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Prohibition for slander

Qur’an 024:019

Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and ye know not.


Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing,  are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty,l


Many people do not realize difference between criticism and making wild accusations.  Many indulge in disparagement in the course of gossip or for the purpose of ridiculing or hurting or destroying the image of the persons they do not like. It is "gheebat" strictly prohibited in Islam. People who indulge in this vice as  idle  gossip usually lose their countenance when their criticism is responded  with strong refutation based on logic and reason. Here are few Hadiths and gems collected from different sources:

The man who indulges in backbiting will not enter Paradise  (Al-Hadith ; Sahih Bukhari)

"And do not backbite one another." [Surah Al-Hujuraat: 12]

 "Woe to every slanderer and backbiter." [Surah Al-Humazah: 1]

 "A slanderer going about with gossip." [Surah Al-Qalam: 11]

Hudaifah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "The one who spreads gossip (Namaam) will not enter Paradise." [1]


Ibn 'Abbaas (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that Allaah’s Messenger  once passed by two graves and said: "Verily, they (occupants of  graves) are both being tormented and they are not being tormented for something major."


In the report from Al-Bukhaaree:

"Rather, it is indeed something major. As for the first one, then he used to go around spreading gossip (nameemah) and as for the other, then he used not to protect himself from his own urine." [2]

The scholars say the meaning of "and they are not being tormented for something major" is "something major" according to their opinion or "something major" for them to have abandoned doing.

Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) once said (to his Companions): "Do you know what backbiting is?" They said: "Allaah and His Messenger know best." He said: "Your mentioning something about your brother (in his absence) that he hates (to have mentioned)." It was said: "What if there exists in my brother, that which I say (of him)?" He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "If there is found in him what you say, then you have backbitten him. And if there is not found in him what you say, then you have slandered him." [3]

Abu Bakrah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said in his sermon on the day of Sacrificing, during his farewell pilgrimage: "Verily, your blood, your wealth and your honor are sacred for you, just as this day of yours is sacred, in this land of yours, in this month of yours. Have I not conveyed?" [4]

'Aa'ishah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa) narrated: "I said to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): 'You are more than Safiyyah by such and such.' [Some of the narrators said it meant that she was short] So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: 'You have stated a word, which if mixed with the water of the sea, it would surely stain it.’" [5]

At-Tirmidhee said this hadeeth was hasan saheeh. I say that the word for staining (mazaja) means: That it (her statement) would mix with the water with such a mixing that it would change its taste and smell due to the severity of its stench and vileness. This hadeeth is one of the greatest proofs in showing the forbiddance of backbiting, if not the greatest. And I do not know of any other hadeeth that reaches this level with regard to condemning backbiting.

"And he (Prophet) does not speak from his own desire. Rather, it is only revelation revealed (to him)." [Surah An-Najm: 3-4]

We ask Allaah, the Most Generous, for His kindness and forgiveness from all detestable acts.

Anas (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When I was ascended (to the heavens), I came across a people that had nails made of brass, with which they were scratching their faces and their chests. So I said: 'Who are these people, O Jibreel?' He said: 'They are the ones who eat the flesh of people [6] and dishonor them.'” [7]

This is a reference to backbiting, since Allaah likens it to eating a human’s flesh in His saying: “And do not backbit one another! Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would surely hate it!” [Surah Al-Hujuraat: 12]

The Prophet also admonished us that "when you pursue the faults of others, you corrupt them" and warned that "those who unduly pursue the shortcomings of others will have their own faults exposed."

Fault-finding is the habit of the miserable Prophet Muhammad said: "None of your faith is correct unless your heart is upright and your heart will not be rectified until your tongue is in order". That is why Allah states in the Quran "speak what is correct, your actions will be rectified and your sins will be forgiven". Since virtually all fault-finding is conveyed verbally, we must be careful of the power of the tongue since wise people caution the fact that affliction caused by the tongue is more severe than the harm caused by the sword. So wrote Sadullah Khan is the Director of Islamic Center of Irvine. He has presented lectures on Islamic Civilization at California State University at Dominguez Hills. He is a frequent lecturer for the Academy of Judaic, Christian and Islamic Studies at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). He is also an advisor to the Chancellor's Committee on Religion Ethics and Values at UCLA and serves as Director of Muslim Affairs at USC (University of Southern California).


 The Prophet also provided a basic rule of good character when he responded to a question regarding salvation. He replied: "It is necessary for you to control your tongue and weep for your own faults".

Wise men hammer out truth on the anvil of discussion, dissent and debate within the norms of decency and truth. But when mind is full of predigested rubbish or when people look at the facts with jaundiced eye and resort to distortion and mixing facts with lies irrationality dominates causing pandemonium or warranting action for libel or slander.

Professional propagandists or lobbying firms are hired not only to improve one's image but also to destroy the image of opponents. Some hypocrites hired by enemies of Islam and Pakistan are engaged full time in demonizing Islam and Pakistan army and trying to create an imageof Pakistan as a failed state.


"The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. It is the freedom to refrain, withdraw and abstain which makes a totalitarian regime impossible."        Eric Hoffer (1902–83), U.S. philosopher


Shah N. Khan.

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