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Purification of the Soul
The Bad Consequences of the Tongue
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One saying ! ! Subhan Allaah:
Abu Hurairah - radiallaahu' anhu - said that he heard the Messenger say, “Indeed a servant (worshipper of Allaah) may say a word which he doesn’t realise and it will make him fall into the fire further than the East and the West.”
Abu Hurairah - radiallaahu' anhu - also reported that the Prophet Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Indeed a servant may say a word from which Allaah’s pleasure is gained and the servant does not realise it, Allaah will raise him up levels. Indeed a servant may say a word from which Allaah’s displeasure is gained and he does not realise it, Allaah will put him in Jahanam due to it.”Saheeh al-Bukhari (8/485), Al-Muwatta (56/6) and in Saheehul-Jaami’ of al-Albaani.
Imaam Ahmed - rahimahullaah - along with at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaai and Ibn Majah record a Hadeeth on the authority of the Sahabee, Fujani - radiallaahu' anhu - who said, “O Messenger of Allaah tell me something that I may be firm upon?”. He - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - answered, “Say, My Lord is Allaah and then be upright concerning it.” He asked, “What is the thing that you fear for most.” The Messenger of Allaah - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - took hold of his tongue and said, “This!”.
Musnad Ahmed bin Hambal, Sunan an-Nasaai, Sunan Ibn Majah and Sunan at-Tirmidhi
Allaah says in the Qur'aan, “Do not backbite each other, would any of you wish to eat the flesh of your dead brother, no rather you hate it!!Soorah Hujarat :12The Messenger of Allaah once asked his Companions, “Do you know what is backbiting?” They said, “Allaah and His Messenger know best.”. He - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “To mention about your brother that which he hates.” They said, “If that we see about our brother is true?” He - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “If there is in him what you say about him then that is backbiting, and if you say of him that which is not true then you have slandered him.”
Saheeh al-Muslim (4/6265), Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4856) and al-Muwatta (56/10)The Prophet - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - vigorously opposed all aspects of backbiting, even when it appeared in his own family. For example, once a woman visited Aaisha - radiallaahu' anha - and when the woman got up to leave, Aaisha made a sign with her hand indicating to the Prophet - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - that the woman was short of stature. The Prophet immidiatly chastised her, saying “You have backbitten!” and in another narration, “You have said a saying that if mixed with the sea it would change its colour.”
Mentioned in Ibn Jareer in Tafseer al-Qur'aan al-Adheem, vol.4, p.328 (30) and Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4857)
Abu Bakra - radiallaahu' anhu - reports that the Messenger of Allaah - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, in his khutbah on the day of Nahr, “Indeed the blood, property and honour are sacred to you, like the sacredness of this day (‘arafah), like the sacredness of this place, like the sacredness of this month; Have I conveyed the message?”Saheeh al-Bukhari (1/105) and Saheeh al-Muslim (2/2803) and part of a lengthy narration.And by Allaah he - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - has conveyed the message, so guard the right of the Believers!
Allaah says in the Qur'aan, “Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.”Soorah Humaza:1The Messenger of Allaah - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “The Gossip-monger will not enter paradise.”Saheeh al-Bukhari (8/82), Saheeh al-Muslim (1/187) and Musnad Ahmed bin Hambal.The Messenger - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - passed by two graves and said, “They ae being punished. As regards one of them then he used to go around gossip-mongering and as regards the other then he was not careful while urinating.”Saheeh al-Bukhari (1/215) and Saheeh al-Muslim (1/575)On the authority of Saeed ibn Zayid that the Messenger of Allaah - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Indeed the lowest form of usury is to prolong the speech about the honour of a Muslim without justice.”Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4858)
Overcoming the evil habit of backbiting
Firstly, as Imaam an-Nawawee - rahimahullaah - said that one should remember the punishment of Allaah. And remember that Allaah is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. He is the One, aware of ever saying, at every time. Then if one remembers this, then it is only natural that one will be modest and shy in this aspect. We need to realize that when one of us is hurt, when something wrong is said about the creation, then what about the Creator, who is the All-Seeing and All-Hearing.
Secondly, we should reflect on the Qur'aanic verse, “Do not backbite each other, would any of you wish to eat the flesh of your dead brother, no rather you hate it!!”Soorah Hujarat :12And we surely hate even the thought of it.
Thirdly, fear that your own faults would be revealed, as the Messenger of Allaah - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said,
“O you who believe with your tongues, yet eeman has not entered your hearts. Do not backbite the Muslims, nor follow their faults. For he who follows others faults then Allaah will declare (disclose) his faults and he whome Allaah reveals his faults, then Allaah disgraces him in his own house.”Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4862) and and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Saheeh Jaami’ SagheerFourthly, take the advice of the pious scholars of Islaam, among them ….
Umer ibn Khattab - radiallaahu' anhu - who said, “Be careful from remembering people for it is an illness and be in the rememberence of Allaah for it is a medicine.”
A man came to al-Hasan al-Basri - rahimahullaah - and said that, he heard that al-Hassan al-Basri had backbitten him. Upon this he - rahimahullaah - said, “Who are you that I may give you my rewards?”
Fifth, and the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a great reward to refrain from backbiting, as the Messenger of Allaah - Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Whoever protects the honour of his brother in his absence, Allaah will protect his face from the Fire on the Day of Judgement.”Sunan at-Tirmidhi and and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhi (2/1575)
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