Backbiting and slandering are common vices of tongue in which most of the people are deeply engrossed. Both backbiting and slandering are such evils which cause a lot of resentment, conflicts, broken relations and many more thereby maligning the very social fabric of the society.
Islam believes in a society free of negativism and encourages positivism. It believes in the society which provides a condusive environment for good relations to nurture rather than breaking them for menial conflicts. It believes in the culture of friendship rather than enimity. Surely, backbiting and slandering diminishes any society.
Most of the gatherings produce nothing but mere gossip, defaming, slandering and discussing about the absent. Women are more prone to these evils precisely because of the fact that they are emotionally weak, expressive and little talkative in nature when compared to men. If something wrong happens to them or if they are treated unfairly then, they become annoyed and hurt. They vent their frustration by disclosing the matter not to the subject but to the third person or to people close to them which is nothing but, backbiting. If one feels that backbiting is just confined to women folk and has nothing to do with men then they are absolutely wrong
ALLAH SWT says in holy Quran “And do not backbite one another, would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it.” [Hujuraat 49:12]. The best explaination of this verse is given by the Prophet PBUH and who can explain Quran better than him, for the Book was revealed on him. He PBUH said “Do you know what backbiting (gheebah) is”? His companions replied: ALLAH and His messenger knows best, He PBUH said “To say something about your brother that he does not want to be said” the companions then asked him “what do you think if what is said about him is true”? He PBUH replied “If what you say about him is true then that is backbiting and if what you say about him is not true then that is slandering” [Sahih Muslim]
Gossiping or backbiting means saying something about a muslim which may be true but that person dislikes to hear it spoken. It may be concering about his physical appearance, behaviour, attitude, manners, matters concerning to his religion or any matter. Backbiting also includes making fun of a person by imitating him in his absence. This is common trait in many of us.
People tend to take the matter of backbiting and slandering very lightly. Remember it is very serious in the sight of ALLAH SWT. Prophet PBUH said “There are seventy two forms of ribaa, the least of which is as bad as a man having intercourse with his own mother, and the worst of which is when a man slanders the honor of his brother “.[Silsilah as Saheeh]
As muslims it is our duty to stop people from tarnishing the image of a fellow muslim. We must defend the one who is absent. By doing so we will surely be rewarded by our Creator. Prophet PBUH encouraged his followers to defend ones honour by saying “whoever defends the honour of his muslim brother, ALLAH will protect his face from the fire on the day of resurrection”.
Abu Umamah al-Bâhilî once said: “In judgment day, the slave of ALLAH will be given his book of deeds, where he finds rewards for things he did not do, so he asks: O My Lord, where did I get these deeds? So Allâh replies to him saying:” these are because of the people who backbitten you and you did not know about it”. Knowning this a predecessor Al Hasan was told that a man has backbitten you. He immediately sent that man who backbitten him a plate full of dates and sent a message saying: “I wanted to reward you for giving me more reward, yet please forgive me as I cannot thank you enough for what you did for me”.
Oh ALLAH I seek refuge in you and ask for your help in guarding my tongue from its destructive evils in perticular, and in general make all of us understand the sins of tongue and help us in refraining from them.