Saturday, October 26, 2019

'Ghibbat': Part- VI

Surah Al-Hujurat: On 'Ghibbat'

Islam is such a religion where Allah has made available to believers all solutions to various problems, and it [i.e. Islam] has also taught man how to live his life.

Despite the presence of all these divine teachings, but the problems keep spreading and continue to get worse every day, like I explained to you in my sermon last Friday on the relationship between mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and daughter-in-law, on how many problems arise in a home, between a couple, and how a mother-in-law should treat her daughter-in-law, without creating problem in a home and how a daughter-in-law should deal with her mother-in-law. Often, the daughters-in-law are intolerant and constantly fill their husbands’ ears [with negative comments against the husbands’ family] to keep them away from their mums and other family members. Yet when the Quran mentioned the subject of marriage, it mentioned it in such a way that the subject of pity (Rehem) is brought up towards the parents of the couple, i.e. the parents of the husband as well as the parents of the wife. It applies both ways.

So, in this sense, we must try to reform the society and here too it is “Ghibbat” (backbiting) that causes the worst effect. 

Be it the mother-in-law and the sisters-in-law who are making “Ghibbat” of the daughter-in-law or be it the daughter-in-law who backbites her in-laws in the presence of her husband. And each time the daughter-in-law (wife) can make such complaints to her husband: “I am a victim, they hurt me, they ridicule me and treat me in a bad way.” And she says this in such a tone and in such a way that the husband is angry with his own family. She does this so that he harbours hatred for his family. She incites him to violence.

So, all this is not a blessed effort. On the contrary, society is getting worse because of these misdeeds. And so, that’s why this topic on backbiting and how to get rid of it has been chosen and elaborated. If you look at it in reference with the love for Allah and His Messenger, it will be easy for you. Sometimes when you look at it in both ways, you shall see that from the religious point of view it is not that bad [i.e. the issue has not yet crossed the threshold of evil]. It is as if compartments and the disease has attacked only a part only, while the other compartments are healthy. They [i.e. the people] have some good qualities too and they write [to me] asking for duahs so that they may receive the love of Allah in them. Sometimes some women write about their husbands, that they just only have such weakness (failing) in them, otherwise they are very good, they are very pious and perform the Salat (prayers) and are attached to Deen (Islam), to the truth which comes from Allah. For such kind of person, if you talk with him, he will listen [and obey]!

So, in this case, the disease has not attacked the whole body; it only attacked a part of it. For this kind of person whose cancer [i.e. spiritual malady] has not yet spread, and is restricted to a certain part of the body, then there is a greater chance that he will be healed. So, if in the other parts of the body there is the love of Allah and the love of the prophet (pbuh), then the part which is infected [by such spiritual illness] can also be cured with this love. 

Before doing anything, you should always remember Allah, that is to say, you should ponder over this: Will Allah be happy with the deeds that I have done, or that I will do? Moreover, will the Messenger of Allah also be happy?

Therefore, think well before you do something, think about its consequences on your spiritual life as well as on your daily life. What will then happen to all the duahs which you state that you have done with love for Allah and His prophet, especially when you commit such actions which you know are most displeasing to Allah and His Prophet?

If the behaviour itself also is not good, and if the person continues to tread on such paths which are displeasing to Allah, this means that he has cut his connection of love with Allah. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) has mentioned this exactly like this. He has stated that if you cut your connection with the people, then you are cutting also your connection with Allah.

So, whether it is the daughter-in-law who does everything in her power to make her husband break away from his family, or if it is his family who does everything to separate [or create problems between] husband and wife, then at that moment all their remaining good deeds shall not be worth anything. And like the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, Allah also cuts His bond with such people. When children grow up in such families, they develop bad behaviour, bad morals. And the boys and girls of such families who then marry bring forward this bad conduct also in the midst of their new families. And this becomes like [as widespread as] an epidemic.

