Monday, October 7, 2019

'Ghibbat': Part - IV

Passions of the human self are many: hatred, jealousy, ill- thinking, slander, backbiting, etc. As people, we are not immune to evil impulses of the self. And our vices can lead to negative consequences in our inter-personal and social settings. When hearts get divided, good relations fly away and the community cohesion shatters to pieces. When psychological ‘diseases’ spread among people, the larger ‘health’ of the community (‘Jamaat’) itself comes under a shadow. Hence, it's a moral imperative that we fight and resist these vices of the self in its varied manifestations in everyday life. 

In his Friday Sermon of 04 October 2019 ~ 05 Safar 1441 AH, Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir A. Azim Saheb (atba) continues the fourth part of the discourse on ‘Ghibbat’ (backbiting). Exhorting members of the Jamaat to refrain from falling to the fatal tentacles of blame-games and other manifestations of hard love; Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) underscores the dignity and rights of all persons, if not all living beings in this universe. Explaining the profound compassion and goodwill the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) had maintained for all of humanity- fellow  members of faith included- as well as for the welfare of animals and birds in the natural environment, Hadhrat Saheb (atba) points to our duty to recognize and respect every person for who they are- the children of the same God we claim to worship. Instead of needlessly creating fractures among the believers through backbiting- especially against those who work in God’s cause in the same Jamaat; looking down upon fellow beings in arrogance; making insinuations; seeking to overthrow established frameworks of division of labour; incitement to rebellion, etc; persons would benefit by reflecting on prudent conduct in social relations. Listening to the Qur'an, we need to renounce Ghibbat (backbiting) and embrace Muhabbat (affection and good will for others),  if we are to become good humans, ideal souls- the likes of the friends of God on earth, reminds Hadhrat Saheb (atba).

Read the Friday Sermon Below:  

First of all, I thank Allah for giving me the Tawfiq to continue the subject of my Friday Sermon that I started three weeks ago. Last Friday in my sermon, I told you to create love for those working for the Nizam-e-Jamaat (those who are working for the cause of Allah).

If you have a true love for Allah, and little by little you have love for Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (as), for the Khalifa (Caliph) of Allah of this era (the Khalifatullah), so naturally you will have love for those who are working for the Jamaat (Jamaat officials) too. It is not possible for anyone to be arrogant or indifferent to an organization that has a connection with the people I mentioned in my sermon last Friday. It is not possible that you speak against the Jamaat, and ridicule and blame those bearers of responsibility (that is, do the “Ghibbat” against them). It is not acceptable for you to backbite against with Jamaat (i.e., speak against the Jamaat). [This is a general statement which I am saying so that the members of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam and the other Muslims as well stay away from such evils. From what I have lived from my past experience, I would like to warn you against it so that the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam stays free from these vices. I am saying all this for your own good, and even if you don’t believe in this humble self, but take this message for your own good.]

There exists not only slander, but also hypocrisy [which are attached to backbiting – like a package], and little by little it will also become rebellion and you will develop the habit to make false accusations on someone. All this is in the same category. When we talk about “Ghibbat”, it also includes all that (hypocrisy, rebellion, blame etc.). All these are diseases that are alike, and go hand in hand. So do not think that talking about someone behind her back is a simple matter. You must stay very far from gossip/ backbiting. And one way to do that is to grow your relation of love [with others]. As far as Nizam-e-Jamaat is concerned, you must have love - Muhabbat - which is bound with your love for Allah. This is a very clear matter. But as far as the members of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam in general are concerned, you must also have love for them, i.e. those who belong to Islam – the Muslims.

Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) has repeatedly given us advice and he said that a Muslim should not do such mistreatment to another Muslim. A Muslim must not harm another Muslim. Before, I was a little surprised by this saying of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) who was a mercy (Rahmah) for the whole universe. I wondered why he mentioned benefits only for Muslims? Why did he say that a Muslim should do such treatment - better treatment - to another Muslim? But when I thought about it, I realized that it was a very nice piece of advice he gave to the Muslims. Despite this nice advice but is there a Muslim who is taking this into consideration today? On the contrary, they are rather killing each other, and they have hatred, jealousy for their brothers, and then they dare to say they have love for the Holy Prophet (pbuh)!

This advice of the prophet is really beautiful and important because in the eyes of the prophet, a Muslim must absolutely and necessarily have a good relationship with another Muslim. And this relationship of love is more or less diminished as soon as the Muslim feels himself outside the circle of other Muslims. The relationship is certainly there, but it is weakened.

So that’s why when this advice is given, they are given in reference with the strongest relationships. This does not only mean that you should not cause harm to the other Muslims, but you must also stay away from this very idea of ​​hurting your neighbour/ fellow Muslim brother who shares the same faith and the same values ​​as you! This means that it is impossible for a Muslim to conceive of harming another Muslim. And, if you ever happen to harm another Muslim, it is certainly a sin and you cannot call yourself a Muslim.

