Backbiting: The disease of the soul
Mohammad Hussain Khan
Backbiting is a very wicked act. Backbiting means mentioning something about a person in his absence that he hates to have mentioned whether it is about his body, his worldly affairs his self his physical appearance, his character, his wealth, his child, his parents or his manners of walking and talking.
Many gatherings and assemblies are packed with it. Backbiting is so wide spread among the people that it has become an issue of people’s meetings and an avenue for expressing their anger, misgivings ad jealousy. It is a reality that women more commonly and frequently indulge in the evil of backbiting. It is usual to find that when a group of women sit together they start backbiting. Once they are free of their domestic duties they become free to talk and backbiting may be the main context of their conversation.
Among the more subtle forms of backbiting is listening to it with amazement. The Prophet (SAW) said, the listener is one among the two backbiters”.
How true is that we do not like that our defects are unmasked and made known to others. Then if we ourselves expose the flaws of others, it contradicts the moral values. Rather to disclose and make known the faults of other persons while covering one’s own defects is highly unethical. As regards the persons who backbite it is often observed that usually those people who do not work and do not worry about earning a living often do it as a favourite pastime. These idle persons freely indulge in backbiting. Their negative minds dwell on unimportant things and fantasies. This is the juncture at which our minds can lead us astray. The modus operandi of the devil is to exert on us a malignant influence. When a person is busy with some business and has some meaningful aims he does not get time to think of doing something which proves to be harmful for others. The person who has nothing to do can think of rubbish ideas. They implement those rubbish ideas into practice which may cause destruction and chaos in the society and growth of backbiters. Grudge, jealousy and illiteracy are the reasons causing people to back bite.
Backbiting is a symbol of weakness and cowardice. The backbiter does not have courage to say all that in the face of the intended person. He does not have the ability to equip himself with the qualities and virtues that the other person has. Had he possessed a sincere desire to rise and progress then he would have seriously tried his level best to attain levels of moral standards. Backbiting causes hostilities between people of the same household and between neighbours and relatives. It decreases in good deeds and increases in evil deeds and leads to dishonour and ignominy.
Although backbiting is from the most vilest and despicable of things, yet the most widely spread amongst mankind. Noble Quran strongly forbids backbiting and compares it to the abhorrent act of eating the flesh of one’s dead brother.
‘O People who believe! Avoid excessive assumptions, Indeed assumption sometimes becomes a sin, and do not seek faults and do not slander one another, would any one among you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? So you will hat that! And fear Allah, indeed Allah is most acceptor of repentance most merciful (Al-Hujrat-12)
Backbiting is a denounced deed that ruins the social relationships and consumes the good deeds of the backbiter. It breeds faction and hypocrisy and destroys unity and solidarity in society and shakes pillars of the religion. If someone has been guilty of this ugly act, he or she must purge this vice and nourish the roots of sincerity, unity and solidarity in his/her heart.
Backbiting often results from a weakness in the backbiter’s own soul, such as an inferior complex. We should pry into our soul to discover what weakness prompted us to backbite our brother or sister, then set out to remedy the weakness.
Prophet (SAW) said, “The compensation for backbiting someone is asking forgiveness for him.”
May Allah (Swt) make us among the ones who avoid backbiting! Ameen.