To be able to redress the situation of the community, and its surroundings, you need to understand these things very well. You need to understand its roots [source]. And if you do not know how to judge the situation correctly, then how would you be able to cure those [spiritually] sick people? It is not enough to just make speeches and say to stop backbiting; you need to explain it in details and in such a formidable way that the heart stops the plague of backbiting people from entering its realm. It is the heart that will have the upper hand on such maladies. They will not even want to penetrate such a heart [i.e., one that is pure, clean, pious]. Sometimes, when such maladies grip the heart, going deep into it, they invade and run into the blood also. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) has also said that Satan runs through people like blood. He was asked whether there was a Satan in him also. He replied: Yes, but [by the help of Allah on me] he became a Muslim; he surrendered/ submitted.

So, you have the capacity to change the nature of evil and convert it into good. You can acquire control on the desire to commit evil and stop it in such a way that it becomes deaf, dumb and blind. This is because you have got an overall control on it. Therefore, you need to understand this subject of “Ghibbat” (backbiting) in such a way as to make you have complete power over it. It must be such a thing that you bury alive so as to hinder it from causing harm anymore. In your everyday lives, whenever you do such deeds, you need to ponder over all your actions and ask yourself: Why are you doing all this? Are you deriving pleasure out of it? And if yes, why so? If you are deriving pleasure in doing this, then it means that you have not stopped eating the flesh of your dead brother.

I think that we need to fight (wage Jihad) against such a [an evil] practice. If we get the upper hand on “Ghibbat” (backbiting), then it would indeed be a great feat. In some Jamaat, there are men who backbite others; the women also indulge in “Ghibbat”. It is tantamount to a group of people eating the flesh of their dead brethren. These kinds of persons don’t relish eating good meat [in other words, indulge in good practices], but they relish eating the flesh of dead people, which means that they have not developed the feel or taste to eat [i.e. practice] good things.

Thus, someone who takes pleasure in eating the flesh of dead people [i.e. backbiting], it then becomes difficult to remove such vice from him for he has developed in himself the pleasure to eat such despicable things, i.e. the flesh of dead people [backbiting]. These kinds of people must repent, ask forgiveness from Allah and they should take a firm decision to stay away from this vice once and for all.

Sometimes, when you do not respect the rights of a meeting, that also is condemnable like a crime. Whenever it happens that we, people, need to hold a meeting [be it a worldly or spiritual one], and we happen to mention someone whom everyone know but without uncovering his weaknesses, and without the intention to backbite him, so, if the intention is not bad, then it is something which can be forgiven, but if mention is made of him in an intentional way to cause him harm, this is indeed very grievous. If you leave the meeting, and spread negative comments around on the account of that person, in that very moment, you are breaking a sacred trust (Amanat), for the people constituting the meeting had trusted you with it, they placed trust in you to keep all talks confidential. This also forms part of the teachings of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) whereby he said that what has been said in a meeting is an Amanat (i.e. a trust). And it is a sin to relate it to others, without permission.

You should then be very careful concerning this matter. But I need to tell you also [how to differentiate] where something is an Amanat (trust) and where also it is the right of the public to know about it. When it is about something which will help to revive the faith of people, then this matter can be shared with other people, those who were absent from the meeting. As long as it is a good thing, then this can be shared with others to revitalize their faith but if in a meeting there was the mention of someone [especially, in a bad light] and you go and share with others what has been said on the person in a private meeting, then this is synonymous with creating hatred in the hearts of people for this person, and this is a very condemnable (illicit) practice, and you should not even share this to the concerned person [i.e. the one who was the subject of discussion in the meeting] himself. If ever you need to relate this to others [or to the concerned party], then you should first of all seek the permission of the head of the meeting.

If we can establish ourselves on this principle, then we may be able to eradicate backbiting (Ghibbat). It is crucial that I present before you very important Hadiths on this subject. I will have to momentarily stop my sermons on Al-Hujurat (Chapter 49 of the Holy Quran) and on “Ghibbat” (backbiting), but Insha-Allah, I will come on this subject again in about two to four weeks, and I shall present to you these Hadiths. Insha-Allah.

I hope that all Muslims, the members of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam and humanity as a whole understand this very well, and that we, the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, try to safeguard our conducts as we have been created as witnesses to correct the conducts [behaviour] of all mankind [and we must therefore correct ourselves first]. May Allah (swt) enable us to accomplish this task [wonderfully] and reach to the required level/ status [as desired by Allah for us]. Ameen.

---Extracts from the Friday Sermon of 18 October 2019 ~19 Safar 1440 AH delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.