Friday, June 5, 2009

Jum'a Thoughts: Gossip, Backbiting, and Slander


Looks all good and harmless right?This is what gossip really is. We all know that Allah subhanhu wa ta a'ala abhors the nature of mankind that inclines its men and womenfolk to gossip about one another. Or if you don't, and are new to Islam, I will post the ayah from the Qu'ran for clarity's sake: "...Nor speak ill of eachother behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother/sister? Nay, you would abhor it. But fear Allah" (Qu'ran 49: 12). Gossip is like eating the flesh of the person you are backbiting, gossiping about, or slandering. That is the metaphor we are given by Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala about this despicable habit.



And the punishment for those who gossip about any member of this Ummah? "Those who love [to see] scandal published and broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter..." (Qu'ran 24:19)

The Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam advised in this hadith: "No man conceals the sin of another in this world, but Allah will cover him on the Day of Resurrection." (Muslim). And this hadith--- "Whoever sees a Muslim's fault and covers it up, it will be as if he brought back to life a baby girl who had been buried alive." (Ibid). This means we are supposed to conceal our own sins (excepting that we can provide advice to help prevent others from committing the same sins), not only the sins of others'. We are not supposed to say something about somebody they would not like, even if it is true. If we say something they do not like to others about them, then it is backbiting. If we say something to somebody other than the person comitting the sin (in private) we are gossiping (even if the gossip is true). If it is untrue, then we have slandered them. Do you know what gossiping is?:"Do you know what gossip is?" They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He said, "It is your saying about your brother something which he dislikes." He was asked, "What do you think if I say about my brother it true?" He said, "If it is true then you have gossiped about him, and if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim). . And 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib reports: "The one who gives his tongue free rein in spreading scandal in the commnity is as great a sinner as the one who commits a scandalous act." Ponder that, if you will. The one who spreads the gossip about the one who say, flirted with a boy, or wore too much eyeshadow, or bought a lottery ticket, or even committed fornication, has committed a sin as great as the one they have spoken of. This because the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alahi wa salaam has related "You will find among the worst people in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection, the one who is two-faced, who approaches some people in one way and others in another." (Bukhari, Muslim, et al). "The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe. (Bukhari). So you say la ilaha il allah but you hurt other Muslims and they are not safe fro you? Then, you risk not being what the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam considered a Muslim to be. We are told to protect eachother from sin, not by shaming them "The whole of a Muslim's being is sacred to another Muslim-his blood, his wealth and his honour are inviolable." (Muslim). The Qu'ran tells us not to seek out others faults "...And spy not on one another..." (Qu'ran 49:12). Slander and accusations destroy the integrity of the Umah which is why adultery, which has such a high price in its punishment, is worthy of death (it causes suspicion and gossip and destroy bonds of brotherhood and family ties in the way that gossip and slander does!). Rasul Allah, sal Allah alayhi wa sallam, said "...And anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should say what is good or keep quiet." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 47
I will describe the ugliest monster created by nothing more than the human tongue: it has no legs and so it must be carried everywhere. It has no eyes, so it sees things that never were. It has no hands but it can slay, and maim, and kill, and has. That ugly monster is gossip. It causes suicides in highschools, breaks up marriages, ruins friendships, and plagues this ummah. Many, the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam said, would be led to hell by their tongues (gossiping), or by the tongues of others' (ie listening to gossip). Sisters, you cannot stop others from gossiping about you, but you can avoid spreading gossip, and a way better even than that is to avoid listening to it.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

backbiting and slander has become second nature to us that we do not even realise anymore that we are doing it. I think we are all guilty of it from time to time. Even if we do not spread false rumours ourselves,if we listen to other people gossiping or slandering someone then we are just as guilty. What shocks me the most lately is that men partake so much in gossiping that they are just as bad as women today. What really saddens me is that gossiping takes place even at janazahs today. I went to a janazah awhile back and the moment the deceased body was taken away for burial everyone started chatting up a storm,gossiping included. Where has our sense of decency and respect gone? Gossip mongers are people who have no noble aims in this life,for them the silly amusements of this world is their addiction,they do not care who they hurt in the process and those who gossip are usually the people who are the most insecure about themselves,or are filled with resentment and hate which is such a sad way to live.thanx for the reminder of the punishment for backbiting pixie. razina.south africa

Sonia said...

JazakAllah Khair Pixie, a great post!! As always!!

Ayan said...

SubhanAllah sis this is so prevelent in our ummah :(
May Allah protect us from this great sin ameen! Btw the second pic is quite disturbing...

Stephanie said...

This is a big problem in our communities indeed. I wonder if people were more aware of the the hadiths you quoted in your post if they would continue to spend so much time engaging in it. Don't you just wish people would actually FOLLOW their religion for once?

Habibti said...

it isnt muslims only we cant backbite but everyone? am i wrong

Amina said...

I saw this crazy youtube clip about gossiping (it was geared towards muslims) it portrays a group of beautifully clad young muslim women who are engaging in white. However, when the camera moves in closer you see that they are ugly monsters. Darn, I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it. It was poignant. Nedless to say gossip should be avoided but is such a second nature to us (darn again).

Amina said...

K,

Couldnt help myself. Here is the clip from youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzSB1uKOtCg

Pixie said...

Habibti: everyone, as anyone we gossip about it is like we are eating their flesh, but it was stressed within the Ummah. It happened in the time of Sahabiyiat to some of the best of women so many ahadith are attributed to that time period.

Habibti said...

i think it is good to always add too that its bad to backbite nonmuslims. some think as long as they are not muslims it is okay, May God forgive us. it is really difficult not to talk about others.

noorsjourney said...

Assalamu aleikum,

Yes, that YT clip is gross and scary but it really gets the point across, doesn't it?

Amina said...

I mean to say that the women were engaged in a conversation not in white hehehe. I think everybody did get the point however.

Pixie said...

Amina: It is a good vid. That is why I had included it in the post itself but thanks for the link since it is easier for the sisters who can't access loaded blogger vids.:D

Habibti said...

i started watchin the videos on youtube yesterday night. i didnt know you posted it too. and i was too scared i didnt finish it

Pixie said...

Habibti: can you see the video labelled "Don't talk behins others backs" on this post? I am wondering if other people can.

Habibti said...

yes its that video i was watchin yesterday i clicked on it right now and its workin

Amina said...

I cant see the video. Sorry if I was a bit redundant :-)).

Anonymous said...

I know this is a super old post, but I just watched this video and had a O_____________O moment. This is a very, VERY good thing to remember!

<3 Anna