Back-biters, Eat the Flesh of Your Dead Brothers
By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam
Quran is full of Ayahs which can be used as searchlights for the right guidance to the right path. Muslims have again taken themselves to the time of Jahiliya. Before the holy birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) world was living in the darkness of social ills. God sent us light. We were guided to the right path. We were blessed. We conquered the world. But, alas, we have again lost our straight path and are about to sink in the darkness of ignorance of Islamic knowledge.
Muslims have many Islamic study centres which are busy teaching, but God alone knows what. Our children should be taught basic Islamic teachings for everyday living. First of all, the Islamic knowledge of ways and manners, customs and rites and behaviour should be imparted to transform them from mere human to humane beings. We recite, “Guide us to the straight path “(1:6) (Ihdenas Serat al Mustaqueem), many a times during our everyday compulsory ‘five times’ Namaz. Some understand its meaning, some do not but no one can say he does not know about them.
Everybody, in the Muslim community, even a nominal Muslim keeps asking God, the Almighty, to guide him to the straight path. They pray for direction, to be shown the right path, day in and day out. Does God not listen to them?
No, I do not think this is the case. God listens to everyone irrespective of religion, caste or creed. God fulfils all the demands made to Him. May be not exactly in the way or in the form it is demanded, but the believers know it is accepted, one way or the other. Why then they, the Muslims, are so misguided? There must be reasons behind it. There are. And that is that the believers, not all but only the so called, do not believe their prayers will be accepted. But why? That is because they do not pray to please Allah or to perform their duties for the love of Allah but just to confirm to being an acceptable part of a particular society. Obviously these people have little or no faith in Allah or His being the Most Merciful and All Knower. They deceive, but, of course, they deceive only themselves.
From the Pesh Imam to Muqtadi, from the Maulvis to the pupils, all just go through the rituals of Islamic prayers or day to day customs, either not understanding that they are talking to God, directly, or not believing, it is possible, hence no effect.
On various occasions God, the Almighty, reminds and re-reminds of His quality of being “Lord of the worlds” (Rab bil Alameen, 1:2) but Muslims, like all others, believe there are innumerable lords in their day-to-day life, like their teachers, in whose hands is their getting successful or failure, their employer who has the authority on their job and their earnings with which they buy happiness of their families, the landlord who has provided a roof on their heads and of course the government administrative bosses who make or break their lives. Had it not been so they would have never indulged in one of the most heinous sins in the eyes of Quran i.e. back-biting.
· "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds 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" (Qur'an 49: 12)”
Understanding of above mentioned ayah is enough for a human being to never indulge in this act. This ayah also describes the nature of the punishment one has to get for this heinous crime. Let us keep our hands on our hearts and ask ourselves, do we not know about it. If we know, why do we indulge ourselves in back-biting and eat the flesh of our dead brothers. Is it not hateful? Quran asks:
· “Would one of you like to EAT THE FLESH OF HIS DEAD BROTHER? You would hate it (so hate backbiting).”
And some of us indulge in back-biting for the sake of fun. And some of us have made it our second nature. We make fun of others but with the justice of God we become an object of hate, in return. We do it to save our respect, to save our jobs, to earn more in business and for many such petty things. To clear our conscience we say to ourselves that we do it for the good of our parents, our wives and our children. But in return we earn disrespect and humiliation for all of them. Money earned through contempt of others or corruption of any kind can never bring better result. We get the result during our life time in various forms. Even they leave us for whom we do such sinful acts. It does not require much labour or intellect to know the result of every bad deed. We just have to keep our conscience alive and observe our surrounding to know how God punishes for the sins we commit in our everyday life, for petty gains.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) defined backbiting thus:
· 'It is speaking of your brother in a way that is irksome to him.'
· It was asked; 'What if the defect being talked of is present in my brother?'
· The Prophet Muhammad (saw) answered, ' If it is present in him, it would be backbiting, and if it is not present, it would be slander.'
· The sole exception here are cases where talking ill of a person in his absence maybe a real necessity, which cannot be met without resort to backbiting, and if backbiting is not resorted to, there is a likelihood of this resulting in a bigger evil). Qibla, Question I D: 212)
In one Hadith: "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say [something] good, or he should keep silent." [Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah] This Hadith teaches us to keep silent. According to Imam Nawawi (r a) "It is obligatory for every sane adult to guard his tongue against talking, except when it contains a clear benefit. If talking and remaining silent are of equal benefit, it is Sunnah to abstain, for permissible talking might lead to something undesirable or forbidden, as in fact is very often the case, and nothing matches safety." In the light of this statement of Imam Nawawi (r a) keeping silent is a Sunnah. It means we get Allah’s reward (Sawab) if we abstain from useless talks. Back-biting also creates lots of confusion in the mind of back-biter and to prove himself right he has to then indulge in lots of lies.
Above mentioned Ayahs and Ahadith are quite simple to understand and follow in their true spirit. But then it requires total faith in Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (s a w), faith that whatever He does is for the betterment of the people. The people who understand this never try to take any short cut to success. They understand that unnecessary talks lead to something undesirable or forbidden by Allah and His Prophet (pbuh). This success or happiness thus bought is for a very short period of time. Had it not been so, there would not have been people who are at peace with themselves and happy with what they have. Real happiness does not lie in the wealth earned through undesirable ways. Perish not they who are satisfied with the kindness of God but they live in fool’s paradise who think they have befooled their brothers.
In the background of the accusations of militancy and terrorism against Muslims and mass killings by the enemies of Islam and by their own brethren all over the world, it can be said that they are themselves to be blamed for these are nothing but heavenly justice against them for their sins like, ‘back-biting ‘they knowingly or unknowingly perform. What else can be the reason? Why the whole world has turned against Islam? Why sectarianism prevails among Muslims. There have to be seventy two sects among the Muslims. Fine. But, there have to be reasons behind every occurrence and sins like ‘back-biting’ and in-fighting are the ones. What is happening in Syria, Libya, Iraq or Pakistan? Muslims in these countries are eating the flesh of their own dead brothers. The Burma killing or the Assam massacre in recent times should be taken as an eye opener for the Muslims to keep themselves on the ‘straight path’ shown by Allah, the Almighty and His Prophet (pbuh).
· “Allah is The One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful” (49: 12)
Above mentioned Ayah is a proof of all the doors of repentance not being shut. Allah has on numerous occasions reminded of his being the most Merciful and Kind and that He accepts repentance.
· "When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear God as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.’" (At-Tirmidhee)
Above mentioned statement from Tirmizi is for us, the Muslims, to wake up from our deep slumber and start our day, our life after repentance, with a vow to not let our whole being down.
والله أعلم بالصواب (And God knows what is right)