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Backbiting and Slander

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Backbiting and Slander

'...Allah will defend him in this world and in the next....'

 

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" (Quran 24:16)

A commentary on one of the most destructive of major sins

Islam is a religion of peace, love and compassion. Lies, suspicion, back biting, slander and gossip are totally alien to Islam. In fact they are considered amongst the most destructive of major sins. This is so because these sins sow enmity and discord among the Muslim Ummah and lead to its destruction. They cause hostilities between people of the same household, and between neighbors, friends and relatives.

Islam demands that our relationship with mankind should be one of sincerity and responsibility. It should be one where we have respect for the honor, reputation and privacy of others. Islam teaches us that we are not only held accountable for our own attitudes and actions but also for anything else over which we have control or influence over, in our society or the world around us.

Verses: Let's see what the Quran states about backbiting and slander - 'This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah'. (2:2)

Allah has forbidden the believers from backbiting

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (49: 12)

When we reflect deeply over this assimilation it should be enough to keep us away from backbiting!

Do not treat the issue of Backbiting & Slander with indifference because it is a great sin

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 Allah (24: 15)

Many of us back bite and gossip without thinking. We think it is minor matter, however Allah reminds us to be careful and even though we think we are doing something little it is in fact very big in the sight of Allah!

Allah teaches us to speak out against Slander and try to put a stop to it

And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allah, this is a most serious slander" (24:16)

Many people are so busy spreading the slander they hear that they do not even stop to think if it is true or not.

Shaitan (Satan) wants us to use our tongue to create conflict and hatred

Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best, for Satan does sow dissensions among them, for Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (17:53)

Are we falling into Shaitan's (Satan's) trap? We can all analyze ourselves.

Hadiths: Let's see what Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said about Backbiting in the hadiths. Allah states in the Quran - You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern of conduct. (33:21)

The definition of Backbiting & Slander

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said :"Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim)

We should guard our tongue from sins and use our limbs in acts of obedience

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said : "Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The definition of the best muslim

"I asked the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him): Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of Allah(Peace Be Upon Him) replied, "He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands." (Muslim)

Deriding people in their presence by making negative facial expressions or by hand gestures while they are unaware is also a form of backbiting.

We need to beware of the slipping of our tongues

"When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear Allah as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.’" (At-Tirmidhee)

Summary

Backbiting and slander is so widespread that it has become the topic of people’s meetings and an avenue for expressing their anger, misgivings and jealousy. Those who indulge in backbiting are oblivious of the fact that they are only harming themselves. This is because of the fact that on the Day of Resurrection both the wrongdoer and the wronged will stand before Allah, Who is the Just Judge, Allah will then give this wronged person from the good deeds of the person who wronged him in accordance with his wrong by backbiting.

Some situations allow us to inform others of what someone has done. It is allowed for us to inform the authorities when someone does injustice to us or others. It is allowed for us to inform someone who can help a perpetrator from committing further vice. It is also permissible for us to tell whoever seeks our advice on a person for business dealings or marriage. In this case it is not allowed for us to hide what we know about the person so that the enquirer will not be deceived. All these types of speaking about others are lawful.

Islam teaches us that if people are being ridiculed or backbited in our presence, we should defend their honor. If we neglect this, we shall deprive ourselves of ever needed help and mercy from Allah - If a man's Muslim brother is slandered in his presence, and he is capable of defending him and does so, Allah will defend him in this world and in the next. But if he fails to defend him, Allah will destroy him in this world and the next. (Baghawi). What will we do the next time we are tempted to backbite or hear slander in our presence? Right now the choice is ours!

We ask Allah the Most High, the All Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn. May Allah grant blessings and peace to our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his family and companions.

