Backbiting, Slander, Gossip
How often have you questioned everything else before considering your actions, giving least thought to the evil which befalls you is, perhaps, because of you?
We say and do as we please, without giving due thought to the harmful effects of what we utter may have on us or others. Gheebah (backbiting), buhtan (slander), and nameemah (malicious gossip), we’re all guilty of it, and some of us will deny it unequivocally when reminded of its dangerous and lasting effects.
“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allāh, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.” (An-Nisā, 4:79)
Our world will be a much better place once we are free from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumptions we may have of others. Revealing secrets and intimacies, idle talk and rumour, are all immoral practices that most people would think as unwelcome in their company or home. What doesn’t concern us, shouldn’t have to resound through time and space.
Do you understand the consequences of your actions?
A servant will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and presented with his record. He won’t see his prayers, nor his fasting, nor his good deeds. He’ll say: O Lord, this is the record of someone else, for I had good deeds that aren’t in this record!
It will be said to him: Indeed, your Lord doesn’t overlook or forget. Your deeds have vanished because you were backbiting people!
[Sa‘īd ibn al-Jubayr رحمه الله | Baḥr ad-Damū‘ by Ibn al-Jawzī رحمه الله, pg. 133]
Realising the consequences of our actions will sometimes cause us to regret them and resolve to avoid such actions in the future. We may need to be accepting and forgiving of ourselves at the same time as we look for possible ways to make amends for any harm done.