Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem,
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, Sustainer of the universe & peace and blessings be upon His beloved messenger Muhammad ﷺ.
Have you ever wronged a brother or sister in Islam whether directly or indirectly?
Have you ever been a part of gheebah [backbiting]? buhtan [slander]? and nameemah [malicious gossip]?
Have you ever heard something about someone else and taken their word for it? Even without double/triple checking before opening your mouth or drawing a conclusion based on one persons he said/she said?
Have you ever heard or witnessed someone participating in this? Have you ever felt the need to speak up against this act whether true or not?
Have you ever thought to remind those who participate in this act that this behaviour is not that of a Muslim and is unacceptable? Or did you choose to ignore it because thinking it is not your business was the best choice? Or maybe even just eaves drop a little and become a part of the fitnah in some way?
It deeply saddens me to say this but we as a community have failed ourselves on too many levels imaginable.
We have confused what is noble character and traits with deception and hidden hate and hypocrisy. We choose to trade gemstones for gravel, who in their right mind would trade gemstones for gravel? Well you can count on the majority of the Muslim community in general in doing so no matter what heritage they are from, whether they are from the Indian community, Singaporean community, Lebanese community, Somali community, so on and so forth..
Most of us are so caught up living in a bubble of our own imagined righteousness that we cannot see how corrupted our inner self has really become.
We exhort effort in bringing scholars from overseas from this Tariqah and that Tariqah to invite our communities to our Mawlid celebrations and planned weekend spiritual retreats. Why? So these scholars deliver a talk in front of us, give us some righteous companionship and advice, provide us with guidance and be examples of love and compassion, so we can witness noble traits!
BUT these sheikhs and ustad’s return back to their country of origin it is as if we have learnt nothing, witnessed nothing and gained nothing, and everything about the various events and meetings went into one ear then straight out the other.
We religiously attend weekly Dzikr gatherings reading Mawlid al-Banzarji, Dia ul-Lami so much so that we know the pages of the poetry off by heart. We send salutations upon our beloved Prophet ﷺ also in abundance at these gatherings yet our hearts are quite rotten and hardened from within.
We are so fake that we only seem to appreciate outer appearances, white thobes and skull caps sporting a sense of self pride with our affiliation with this sheikh or that ustad while acting sufi-like.
We are suffering a devastating case of disease of the heart and the inner self that no tassawuuf lesson or lecture in noble character would save us from, because we have decayed from within. We have filled our inn with suspicion and hypocrisy both inwardly and outwardly, but the story is not just about that.
No one stops to think for a minute about the suffering of the individual in question. These so called self righteous individuals parading about with their sheikh affiliation and mawlid gatherings, just to be seen as good doers and people of Dhikr have become people of oppression; they have become exactly the opposite of whatever noble character and traits has been taught by the Prophet ﷺ whose mawlid they read and celebrate!
Not one person has given a single thought that maybe the individual you are backbiting, slandering and maliciously gossiping about is a innocent victim; whether the malicious gossip is true or untrue is besides the point. No one has stopped to think about the emotional and mental health of the person you are oppressing with your Dhikr tongues!
Malik related that a man asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, “What is backbiting?” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ, said, “It is to mention about a man what he does not want to hear.” He said, “Messenger of Allah! Even if it is true?” The Messenger of Allahﷺ , said, “If you utter something false, then it is slander.”
I ask you sincerely my dear brothers and sisters, are we pleasing Allah SWT with this behaviour? Have we won some extra praiseworthy deeds for our account? Have we moved forward in our character when we shun victims of backbiting or malicious slander from the community instead of being loving and compassionate nurturing individuals?
On the Authority of Bilal ibn al-Harith al-Muzani, Imam Malik relates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “A man speaks what is pleasing to Allah and he does not suspect that it will have the result that it does, and Allah will write for him His good pleasure for it until the day when he meets Him. And a man speaks what excites the wrath of Allah and he does not suspect that it will have the result that it does, and Allah will write His wrath for him for it until the day when he meets Him.”
So could you blame a oppressed, if he chose to whole heartedly turn to Allah SWT and make sincere supplication against all who have wronged him through backbiting/slander; whether directly or indirectly, especially in his emotional mental state with tears running down his cheeks? Wallah you could not blame him, but what harm would this bring?
I would like to remind you of a hadith related in al-Muwwata whereby Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if he is an unbeliever, for there is no screen between it and Allah.” Musnad Ahmad 1214 – Sahih (authentic) according to Imam As-Suyuti.
This Hadeeth shows the seriousness of injustice, and it is a warning against injustice. It also highlights that the supplication of the wronged person against his oppressor is answered, and that there is nothing that would prevent it [his supplication] from being answered. Rather, the supplication of a wronged person is heard and it is not rejected.
Al-Mubaarakfoori said in Tuhfat Al-Ahwathi: (Guard against the supplication of the oppressed), meaning, avoid injustice, for fear that the oppressed person will supplicate against you (as there is no veil between it and Allah) there is nothing to prevent it from reaching Allah; rather, it is presented to Him.
Imam As-Suyuti said: i.e. there is nothing that will prevent it, even if the oppressed himself has something that requires that his supplication is not answered, like if his food is ill-gotten and the like. Even, some narrations of the Hadeeth read: (…even if he [the wronged person] is a disbeliever).”
Subhanallah we are definitely not on a level of ihsan, we are rather on a level of insanity due the injustice we practise towards others and that which would return to our souls from the dua of the oppressed!
Allah SWT state sin surat al-humazah v1: “Woe to every backbiter, [who is a] slanderer, frequently engaging in backbiting and slander!”
Allah SWT also mentions in Surat al-Hujurat v12: “…Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it.” [so avoid backbiting].
In Bulugh al-Maram; Hudhaifah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “A backbiter will not enter Paradise.” Agreed upon.
Abu Dawud relates that The Prophet ﷺ said: “A Muslim is a mirror to another Muslim”
Subhanallah this is such a short Hadith, but like many of the Prophet’s words – It is deep in meaning…
“What he meant was that we have an obligation to point to fellow Muslim his shortcoming and to tell the truth about his good aspects. He did not say, “A Muslim is a sword of no mercy (in correcting the mistakes) of another Muslim.
A mirror has the following qualities, that we also should have when reflecting upon other fellow Muslims.
1. A mirror has a one-to-one relationship with an object, after the person has gone the Mirror doesn’t keep the image for everyone to see, its as though the person was never there.
2. It does not announce a defect in public; a mirror does not backbite.
3. A mirror does not distort the image, but gives an honest, unbiased picture, if there is something wrong – it shows it in due proportion, if there is something right – it also shows it in due proportion, it is very Fair.
4. Neither does it exaggerate nor does it belittle the object.
5. The object goes to the mirror. The mirror does not travel looking for the short-comings of the object.”
Allah knows best.
NOTE: Sheik Ramy Najmeddine