20 Harms of the Tongue that will take to hell if, Tawba isn't and they need to be put under contro
from Ghazalis section Harms of Tongue - Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din- Revival of Religious Science
Back-biting : Know there are numerous warnings in Shariah–Islamic law regarding back-biting. Many people are accustomed to back-biting and very few men are free from it. God says: Don't back-bite one another. Do you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Rather you abhor it-49:12 Qur'an
Back-biting has been likened to eating a dead animal.
‘Beware of back-biting as it is a more heinous sin than fornication'. If a man commits fornication and makes repentance, God may accept his repentance, but the repentance of back-biting is not accepted till the back-bited man pardons him.
‘O people, don't back-bite the Muslims - those who have brought faith by tongue but not by heart. Don't enquire into their secret things, because God will follow the secrets of a Muslim who enquires into the secrets of his brother Muslim, God dishonours one in his own house in whose secrets God enquires'.
He who dies after repentance for his back-biting will enter last of all in Paradise. He who dies without such repentance, will enter hell first of all. Graving punishment is given for those who were back-biting. Listening to is back-biting is included within the back-biters
Meaning of back-biting and its limits : Back-biting means to say anything to another about your brother in his absence which he does not like. This refers to physique, pedigree, dress, house, religion, behaviours and conduct and character.
Back-biting by means other than tongue: back-biting can be done not only by tongue but also by signs, gestures, hints, movements of body and writings. Every kind of back-biting is unlawful.
Ayesha said: To me a woman came. When she went away. I hinted with my hand to the prophet that she is dwarf. The prophet said: You have back-bited her.
The Pen is like the tongue and backbiting can be done by writing. If a writer criticizes a particular man by writing, it will be back-biting him. It can be committed with reference to a dead man also.
Listing to is back-biting is included within the back-biters. If the listener protests by his tongue, he will be exempted from its sin. If he cannot do it, he will think it bad in his mind. If he can shift from that place or change the topic, he will be exempted.
If a believer is dishonoured before any person who does not help him inspite of his ability to do so, God will dishonour him on the Resurrection Day before all creatures.
He who protects the honour of a Muslim in his absence, it becomes the duty of God to perfect his honour on the Judgment Day also to save him from Hell-fire.
Causes of back-biting: The causes of back-biting are many. But eleven will be covered here. Eight causes are applicable to all and three causes are applicable to the religious and special people.
1st cause is Anger in anybody, a man is engaged in saying about his guilt's and there arises in his mind hatred for him. This is natural if he has got no religious connection with him.
2nd cause is for pleasing the minds of friends and companions.
3 rd cause is to shake off one's own guilt's by back-biting others.
4 th cause is to get oneself free from guilt by attributing it to others saying: I would not have done it but for others.
5 th cause is to express the glory and praise of oneself thereby making another fool. He says: He is fool and powerless.
6 th cause is hatred towards another
7 th seventh cause is jests and ridicules
8 th cause is to hold another in contempt.
Causes relating to religious men
Three causes of back- biting in relation to religious men:-
Are very subtle and difficult and the devil paints them in good works.
1 st cause is that when the people see some fault in the religious men they say that a particular religious man has got all qualities but he has got one fault. If they express that fault, it will be backbiting.
2 nd cause is sympathy for the person back-bited by saying: The affair of that unfortunate man has caused my anxiety. If he mentions his name, he will be back-biting him.
3 rd cause is to express anger for God's sake on anybody mentioning his name. If his name is not mentioned, it will not be back-biting him.
Medicine to restrain tongue from back-bite:
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 backbiter should have this knowledge that in case of back-biting, he will fall in the wrath of God and that his virtues will be lost on the Resurrection Day for this cause as his virtue will go to the back-bited.
Back-biting has been likened to eating a dead animal. Back-biting consumes the virtues of a man sooner than the fire consumes a dry wood. He is blessed who cannot see the faults of others because he remains busy with his own faults.
The special medicines of back-biting are as follows: In order to apply these medicines, the root cause of backbiting is to be searched. There are eight causes as described above and those causes shall have to be cut off.
1 st Anger is a cause which should be brought under complete control. If you are determined to take revenge upon a person out of anger, know that God will take revenge upon you out of anger for your back-biting as He has prohibited you from that.
Hell has got a door, he who causes the anger of God by committing sins will enter
Hell through that door and nobody else. The tongue of one who fears God comes under control and his anger is also brought under control. If a man appeases
anger though he has got right to express it, God will call him on the Resurrection Day before all the creatures and say: Take Whichever (Houri- Beautiful Maidens of Heaven) you like.
2 nd cause of back-biting is to support the opinion of friends. Its medicine is to oppose the opinion of friends in the matter of back-biting a man. You should know that if you incur the displeasure of God by pleasing your friends, God will be enraged on you. So how can you give up God for pleasing your friends?
3 rd cause is to show one's piety by back-biting another. The medicine is as described above. You should know that in that case God's wrath will fall on you and that you are courting destruction in the next world absolving yourself from guilt in this world. You should also know that you are losing all your virtues by back-biting.
