There is one thing we must avoid as much as possible if we want to keep our good deeds’s account safe with Allah. That thing is: talking ill about your fellow behind his or her back (slandering and backbiting). This bad practice that many people in our society do not count to be anything is capable of freezing accounts of goods deeds on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“The one who is bankrupt from among my followers is he who comes on the Day of Resurrection with prayer, charity, and fasting to his credit. However, he had insulted this person, struck that person, and seized the wealth of another, on account of which his good deeds will be taken from him. Then, if his good deeds are exhausted, the sins of those whom he wronged will be taken from them and foisted upon him and then he will be cast into the Fire.” [Sahîh Muslim (2581)]
If you observe critically, it is always sweet and easy to discuss the weaknesses of your fellow behind his back because shaitan makes it interesting to you just to destroy your good deeds. This habit is so bad to the extent that Allah, in Suratul Hujraat : 12 compared it with eating of the flesh of your fellow human being raw. Some people even think they are exempted from the punishment of backbiting if they can defend their allegation against the victim to be true. But it was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Do you know what gheebah (backbiting) is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Saying something about your brother that he dislikes.” It was said, “What if what I say about my brother is true?” He said, “If what you say is true then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him.” [Muslim]
Allah says in Suratun Nuur,
“Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of God (Q24: 15)
And He, subhanahu wata’aala says,
“And why did you not, when you heard it, say? “It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander” (Q24:16)
The best way to avoid this dangerous practice is:
1. -To always keep your tongue and lips busy with adhkaar (remembrance of Allah) wherever you may be.
2. -To always try to cut short anyone who wants to start it in front of you and
3. -To always avoid assemblies and gatherings where filthy political matters or any other frivolous issues are discussed.
Anytime you are together with anyone and you want to talk silently, make sure your discussions centers on the deen or any other beneficial matters. Then, we are encouraged to try to render unreserved apology to those we have wronged in this manner in the past.
- May Allah guide us aright.