Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Speak Good or Keep Silent

Just had to share this unreleased single by Abdul-Malik Ahmad from Native Deen (it's not finalized but was posted for Native Deen fans to give feedback) that I've been jamming repeatedly since I stumbled upon it a week or so ago. It's hot! Abdul-Malik hits hard with his lyrics with this great reminder to all, Muslims or not, to watch your mouth and not backbite people.

Backbiting is defined in the dictionary as so: to attack the character or reputation of (a person who is not present). And this can even go so far as saying anything where if the person you were talking about was there and it displeased him, that is considered backbiting.

The song really made me think just how easily and frequently people backbite. I mean seriously, it's practically ingrained into the culture of modern society. People backbite celebrities, athletes, their family, their friends, people they don't know who pass them in the street, random everyday people. Some comedians make a friggin' living backbiting the crap out of people. And everyone just laughs.

It's even worse now with Facebook and Twitter and everyone sharing every little thought which pops into their head. It's an epidemic! It's almost gotten to the point where if backbiting were to be completely enforced and everyone watched what they said, no one would have anything to talk about!

In Islam, backbiting is regarded as an absolutely deplorable and heinous act and one who does such a thing without seeking forgiveness and even GOING TO THE PERSON he/she is talking trash about to apologize will face severe punishment in the next life. And the punishment actually fits the crime because as narrated by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he narrated that those who backbit in this life would be eating bloody nasty human flesh in the next life for all eternity!

Now there are some cases where you can speak about someone's character and it's not constituted as backbiting, but they are limited. It has to be an absolute necessity with the intent to protect someone from possible future harm, like warning someone about a person who may be shady or their character may be questionable. The Prophet (pbuh) in a hadith once passed by a man,smiled at him and greeted the man then when passing by one of his companions, said to not deal with this guy, he's dishonest etc.  You only say what's necessary, not go on a tirade about the person.

In this day and age, with people acting like they are all psychiatrists and know exactly what's ticking in everyone's head so they can blurt out the character of the person, backbiting can be a tough habit to break. But if you desire paradise and fear the wrath of your Creator, you'd bite your tongue before biting someone's back.

O you who believe! Avoid immoderate suspicion, for in some cases suspicion is a sin, and do not spy on one another nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Surely you would abhor it; Fear Allah and be careful, for Allah is the Accepter of repentance, and merciful. (Qur'an 49:12)

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