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Islamic Society ( 13 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Destructive Effects of Backbiting (Gheebah) From the Islamic Perspective

Islam Warns Those Who Don’t Cease From Backbiting

Main Points:

1.    The vast majority of Muslims are currently afflicted by a dreadful epidemic of backbiting.

2.    Backbiting does not imply lying about someone, but rather speaking truthfully about their flaws behind their back.

3.    Hurting one's honour and dignity is just as haraam and immoral as harming one's life and possessions

4.    The reward of backbiters' good acts is transferred to those whom they have been backbiting.

5.    In Islam, the value of a person's honour and dignity is very high.

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By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam

14 June 2022

The vast majority of Muslims are currently afflicted by a dreadful epidemic of backbiting. Most houses have now become battlefields as a result of this backbiting. In families, neighbourhoods, and markets, the same backbiting has constructed ominous walls of animosity. Many people do not even know what backbiting is, despite the fact that it is the responsibility of every rational adult Muslim to know the required regulations concerning it.

We may readily say that "usury is forbidden and usury is haram" if there is a usurer. We may readily declare that it is haram if there is a bribe-taker since we know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever receives and gives bribe will not enter Paradise and will become the fuel of Hell." However, we have forgotten what the Qur'an says regarding backbiting:

“O, believers! Avoid many suspicions, ˹for˺ indeed, some suspicions are sinful. And do not spy, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of your dead brother? You would despise that! And fear Allah. Surely Allah is the˺ Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful. (49:12)

Al-Gheebah is translated as backbiting. Backbiting does not imply lying about someone, but rather speaking truthfully about their flaws behind their back. It is not backbiting to make up a story about someone and then speak behind their back; instead, it is slander (Buhtaan), which is much worse than backbiting. But we'll concentrate on backbiting rather than slander here.

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Also Read:  In Islam, Backbiting Is Forbidden, But What About Exposing Injustice In Order To Restore Justice? What Is The Position Of Whistleblowers In Islam?

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Hazrat Abu Hurairah said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was asked: Messenger of Allah! What is backbiting? He replied: It is saying something about your brother which he would dislike. He was asked again: Tell me how the matter stands if what I say about my brother is true? He replied: If what you say of him is true, you have slandered him, and if what you say of him is not true, you have reviled him.” (Sahih Muslim, 2589, Sunan Abi Dawud, 4874)

Hazrat Huzaifah reported the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) as saying, “No slanderer (Qattat) will enter paradise” (Sunan Abi Dawud 4872)

Nowadays, some people sit together and start backbiting a friend, a player, or a politician until they are satisfied, and then they will go on to the next person, and so on. Some of us may believe that they'll be all right and that their graves will be made easy for them because this has become so common and casual. However, a hadith states that "Backbiting a person is like devouring the flesh of one's dead brother," while another hadith states that "the one who commits fornication repents, but the one who backbites does not repent." (Shu'bul Imaan, Baihaqi) This is because someone who commits adultery does so as a sin, whereas someone who conducts backbiting does not.

Hurting one's honour and dignity is just as haram and immoral as harming one's life and possessions. Backbiting is plainly condemned in the Qur'an and is compared to an unattractive behaviour, and the tale of eating the flesh of one's deceased brother is particularly instructive in this regard (49:12)

The good deeds of the backbiters are transported to those whom they have backbitten.  They will take from their Hasanaat or good deeds as much as their Gheebah. And if their good deeds end and they have no more to give, then they will be taking from their sins equivalent to the amount of Gheebah that they did behind you. This person has no idea about how much they are losing here.

The reward of backbiters' good acts is transferred to those whom they have backbitten. They will receive as much advantage from their Hasanaat, or good deeds, as their backbiting has been made. And if their good acts run out and they have nothing left to give, they will deduct from their sins the amount of Gheebah they spent behind you. This person has no idea how much loss they are bearing.

Al-Hassan Al-Basri was reportedly told that someone was backbiting him. So, he got a gift and went to the house of the man who backbit him. When the man opened the door and saw Al-Hassan standing with a grin and a gift of dates, the man became surprised as he had no relation with Al Hassan. As he offered him the gift, Al-Hassan stated to him, “I was told today that you gave me some of your Hasanaat, so I came to thank you!”

Abdullah Ibn Mubarak said, “If I was to backbite anyone, I would rather backbite my parents because they have the most right to my Hasanaat.”

In Islam, the value of a person's honour and dignity is very high and if that person is a Muslim, the value of his honour and dignity increases even more. That is why the faith of Islam has commanded us to refrain from all activities which undermine the dignity of a human being. One of these activities is to find fault with someone and expose it to others, which would erode the honour and dignity of human beings. For this reason, while the person whose fault is exposed to the public gets humiliation and disgrace, the person who keeps on finding and exposing the mistakes of people also face the hatred and criticism of the people in return. In this way, the honour and holiness of both those who seek flaws and those whose faults are mentioned are lost. Therefore, Islam forbids them to hunt for mistakes and disclose them in front of people without the permission of Shariah. Islam has also delivered a stern warning to people who do not cease from it. So that the people, fearing these warnings, will refrain from this heinous deed and the honour and sanctity of all will be maintained.

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Also Read:  Quran And Hadees On Friendship and Backbiting In Islam

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In a hadith, upon passing a grave the Prophet (peace be upon him) said the person of this grave is being punished for committing a significant transgression. He went on to explain, that the person was being punished for making false and defamatory accusations and made friends into enemies. (Sahih al-Bukhari 218).

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Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam


URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-society/backbiting-gheebah-islamic-perspective/d/127243


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