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-MJ Mohammed Iqbal


Imam Ghazzali says about causes of back-biting."The causes of backbiting are many and some of the causes are as below.


v     The first is - Anger. If there is cause of anger in anybody, a man is engaged in saying about his guilt and there arises in his mind hatred for him. This is natural if he has got no religious connection with him. Sometimes he entertains hatred in his mind without mentioning it expressly. So anger stands as a cause of backbiting.

v     For pleasing the minds of friends and companions.

v     To shake off one's own guilt by backbiting others.

v     To get oneself free from guilt by attributing it to others saying.

v     To express the glory and praise of oneself thereby making another fool.

v     Hatred towards another.

Jests and ridicules and the eighth cause is to hold another in contempt.


Islamic ethics and moral as stated in the Holy Quran and the Prophet (PBUH)'s lifestyle (Sunnah) embrace the consideration of all those moral excellencies known to the world, such as sincerity, honesty, humility, justice, patience, straightforwardness, keeping promise, charity, meekness, politeness, forgiveness, goodness, courage, veracity, sympathy, tolerance, decency, cooperation and other ethical instruments and rules of conduct recommended and upheld by Islam. A resplendent feature of Islamic system of life is that it teaches comprehensive manners to all mankind with mercy, sympathy and consideration.

The first among the deeds which tops the list of good manners is to speak the truth and be steadfast in it regardless of its consequences. The Prophet (PBUH) teaches: "Speak the truth no matter how bitter it may be." Keep away from ill thinking because ill thinking is the greatest falsehood."


Honesty and keeping of trust is one of the Divine orders and is considered as one of the virtues of the faithful. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: One who is not honest trustworthy has no religion faith.


Similarly The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: One who is dishonest in this world and does not return the trust to its owner and dies in this state has left the world being out of my ummah nation and is not considered as my follower and he will meet Allah making HIM angry and furious, that is, he will meet with Divine chastisement.


The grate Calipha Imam Ali said: Keep distance from a dishonest person as, doubtlessly, dishonesty is one of the worst sins and a dishonest person will always remain in the fire of hell.


The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said: For recognising people, do not see only how much prayers do they perform or how much do they fast or how many times he has made hajj pilgrimage and how much donations he has made. Nor pay attention to his name and fame regarding his night worship. But keep in mind his truthfulness and honesty.


Imam Sadiq said: The weight of man's goodness is not in his bowings and prostrations during his lengthy worship because, these acts have become his habit in such a way that it they leave them they become restless, but the balance and measure is their truthfulness and honesty or trustworthiness.


Yes, so many are the people whose prayers and worships are no more than habitual routine and they think that through such spiritless rituals performed without realising the reality behind Divine commandments they will enter paradise. Those who imagine like this should know that such worship acting according to it is like soul in a body. If the soul is dead within a body, it is more than a corpse.


We read in the Holy Quran: Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, ignorant.

By prohibiting jealous, backbiting, falsehood, wickedness and all other harmful things Islam makes the ground steady for emulating divine principles of Islamic character which provide a peaceful living in this world and the hereafter. The major criterion in Islamic living is the eternal words of The Prophet (PBUH) that "Actions rest on motives."

Good manners mean the commission of those virtuous deeds by which human perfection is achieved which entitles a human being, in its true senses to be referred to as the best of creation. The effect of adopting these manners, propounded by Islam is that mankind receives tranquillity, peace, harmony, happiness, love, affection, justice, equality and whatever a human being desire for a healthy and peaceful living. This is the month for the believers to think of their weakness and come away from them, and develop themselves towards fine qualities as taught and practised by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Quran to achieve peace in all our endeavours.


Further Imam Gazzali says about the corrective medicines for back-biting as follows.


The medicine of back-biting is knowledge and action or a mixture of knowledge and action. The medicine of a disease is its opposite. There are two kinds of medicines of back-biting, general medicine and special medicine. The general medicine is that the back-biter should have the knowledge that in case of back-biting, he would fall in the wrath of God and that his virtues would be lost on the resurrection day for this cause as his virtue would go to the back-bited. Back-biting has been likened to eating a dead animal. The Prophet (PBUH) said: Back-biting consumes the virtues of a man sooner than the fire consumes a dry wood. The Prophet (PBUH) said that he is one blessed who cannot see the faults of others because he remains busy with his own faults.


However, the following does not amount to backbiting and is free from sin.


v     The oppressed man speaking or oppression before people or before judges.

v     One speaking ill of a judge or a king or a leader about his injustice, oppression and bribery.

v     One who helps others in removing detestable things (Makruh) of a person or people in order to bring him or them to right path and not for avenging personal grudge.

v     One who seeks legal decision or fatwa by saying : That man has done such and such thing. How can I get rid of him?

v     One who warns the Muslims from the innovations or evil practices of a man or people opposed to Shariat.

v     One who speaks ill of another who is well-known for his drinking habits, debauchery and immoral life.


The expiation of backbiting is nothing but the backbiter will repent sincerely in mind and will be sorry for that and also he would seek pardon of the back-bited person being humble.


Practicing the codes & morals of Divine path, will take one towards mental peace and spiritual bliss..


Courtesy: Gulf Today