 
 

How to Deal With Others: Daily Do’s and Don’ts from the Quran and Sunnah

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http://understandquran.com/deal-others-daily-dos-donts-quran-sunnah.html


inspirationhowareyoudealing
His colleagues had been making some hurtful remarks at work, but he’d kept quiet. As he walked into his home, he found himself shouting at his wife straight away. He felt terrible. Do you manage to be nice in public, but keep slipping up at home?
Allah ‘azza wa jall says in this week’s central ayah: O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted [Quran, 49:13]

Top priority

The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam described his role in your life: I have been sent to perfect the best of manners. [Al-Bukhaaree, Ahmad] This shows you that learning how to deal with people should be on the top of your list. As a Muslim, you have to be very alert about how you deal with people in your circle. Luqman once said to his son, O my son: Let your speech be good and your face be smiling; you will be more loved by the people than those who give them provisions. [Ibn Katheer] Do you use the Quran and the Sunnah as your guide in how you interact with your friends and family, or do you often just let your own desires rule?
Here is a selection of easily overlooked, yet crucial do’s and don’ts in your relationship with others. With each one, ask Allah ‘azza wa jall to help you act upon it so the knowledge will count for you and not against you on the day of Judgement!

Don’ts

1. Don’t show pride and arrogance.

It’s easy to get carried away by whatever you “possess,” from your money to your children to your clothes and your looks. Did you ever catch yourself looking down on others, like that girl who is less beautiful than you, or that man who didn’t get the promotion when you did? Shaytan knows the weaknesses of your ego. And Allah who deeply cares for you, warned you beautifully with this don’t: And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster. [Quran, 31:18]

Tip: Avoid pride and arrogance by thanking Allah ‘azza wa jall straight away when something good comes your way. All good is from Him and doesn’t mean you are better than someone else.

2. Don’t mock others.

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. [Quran, 49:11] How often did you make yourself feel better by looking for someone else’s weaknesses? Reflect on this: your knowledge is only based on your perception.
Tip: When you feel like mocking someone, ask yourself: Do I know that person’s real worth? And tell yourself: This person might be much higher in rank in the sight of Allah ‘azza wa jall than I am!

3. Don’t use undesirable titles.

Did you ever sarcastically say to your spouse: Oh, yes, I forgot you are a big shaykh! Even though it might not be an insulting title, your spouse might not like this way of addressing him or her. Allah ‘azza wa jall warns us:  And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. [Quran, 49:11]

Tip: Especially be careful with doing this with your spouse and children as it’s even easier to slip up at home in an argument.


Do’s

1. Give benefit of doubt.

Safiyah bint Huyai radiyallahu ‘anha said: I came to visit the Prophet while he was in the state of Itikaf. After having talked to him, I got up to return. The Prophet also got up with me and accompanied me a part of the way. At that moment two Ansari men passed by. When they saw him they quickened their pace. The Prophet said to them, ‘Do not hurry. She is Safiyah, daughter of Huyai, my wife.’ They said: ‘SubhanAllah O Messenger of Allah! (You are far away from any suspicion). The Messenger of Allah replied, Satan circulates in a person like blood. I apprehended lest Satan should drop some evil thought in your minds. [Al-Bukharee]

The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stopped the two companions in order to prevent evil suspicions. If there’s a chance that your actions might make someone question your righteousness, it is advised to clarify the situation if you can. However, you should never jump to evil conclusions regarding others. In daily life we often forget this important way of the sunnah. You might see a family member “secretly” on the phone and you assume the worst, or you see your child neglecting their Quran reading for a day you assume they are completely astray!
Tip: give others the benefit of the doubt. Make excuses for someone else and attribute positive motives to other people’s actions!

2. Express gratitude to others.

How often do you take your loved ones for granted? Being thankful to others is characteristic of the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the sahaaba! So next time instead of taking dinner for granted, say jazaakillahu khayr to your wife or barakAllaahu feek to your husband for getting shopping. When your child makes a drawing for you, make a big deal out of it!

Tip: Be grateful to others andmake dua for them, but be careful with flattering! Abu Bakr reported that a man was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and another praised the man. The Prophet said,Woe to you, for you have broken your friend’s neck!’ The Prophet repeated this several times and then said, ‘If any of you simply must praise another, let him/her say, “I think the person is this way or that . . .” if you genuinely think the person to be that way. The Final Reckoner is Allah, and no one can tell Allah anything about anyone.’
Adi ibn Artah said, If ever one of the Companions of the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, was praised, he would say, ‘O Allah, do not take me to task for what they say and forgive me for what they do not know about.’

