiting 

by saying expressions that are astonishing. As for teachers, leaders and officers, they at times indulge in backbiting by trying to show compassion for their subordinates and students; with phrases like, ‘I feel so sorry for that person that he commits such-and-such evil. I wish he wasn’t involved in those things (i.e. drug addiction).’ In reality, these people are not feeling sorry for others, but are actually exposing their faults and shortcomings disguised as compassion and well-wishing and thus indulging in backbiting. 

Instead of saying such expressions, if they really want the best for the other person, they could directly approach them and make an effort to rectify their behaviour. 

Some people have been observed making this point that they are only exposing the faults to another person so that the listener supplicates for him. They think that they are doing them a favour but instead they are actually backbiting. May Allah protect us from the deceit of Satan and protect us from speaking-ill against other Muslims.’ 

(‘Uyūn-ul-Ḥikāyāt, vol. 2, pp. 38)

The Beloved and Blessed Prophet said: 'Backbiting is 

worse than fornication.’ 

People asked, ‘Yā Rasūlallāĥ, why is that?’ 

The Prophet  replied, ‘A person fornicates then he repents, then Allah accepts his repentance. Whereas the repentance of the backbiter will not be accepted until the person he slandered forgives him.’ (Shu’ab-ul-Īmān, vol. 5, pp. 306, Ḥadīš 6741)

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