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News Code: 1112


Islam Considers Backbiting A Great Sin

Backbiting is such a common evil that even though the whole world is destroyed and luckily three persons survive, the other two will move aside and backbite about the third one.
 Backbiting is perhaps the most frequently committed sin of the tongue. Regardless of the fact that Islam defines back biting as eating a dead brother’s flesh,  still  it is everyone’s favorite pastime at  homes, clubs, parks, weddings, offices, shops, even funerals and graveyards are not safe.
Often we indulge in a discussion and somehow end up speaking about someone not existing among us. It is almost unavoidable as conversation seems less interesting without backbiting.
Backbiting is to speak ill about a person behind his back, counting matters regarding his ethics, activities, appearance, or character. Not only is backbiting restricted to words, but also it includes every behavior and action, whether indicative or straight.
Finding faults in others is the easiest thing in the world. The habit of fault-finding and bad-mouthing has become so common that even the feeling of its sinfulness and wickedness has vanished.
Apparently the worst of all sins are those that are greatest in harm and danger to humanity. Among the destructive and harmful major sins are backbiting and slandering. These two sins are forbidden by Allah because they spread hate, evils and create conflict among people and lead to destruction. They cause hostilities between family, friends, neighbors and relatives.
The Holy Quran says:
“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deed 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 Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al Hujurat, 49:12)
Almost all of us are aware that backbiting is a sin. Yet we often indulge in it. It was believed that only women were guiltier of it. But most men also indulge in backbiting and gossiping. There could be uncountable reasons behind badmouthing like inferiority complex, weakness, cowardice, frustration, bitterness, jealousy and so on.
The tongue, though very small and tiny in size, holds great importance in our life. In fact, all the social matters that are related to morals and ethics are mainly related to tongue.
All our good and bad behaviour are mostly the miracle of the tongue, while telling a lie, abusing, slandering, backbiting, gossiping, and all other social evils are concerned with this tiny piece of flesh.
Buddha, the great thinker and philosopher said:
“The tongue is like a sharp knife, kills without drawing blood.”
In fact, speaking anything about a person in his/her absence, that he would hate to have mentioned or discussed, whether it is about characteristics, physical appearance, wealth, worldly affairs, wife, children, manner of speech, style of walking, it is the same whether mentioned that with words, through writings, or whether you point or indicate him by gesturing with eyes, hand or head are all backbiting.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once asked his followers: “Do you know what backbiting is?”
They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”
He (PBUH) continued: “Saying something about your brother that he dislikes.”
Someone then asked, “What if what I say about my brother is true?”
The Prophet (PBUH) responded: “If what you say is true then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him as well.”
In fact, backbiting plants the poisonous seeds of hatred among people. In so many cases, backbiting has caused serious problems and unwanted tragedies.
Allah (swt) has warned us in the Holy Quran:
“Do not concern yourself with things about which you have no knowledge. Verily, your hearing, sight, and heart -- all of them will be called to account" (Surah Al Isra 17:36).
Perhaps, backbiting has become an issue of people’s gatherings and a way for expressing their anger, doubts and jealousy. Those who indulge in backbiting, in fact, try to hide their own faults and harm others. They are unaware of the fact that they are only harming themselves.
The Prophet (PBUH) once gave guidance to Abu Dharr (r), saying: “O Abu Dharr! Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is graver than adultery (zina).”
Abu Dharr (r) said: “Why is that so, O Messenger of Allah?”
He (PBUH) replied: “That is because when a man commits adultery and then repents to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance. However, backbiting is not forgiven until forgiven by its victim.”
Nowadays people have discovered a new way of enjoyment by joking and making fun of others, which is another form of backbiting, this could involve mockery and sarcasm.
Before laughing and making fun of others we must remind ourselves what Allah Subhanahu wa taa’la has voiced us in the Holy Quran:
"O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter is better than the former..." [Al-Hujurat 49:11]
Hence badmouthing and slandering is one of the severe social evils today. It is one of the most destructive elements that destroys the social structure and spoils the social affairs. When the ill speech grasps the one about whom it is said, it hurts him and arises feelings of hatred, suspicion and disgust in him.
The teachings of Islam are peace, harmony, love and kindness. Therefore, suspicion, lies, backbiting, slandering and gossiping are completely against the ethics of Islam. There should be respect for the honor, prestige and privacy of others. These are the foundations that combine the complete fabric of social system.
Therefore we must perceive in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. One must be honest, humble and respectful to the whole human race and avoid polluting tongues by speaking evil, criticizing, mocking and insulting others.
We must guard our tongue and avoid things that have been prohibited in Islam. We all must use our tongue in a manner that is pleasing to Allah and must try to speak well or either keep silent.