This little contribution comes from Hafiz Raakin Hossain.
By Hafiz Raakin Hossain
Islam emphasizes on the rights of creation. There are two types of rights: One of the Creator and another of the Creation. The rights of Allah are forgiven if one repents, but the rights of the creation require asking forgiveness from the person who he has wronged. Backbiting is one of the many actions that go against the rights of the creation. It is when one person speaks ill of another, even if it is true.
â€œBackbiting is worse than unlawful intercourse.â€ (Bayhaqi) This Hadith has a series of meanings. One is that when backbiting, you do not realize the consequences as much as you do when you commit unlawful intercourse. Thus, there are more chances that you turn back to Allah and repent for your previous misdeeds, as opposed to for backbiting. When backbiting, your sub-conscious mind comes up with as many ill thoughts of a specific person and whether it is truth or lie, it comes out of your lips. Silence can take you a long way, as said in the Hadith: â€œSaying what is good is better than silence, and silence is better than saying what is bad.â€ (Bayhaqi) Oneâ€™s tongue alone can lead a person to the flames of Jahannam, and it is essential and important for every believer to become aware of the consequences of evil and useless speech.
Backbiting is such a great of a sin, that it is said that we should not even hear it, let alone speak it. A virtue of silence is that the one who conceals a fault of another, Allah will conceal his faults on the Day of Judgment.
Useless talk is not a sin, but rather, it is a waste of precious time. However, even if it is not a sin, it can lead to one. We should be aware of what we speak. There was a Shaykh who used to stop after every sentence he spoke, especially in lectures. One of his students was asked, â€œWhy does your teacher seem to hesitate when he speaks?â€ The student replied, â€œMy teacher prefers to think before he speaks, so he does not regret what he says.â€ How rare this quality is in this time and age. Whatever comes to our mind, immediately goes to our tongue.
When saying salaams, one says â€œMay the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.â€ This is two things: a promise and a dua. It is first a dua for the well being of the other person, and also a promise that one will never think or speak bad about that person. Whenever we greet each other, we should acknowledge this fact, and therefore, you will find it easy to keep away from ill thoughts that may very likely lead to backbiting.
Another form, a more severe one, is gossip. Gossip is worse than backbiting, as it is may continue for hours, no end. Gossip is when one person hears a secret from another, and then spreads it around town. It is very much like a match set on a forest. One match, coming from the trunks of the trees, can create such a disaster that it destroys the whole forest. Our Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhe Wasallam, said, â€œGatherings are to be kept in confidence.â€ When a person hears or sees something which he knows or even has the slightest doubt that the other might have offense to, it is best to forget about it, pretending nothing had happened. There are exceptions to cases such as murder and robbery where one is allowed to divulge such secrets.
May Allah protect us from the evils of backbiting and gossip and make us one of those who Allah will conceal his faults on the day of judgment. Aameen.