4 th cause of back-biting is to consider oneself pure and disclose one's prestige and pride. The medicine of this is to know that your glory and dignity may vanish and the people may look down upon you.
5 th cause is envy. Its medicine is as follows: You should know that if you envy anybody for his riches and honour in the world, you will be burnt by the fire of envy in this world in addition to your being burnt in Hell-fire. You have taken thereby the punishment of Hell and are bereft of riches and honour in this world. You should know that his sins will fall on you and your virtues will go to him.
6 th cause is ridicule and jest. You should know that you have ridiculed a man in presence of some people, but you will be ridiculed before all the creatures in the next world.
7 th cause is express sympathy for the sin of another and thereby back-biting him.
8 th reason is to express astonishment at the conduct of another. It is a mockery which is an act of sin.
Back-biting by mind : Know, that to back-bite another by mind is unlawful like back-biting by tongue. This means evil idea or thought about a person. What suddenly arises in mind is pardonable. God says: O those who believe, if a transgressor comes to you with a news, ascertain its truth, lest you do injury to a people out of ignorance and then be repentant for what you have done – 49:6 Qur'an . So to support the devil is unlawful. God has made unlawful the life and property of a Muslim and to entertain evil thought about him. So evil thought is unlawful. It leads to entry into his secrets which is also unlawful. God says: Don't enquire about secrets-49 :14 Qur'an
Six causes were make back-biting lawful
1.To narrate the faults of another in a trial. If a man complains against another before a judge regarding the latter's oppression, breach of trust or back-biting or any other fault, it is then lawful for him to narrate it before the judge. If he is really not oppressed or tortured, he will be considered as a back-biter and consequently sinner. He who has got a right has got right to speak. To make delay on the part of a rich man for payment of dues is oppression. If debt is not paid, it is lawful to punish a rich man and mark his honour.
2.To help to change one's evil deed. It is lawful to narrate the works of a sinner to bring him to the right path and to change his evil deed to such a person who is able to prevent that evil work by exercising power over him. Once news reached Caliph Omar that Abu Jandal began drinking wine in Syria. He wrote to him: In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, Ham Mim, this book was revealed from the Almighty, the Wise etc. 40:1 Qur'an . When he read this letter, he repented for his evil act. Omar did not attribute the fault of back-biting to one who gave him this news.
3. To seek legal decision. It is lawful to narrate the deeds of another to seek legal decision or law for remedy. For instance, one says: My father, my wife, or my son treats me like this. What is the remedy of getting out of it? Hinda, daughter of Utba, complained to the Prophet: Abu Sufiyan is a miser. He does not bear necessary expenses of myself and my children. May I spend anything in his absence? The Prophet said: Take such things as are necessary for you and your children. Hinda mentioned about miserliness and oppression of Abu Suflyan, but he did not blackmail her for back-biting, as she had intention of takingdecision.
4 .To warn a Muslim about one's harmful things. It is lawful to narrate the faults of another to save a Muslim from his injurious and harmful things. If you see a learned man to frequent an innovator and fear this influence on him, it is lawful to disclosed his innovation and sin, but not for any other cause. Similarly if a man wants to engage a servant or to buy a slave, it is lawful to disclose his innovation and sin, but not for any other cause. Similarly if a man wants to engage a servant or to buy a slave, it is lawful to disclose his bad habit of theft or other crimes. If a man is cited as a witness by an innocent man, he may disclose the fault of his adversary.
Do you consider bad to disclose the faults of a sinner? Disclose his faults so that people may know them. Disclose the faults in him, so that people may take precaution. The ancient sages said: There is no sin in disclosing the guilt's of three persons - (1) a tyrant ruler, (2) a learned innovator, (3) and a shameless evil doer.
5. To call by a well-known surname. There is no back-biting if a man is called by his well known surname, such as a lame man, a blind man. This is for identification and not from any evil motive.
6. To disclose bad deed of an evil doer. To disclose the guilt's of those who are accustomed to evil deeds openly is no sin, such as a male wearing female dress, a drunkard, a fornicator, or an oppressor. There is no sin in back-biting a person who has shaken off the screen of shame from his face. There is no honour for a great sinner (meaning those who commit major sins openly). He who commits sins secretly should have the honour of his fault being kept secret. There is no fault in back-biting three persons - (1) one who is a slave of passion, (2) an open and well known transgressor, (3) and a tyrant ruler.
Penitence of back-biting : There are two modes of Penitence of the sin of back-biting. 1. The back-biter will repent sincerely in mind and will be sorry for that.
2. Then he will seek pardon of the back-bited person being very humble.
It is sufficient to seek forgiveness for the back-bited person. There is no necessity to seek his pardon. To seek forgiveness for one who has been back-bited is penitence of back-biting. The penitence of eating rotten flesh of your brother is to praise him and to pray for his good. To me, it seems that it is not sufficient. One is to seek pardon from the back-bited man in order to get himself absolved from the sin.