But that does not mean that you can harm non-Muslims! No [you must not hurt anyone, whether Muslim or not]. On this subject there are other Hadiths, such Hadiths where there is no mention of Islam [that is, Muslims], but mention is made of the right of humanity in general. And there is not just the mention of people’s rights, but mention is also made of animal rights. It is mentioned that even towards animals, we have to treat them in an excellent way. In these Hadiths, there are such counsels where Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) even said to someone: “You will have an account to give on the day of the judgment for the treatment that you are doing with this camel. The way that this camel is complaining, it’s like she’s complaining against you”, and the person released the camel right away. He repented. He released it and decided that he will never hurt the camel. It was then that Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) told him that had he not released the camel, Allah would have punished him.

Even when he heard the painful cries of a bird, Hazrat Muhammad (pssl) was upset. One day he came out of the tent and asked who hurt a female bird? It seems that someone has taken its egg or its little one. And that’s really what happened [On one occasion, the Sahaba had taken a bird’s two little ones]. When the person - among the Sahaba - who had taken the bird’s little ones put them back in the bird’s nest, it was then that Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) was relieved. Such is Hazrat Muhammad (pssl), the Rahmatul-lil-Aalameen!

So, there is no word powerful enough to define the expression: Rahmatul-lil-Aalameen, because this title was given to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by Allah and is nuanced by extraordinary meanings. We cannot give it one meaning only. So, when the reference is made to Muslims, it is a great way to do their spiritual education because they all had to be already firmly connected, and have a well-established relationship (between Muslims). And in the same sense, in the broad sense of the term, then we see that the subject of “Ghibbat” (backbiting) also deserves our attention.

It is very easy to understand this well, just as it is easy to understand that one should not speak against those who work body and soul for the cause of Allah, for the Jamaat of Allah, for the Deen (religion) Allah. You have no right to mistreat Muslims. In general, to mock a Muslim is a sin that can grow into something worse.

So, a Muslim must use the excellent ways that our noble prophet (pbuh) has used and demonstrated and it is not necessary that a Muslim deprive himself of this excellent relationship he must have with his Muslim brothers. And for that, you must take as reference the love of Allah (swt) and His Messenger and then you firmly establish this love with all Muslims and moreover you generalize this love where you spread it not only among Muslims but also towards whole humanity. Just as Muslims received the love of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), [now] you may not have contact with them (i.e., the Muslims), but you claim to have some love for Hazrat Muhammad (pssl). And if you have that love, then the Quran says that Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) was extraordinarily very flexible with the Muslims; he was Ra’uf towards the Muslims; he had a lot of love and tenderness for them, and he was also Rahim towards them, that is to say, each time he was merciful to them, he had pity for them.

Now if you have love for Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), then you must also have love for all those whom Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) loved. In fact, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) knew perfectly well the situation of his heart. He knew that there was no shortcomings in him. He had never had bad thoughts that had any connection with hatred toward others and he never practiced ostentation. For him, there were no big signs or badges to show people that he had “love for all and hatred for none”!

And besides, he did not sow hatred in people’s hearts by applying boycott. He did not backbite anyone, and never broke family ties. In his day, he even had his companions (Sahaba) whose parents were not Muslim believers, but he never ordered them to: break family ties - blood relations, boycott them, stop meeting them. He never sowed hatred in the hearts of Muslims against their families or friends who did not believe in his message. But sometimes with a certain purpose, he had to mention certain things and all that was not slander. He did not speak the language of hate and boycott etc. He did not encourage anyone to talk bad about someone behind his back. No !

So we too must have love for all the people, things and animals that Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) loved. In reference to this, all Muslims expect you to treat them as per the attribute of Ra’uf and Rahim because you claim to have love for Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) who was Ra’uf and Rahim.

So, in this sense, when you establish your relationship based on goodness, then your good deeds will become like a shadow over all Muslims [as a protection] and under this shadow, the plant of “Ghibbat” (backbiting) will not even be able to grow! There are some plants that die under certain shadows. The plant of “Ghibbat” (backbiting)also will not be able to develop / spread when put in contact with the qualities of Ra’uf and Rahim.

So, this is a way to avoid “Ghibbat” (backbiting). Then, in the broadest terms, considering humanity as a whole, and this in reference to the Rahmatul-lil-Aalameen, then you will have to have good relations towards all humanity. You have no choice, and here too I am not mentioning artificial love. No. Artificial love has no reality. It’s pure hypocrisy, that’s all. But to get true love for humanity is a very profound thing. It takes a kind of “Jihad” (fight/ struggle) to get it. Now, you do not have to link the word “Jihad” (fight / war) and “Muhabbat” (love) together. No! What I want to tell you is that the natural love that Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) had for mankind, since he had a direct connection with Allah, and that love was coming directly from Allah, so it was not necessary for him to fight [with others] for that.

I have to stop here now. By the grace of Allah, the explanations are coming down like rain, and Insha-Allah this explanation / rain (of blessing) will continue next week. Allah (swt) knows best how many more sermons there will be on this subject. Insha-Allah.

May Allah pour down His mercy on you all and help you fight your nafs (passion/ ego), and establish good relations between you and your Muslim brothers and sisters, and who, moreover, are in the same Jamaat as you, the Jamaat of Allah. And may Allah help you develop this pity in you for your brothers and sisters and help you in your fight to stay away from backbiting and all the evils that can tarnish the image of Islam and the humanity which Allah have placed in you. Insha-Allah, Ameen.