30 Mar, 2023 | Thursday 8-Ramadan-1444
Consequences of saying bad things about others

Saying bad things about others is one of the greatest sins and yet it's something we do day after day. Sometimes we don't even realize it. You're just chatting away with your friends and you begin to talk about somebody else. Our whole lives are based around 'Home and Away' and 'Neighbours', soaps based on lying, backbiting, etc. But look at what Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said about it:

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was sitting with his companions one day and one of them was speaking badly about someone who wasn't there. As the man got up to leave Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said to him: "Pick Your Teeth!" "But I haven't eaten anything," the man protested. "No," Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said "You have eaten the flesh of your dead brother".

As Allah tells us in the Qur'an:
"Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would hate it."
[surah al-Hujurat; 49:12]

But What If It's True?!

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) told us:

"Backbiting is to say something about someone they wouldn't like said about them...If what bad you said about them is true, then you have backbit and if it is false then you have slandered them."

If you're still not convinced of how big a sin backbiting really is, then look at the punishment Allah has in store for the backbiters. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) described:

"On the night of the mirage, I passed by some people who had metal hooks in their hands and were clawing at their faces and their necks with them. I asked Gabriel 'Who were these people?' He said 'These are the people who eat the flesh of human beings and disgrace them'
[Abu Dawud].

This is how big a sin backbiting is looked upon and yet we continue to backbite without a second thought. Next time you lie, talk about somebody, remember Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) and Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and put them in front of you before you speak.

Just having a Laugh!

Maybe we think it's all right to take the mick out of someone so long as we say it to their face. We'll make fun of the way someone talks, walks, or how they look. Allah Ta'ala warns us against such behavior:

"O you who believe. Let not some men laugh at others, it may be that they are better than you. Nor let some women laugh at others it may be that they are better than you. Nor abuse each other, nor be sarcastic to each other by using offensive nicknames..."
[surah al-Hujurat; 49:11]

Don't forget that Allah made us the way we are, so how can you even think of making fun of his creation?

Cool to Swear?

Listen to yourself and to your friends speaking one day - nearly every sentence will have a swear word in it, thinking it's cool and macho to swear, copying the idols of TV and the cinema. Is it really 'cool' to swear? The Hellfire is far from being cool. People will wish they were cool then rather than being cool in this world. Remember! That every time you speak, an angel writes down what you say, and that one day you will have to answer for every single word you ever uttered. So if you swear at someone then it's written down as a sin against you. You're only harming yourself. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that:

"Abusing a Muslim is a sin and fighting with him is disbelief."

'But sometimes you just have to swear'!

We've all been there - you're just so angry with somebody and the only way you can express yourself, is to swear at them. The solution? ...

Don't get angry in the first place.

A man came to the Prophet (S) one day and said "Advise me". Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said "Don't become angry. Don't become angry. Don't become angry"... "When one of you gets angry while he is standing up, he should sit down. Then the anger will leave him, and if not then he should lie down"

So let us follow this beautiful advice of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and remember that anger is from Shaytaan. If someone angers you or swears at you, then don't harm yourself by doing the same but respond in a better way as Allah says in the Qur'an:

"Repel evil with what is better. Then he who was your worst enemy will become your best friend."
[surah 41:33]

"It wasn't me. Honest."

How often do we say such a phrase or say that "I was only joking"? We treat lies as being trivial. However, we are told that:

"Allah's messenger did not hate anything more than lying"

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was once asked "Can a Muslim be a coward?" Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied "Yes." and then asked "Can a Muslim be a miser?" and the reply was "Yes." Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was then asked "Can a Muslim be a liar?" Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied "NO! A Muslim can never be a liar". Furthermore, he said "Truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to paradise...Lying leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to the hellfire."
[Sahih al-Bukhari].

As we know that one lie leads to another ten lies which lead to bad actions. Remember you can lie and think that you have got away with it but on the day of Judgement your hands, tongue and feet will bear testimony against you and tell the truth.

But it's only words!

One day one of the companions asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) "O Messenger of Allah. Will we be called to account for what we say?" He replied, "May you be lost to your mother - people will be thrown, faces down into the hellfire, only on account of what their tongues said."

Indeed the tongue controls the rest of your body. A well-controlled tongue will keep us within Islam but a loose tongue will destroy us. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:

"When a person gets up in the morning, all the parts of his body make a plea to his tongue saying; 'Fear Allah regarding us, because we follow you. If you are right then we shall also be right, and if you are wrong then we shall also be wrong." [at-Tirmidhi]

Instead of swearing, lying, and engaging in useless talk we can use our tongues in better ways and what better than telling people about Islam? Allah says:

"Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah and works righteousness and says I am one of those who bow down in Islam"
[surah 41:33]

Your tongue can save you as well!.Indeed if you control your tongue and speak good then paradise can be yours. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:

"Whoever can guarantee me two things I can guarantee them Paradise." The companions asked "What, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied, "What is between his jaws (his tongue) and his legs (private parts)."
[sahih al-Bukhari]

I've lied and backbit, sworn and made fun of others. I must be doomed I must be going to hell!"
NO! Allah (SWT) tells us in the Qur'an:

"O my servants who have wronged themselves, never despair of the mercy of Allah for truly he forgives all sins. He is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
[surah 39:53]

So if you really repent and turn back to Allah and promise not to commit the sin again then truly Allah's promise is true and He will forgive you. If you've backbitten someone - go and tell the person whom you backbit and apologize sincerely and ask them to forgive you. But if you think that the situation will get worse then turn back to Allah sincerely begging for his forgiveness then to make up for what you said, go around and talk good of him.

The Best Example

As we know that the best person to have ever lived is Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and he is the best example for mankind. If we follow him we can never go wrong. Ayesha (R) the Prophet's wife described the Prophet's conduct as follows:

"He was neither an obscene talker nor a user of bad words. He did not shout nor did he repay evil with evil. He used to forgive people and overlook their sins."

Final Advice: A beautiful saying of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that will ensure the protection of our tongue. The Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) said:

"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last day, let him either speak good or keep silent"