3. Be kind – even when it’s easy not to.

Narrated Anas: I served the Prophet for ten years, and he never said to me,’Uff’ (a minor harsh word denoting impatience) and never blamed me by saying, ‘Why did you do so, or why didn’t you do so?’ [Al-Bukhaaree]

This is a major reminder for all of us. How many times a day do we yell at our children, siblings, spouse, or even employees when they do something wrong, saying ‘why did you do that?’ Truly, take this beautiful narration to heart, print it off and hang it on the wall in your house in shaa Allah to remind yourself again and again to control yourself and strive to be kind.

O Allah, Lord of the Worlds, help us to gain Your pleasure in dealing with others and forgive us for each mistake we made and each time we hurt someone’s feelings – knowingly or unknowingly- ameen!
Praying you will benefit,
Khawlah bint Yahya – United Kingdom


 

 

 

 

   

Good Character

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Good Character

'...but instead tells himself that he does not mind any of these things...'

This includes suppressing one's anger, and being gentle and humble. Allah Most High has said: Surely, you are of tremendous nature, (The Holy Quran: 68/4)

and: Those who suppress their anger, and forgive other people – assuredly, Allah loves those who do good.(Quran: 3/134)

Bukhari and Muslim relate that Abdullah Ibn Amr (May Allah be pleased with you) said, "The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) was never immoderate or obscene. He used to say, 'Among those who are most beloved to me are those who have the finest character.'"

They also narrate that Hazrat Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) said, "
Never was the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) given the choice between two things without choosing the easier of them, as long as it entailed no sin. If it did entail sin, he was of all people the most remote from it. Never did he seek revenge for something done against himself; but when the sanctity of Allah was challenged, he would take vengeance for His sake alone."

The meaning of good character is the inclination of the soul towards gentle and praiseworthy acts. This may take place in one’s personal actions for Allah Most High, or in actions which involve other people.

In the former case, the slave of Allah has an open and welcoming heart for His commandments and prohibitions, and does what He has imposed on him happily and easily, and abstains from the things which He has forbidden him with full contentment, and without the least dissatisfaction.

He likes to perform optional good acts, and abstains from many permitted things for the sake of Allah Most High whenever he decides that to abstain in that way would be closer to perfect slavehood to Him. This he does with a contented heart, and without feeling any resentment or hardship.

When he deals with other people, he is tolerant when claiming what is his right, and does not ask for anything which is not; but he discharges all the duties which he has towards others.

When he falls ill or returns from a trip, and no-one visits him, or when he gives a greeting which is not returned, or when he is a guest but is not honored, or intercedes but is not responded to, or does a good turn for which he is not thanked, or joins a group of people who do not make room for him to sit, or speaks and is not listened to, or asks permission of a friend to enter, and is not granted it, or proposes to a woman, and is not allowed to marry her, or ask for more time to repay a debt, but is not given more time, or asks for it to be reduced, but is not permitted this, and all similar cases, he does not grow angry, or seek to punish people, or feel within himself that he has been snubbed, or ignored; neither does he try to retaliate with the same treatment when able to do so, but instead tells himself that he does not mind any of these things, and responds to each one of them with something which is better, and closer to goodness and piety, and is more praiseworthy and pleasing.

He remembers to carry out his duties to others just as he remembers their duties towards himself, so that when one of his Muslim brethren falls ill he visits him, if he is asked to intercede, he does so, if he is asked for a respite in repaying a debt he agrees, and if someone needs assistance he gives it, and if someone asks for favorable terms in a sale, he consents, all without looking to see how the other person had dealt with him in the past, and to find out how other people behave. Instead, he makes "what is better" the imam of his soul, and obeys it completely.

Good character may be something which a man is born with, or it may be acquired. However, it may only be acquired from someone who has it more firmly rooted in his nature than his own. It is well known that a man of sensible opinion can become even more sensible by keeping the company of intelligent and sensible people, and that a learned or a righteous man can learn even more by sitting with other people of learning or righteousness; therefore it cannot be denied that a man of beautiful character may acquire an even more beautiful character by being with people whose characters are superior to his own.

And Allah gives success!

By: Imam Al-Bayhaqi

 

Interview] Secrets of a Productive Muslimah: Na’ima B. Robert

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Become an active member of the ProductiveMuslim community and enrich it with your thoughts. Leave a comment on this article and with it, your presence. We look forward to reading your comments.

