Backbiting & Slander: Root of All Evils
Backbiting, mockery and slander are major social evils which have been prohibited by Allah the Almighty for the believers. They strain relations among people and corrupt society .They lead to hatred and animosity.
Allah the Exalted has said: “O, you who believe! Avoid much suspicions; indeed 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. (49:12)
Abu Hurairah narrated, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said : “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales, and do not look for others’ faults and do not do spying on one another, and do not practice “Najsh” (i.e. to offer a high price for something in order to allure another customer who is interested in the thing.) and do not be jealous of one another and do not hate one another and do not desert (stop talking to) one another. And O Allah’s servants! Be brothers!” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 8. Hadith no. 92)
Sahl Bin S’ad says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said a person who gives surety to (safeguard) that which is between the jaws (tongue) and that which is between his two legs (private organs), I guarantee his entrance into Paradise. (Bukhari and Muslim).
Abu Hurairah relates that Prophet Mohammad (peace beupon him) said that sometimes a person says something, which pleases Allah and in return Allah raises his status, (rewards him) and sometimes a person says something which displeases Allah, it takes him into hell (Bukhari).
Allah the Almighty is so averse to mockery and slander that he dedicated a whole Surah to it, which is Surah Al-Humazah, (The Slanderer), which was revealed at a time when the Qur’an was following up the incidents faced by the Islamic Call. It portrays one of the actual scenes that happened at that time. This scene can be repeated in every Islamic environment and society. Some polytheists had subjected the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the believers to their taunts and scorns. The Qur’an was the infallible weapon that destroyed the cunning of the conspirators, shook the hearts of the enemies and filled the believers with courage and fortitude.
Allah the Exalted says: “Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.” (104:1)
Islam forbids mockery, ridicule and fault finding in others. The Qu’ran describes these mannerisms as sordid and ugly. It adds warnings and threats to anyone indulging in them. The scorner or the mocker ridicules others, which is repugnant to Allah.
Sufyan Bin Abdullah relates, I requested the Prophet (peace be upon him), O Messenger of Allah! Please tell me something to which I may hold fast. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: Affirm, my Lord and sustainer is Allah and then stick to it. I further said, O Messenger of Allah! What is that which you consider as the most injurious to me? He held his tongue and said,”This.” (Tirmidhi)
Uqbah Bin A’amir relates, I inquired Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), what is salvation? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Control your tongue, keep inside your house and lament (be sorry) over your sins. (Tirmidhi)
Abu Hurairah relates that Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) asked the companions, “Do you know what is meant by backbiting, they answered, Allah and his Messenger know best. He said to tell such things about your brother which he dislikes. One of the listeners asked, Even if my brother may be like that to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If such defects as you say, be in him, then you are backbiting and if he does not have what you say then you are committing slander. (Muslim)
Ibn ‘Umar relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Do not indulge in long conversations without remembering Allah, the Exalted, for much talk without remembrance of Allah hardens the heart, and the person farthest from Allah will be the one who has a hard heart. (Tirmidhi)
Abu Hurairah said that Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) has declared that everything belonging to a Muslim is unlawful for another Muslim, his blood, his honor and his property. (Muslim) Muslims are expected to forgive one another, as Allah honors those who forgive.