Assalamu alaikum. What would be a better way of giving comfort and satisfaction to our hearts than living a life free of rancor and animosity towards our fellow beings. The heart is constantly yearning for happiness and peace and that is about the greatest goal of its existence. It is a basic medical knowledge, that in order to sustain a healthy life you need to constantly put your diet on check and also avoid those foods that are potentially dangerous to the immune system. A wise man will abide strictly by this rule but most men will prefer taking those foods in defiance to the warning of those in the medical profession and the result of such whimsical action is always devastating.
Allah describes man as 'ignorant and an oppressor' and in most cases our actions are a pointer to this declaration. In management, there is a theory that describes leaders as having a window and mirror attitude where it states that a great leader will point to others in times of success. He will point away from himself – out the “window” and make others look good and he will point in the mirror if something goes wrong. He will always take full responsibility for what has been going wrong. Applying this theory to our lives makes us look rather unfortunate, for we are constantly cut in the web of talking about other peoples' mistakes. Always trying to apportion blames to others and we enjoy discussing people instead of issues.
Backbiting is one of our greatest problems today, it has become the 'in thing' and some even call it 'biography'. Allah in His inimitable style says "O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful". Surah Hujurat 49:12
Subhanallah! dissect the eloquence of the above verse and your heart will shiver. Allah likened backbiting to the obnoxious act of eating the flesh of our dead brothers. It is so disgusting an act that when someone whose character we are assassinating come to know about our evil utterances, we tend to live in constant shame and nay we even lose our integrity.
Prophet Muhammad(saw) said :"Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "God and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of God said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim). The commander of the faithfuls, Umar bn Khattab(RA) said: "do not think ill of the word that comes out of your believing brother's mouth as long as you can find excuse for it". Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: "I said to the Prophet(saw): It is enough for you in Safiyyah that she is such and such (the other version than Musaddad's has meaning that she was short-statured. He replied; You have said a word which would change the sea if it were mixed in it... "Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 41, Number 4857.
This is a poisonous meat(flesh of our dead brothers) that happily finds its way in our daily menu and we happily consume it least considering the damaging effects it has on our spiritual immune system. Sometimes we hide under the pretext of 'just relating the truth' and backbite others. Anas(RA) said regarding the Prophet(saw): "The Prophet was not one who would abuse (others) or say obscene words, or curse (others), and if he wanted to admonish anyone of us, he used to say: "What is wrong with him, his forehead be dusted!" Bukhari: Book 8: Volume 73: Hadith 58. Let me end by relating a brilliant statement of Sheikh Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi, he wrote: "Struggling against yourself to free yourself from interfering in others' affairs is exhausting in the beginning, but easy in the end"
Let us repent now by seeking for Allah's forgiveness and also the forgiveness of the people we have backbitten and promise our eeman not to engage in the act again. Check what the Prophet(saw) have to say about backbiting. Narrated Abu Hurairah(RA) that he heard the Prophet saying, "O Allah! If I should ever abuse a believer, please let that be a means of bringing him near to You on the Day of Resurrection."
We can always prevent this by admonishing whoever relates other peoples' tale to us not to start it because our evils are so much that if we only occupy ourselves with them we will have no time discussing other peoples' fault.
May my Allah give us the strength and the courage to abstain from this evil act which will be a negative factor against us on the day of Qiyamat.