 

Productive Muslimah

[Interview] Secrets of a Productive Muslimah: Na'ima B. Roberts - Productive Muslim

At ProductiveMuslimah, we believe the ultimate secret to a successful Muslimah is that she strives with sincere intentions and uses all the resources around her to achieve the highest stations in Paradise. We are always looking for the ‘secrets to productivity’ and wanted to explore how some of the Muslim women today manage time effectively and perform the best in all the roles they hold being a mother, wife, daughter, professional, activist and more! So we decided to get some of the ‘Productive Muslimahs’ of our time in the hot seat to find out their top tips and secrets to become a Productive Muslimah!

We are very excited to be joined in this first part of a series of interviews by Sister Na’ima Robert, a best selling international author, mother of three, public speaker, and Chief Editor for SISTERS Magazine for fabulous women, in our ProductiveMuslimah hot seat so we asked her to tell us her secrets on how she manages to stay productive while juggling her family, her work and her writing!

 

1) We’re very excited to have you share your Secrets as a Productive Muslimah! First, tell us who inspires you to be a Productive Muslimah?

Bismillah

Well, I don’t know about the term ‘Productive Muslimah’; I often feel I am more of an obsessed, driven Muslimah :).

For a long time in my early life as a Muslim, I didn’t do very much outside of the home and my immediate environment. This was due to a combination of factors: women were never really encouraged to get involved in activities that could possibly compete with the demands of the family; I also didn’t see examples around me of other sisters being active or dynamic. When they were, they were often shut down and support was withheld by the wider community. There was a culture of inertia among the sisters, a feeling that, as women, we were somehow incapable of balancing multiple roles and that, really, it didn’t matter what talents we may have, there was no room for us in the public space.

My first champion in those days was my husband: he was the one who encouraged me to shake off that kind of thinking and pushed me to send my picture book manuscripts off to publishers, to try to build a career as a children’s writer. After my first book, ‘The Swirling Hijaab’ was published, I realised that there was a niche in the market and I threw myself into learning all about being a children’s book author, writing manuscripts, query letters and proposals. I started writing more stories and getting more books published, alhamdulillah. I was onto something.

However, it was writing From My Sisters’ Lips that changed everything for me. Along with the publicity when the book was launched came the opportunity to address a much wider audience, to take part in discussion and debate that reached a national audience, to influence the discourse on Muslim women. That was when I was going on BBC Radio, morning TV, writing for The Guardian, trying to share the stories of Muslim women, to counteract the misinformation that was flooding the media.

I began to feel that I was actually doing something significant, something that was touching lives, that could be a force for good, bi’idhnillah. I knew I had to honour the opportunities I was being blessed with so I decided to take to heart something I had heard many years before: Achieve something great for the deen of Allah.

After that intense period, SISTERS Magazine was born, alhamdulillah, not without significant sacrifice and hardship I might add! But we believed it was worth it to have a magazine that Muslim women would be proud to claim, to draw strength, knowledge and inspiration from. Alhamdulillah, 8 years and we’re still here, stronger than ever, with a really fantastic team of editors, writers and lovely readers all over the world.

So, if anything inspires me, it is this: to work for the sake of Allah, for the Muslims, for humanity, to inspire others, to leave a positive legacy and be part of beneficial, blessed work. And that is what I am striving to do, now more than ever.

2) You are a busy Mum, writer and founder of SISTERS Magazine – we don’t know how you manage it all! Where do you find time as a Muslimah to get a balance in all these areas of your life?

I’m going to depart from the accepted script here and say this: balance is the hardest thing to achieve. Often, you’ll get it wrong. Things will slide: it could be the housework, your professional performance, your time with the kids or your husband, or taking care of yourself, or your relationship with Allah. It is the extremely rare individual that manages to keep a balance between all these areas all of the time. That’s why it’s important to go into your projects with your eyes open, with realistic expectations. Super Muslimah exists, but she is the exception, not the rule. The rest of us are simply trying to make sure that our priorities are right, in the dunyah and for our akhirah. Some things are non negotiable. Some things can wait. Some things don’t matter that much in the big scheme of things.

As for me, I know I have chosen a more complicated life than that of a stay-at-home mum whose only concern is for her family and her home. Believe me, I envy her sometimes, masha Allah! But that is not for me. I have made peace with that fact. I have made peace with the fact that I will never be a homeschooler. I have made peace with the fact that I may never be a hafidhah. I have made peace with the fact that my life will constantly be a balancing act, that I will always be juggling. It must be so because I know what is important to me and what I am not prepared to compromise: my deen, my husband and family, and honouring the opportunities that Allah ta’ala has blessed me with. And that means being active, being creative, being a force for change in any way I can, by the grace of Allah ta’ala.

Our predecessors, the women of the Muhajireen and the Ansar, were amazing, strong, dedicated women of faith. I hope to go some way towards honouring their legacy through my work with SISTERS and the other phenomenal Muslim women I have been blessed to work with.

3) You’ve written some wonderful novels with inspiring messages and themes, what advice can you offer our readers or sisters who may be aspiring writers?

Alhamdulillah, there is a wealth of advice on becoming a writer available online. Much of what I learned in terms of technique and industry knowledge came from online sources. So Google it and take some time out to read the blogs, articles and newsletters. They really do give you an excellent grounding in the many aspects of becoming a writer.

My own advice is very simple: Read loads of books, write every day, in lots of different styles, about things you care about. Share your writing with others whose opinions you respect and learn to take constructive criticism without getting upset. And always take a break from anything you write and then come back to it with fresh eyes to edit it – all the best writers edit their own work and make many, many revisions before their manuscript is ready to be sent to an agent or publisher.

Nowadays, there are so many ways to share your work with others: blogs, websites like Productive Muslimah, writing contests, online publications, articles in magazines like SISTERS or Discover, as well as books, either self-published or with a traditional publisher. If you are sincere and have something valuable to say (and I’m sure we all do!), work on finding your ‘voice’ and honing your technique, you will find your readership, insha Allah.

4) What’s your favourite book (or books!) that you would recommend for a Productive Muslimah?

The Qur’an – because it keeps you grounded!

In terms of productivity, I would recommend 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Steven Covey & 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. And I also recommend SISTERS Magazine because I learn something new every single month, alhamdulillah.

And I’m waiting for the Productive Muslimah book to come out now…

5) Finally, what’s the key secret to being a successful ProductiveMuslimah?

A sincere intention – if it’s for less than noble aims, don’t expect the barakah

A clear vision – you need to be able to see what you are trying to do and be constantly refining and redefining your mission and your purpose

A support structure – a supportive husband, friends and family, a good routine for the kids, home help wherever you can get it, alarms, reminder and diaries, good nutrition and sleep, time to relax and recharge and a healthy spiritual life will keep you grounded while helping you reach your potential

A lot of hard work – just don’t expect it to be easy. It is tough but, when you see the fruits of your hard work, masha Allah, there’s nothing like that sense of gratitude and accomplishment.

I pray that Allah ta’ala blesses us with success in this life and the Next, Ameen.

Well thank you to Nai’ma for the wonderful advice and practical tips, there you have it sisters! Let us know your thoughts and comment below, and don’t forget to look out for our next instalment of ‘Secrets of a Productive Muslimah’!


About the Author:

Na’ima B. Robert is author of the Muslimah classic, ‘From my Sisters’ Lips’ and founding editor of SISTERS, the magazine for Muslim women, and DISCOVER, the magazine for curious Muslim kids.
She has written over 10 multicultural children’s books, including ‘The Swirling Hijaab’, ‘Going to Mecca’ and ‘Ramadan Moon’.
Her multicultural novels for teens have won several awards, including a Muslim Writers Award, and include ‘From Somalia, with Love’, ‘Boy vs. Girl’ and ‘Far from Home’. Her new book, ‘She Wore Red Trainers’, is a ‘halal love’ story set in South London. To download the first 4 chapters of Na’ima’s new book, ‘She Wore Red Trainers’, go to www.muslimlovestory.com
For more information, visit www.naimabrobert.co.uk
Link up with her on Facebook, Twitter (@NaimaBRobert) , Instagram and YouTube

   

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