On the Evil(s) of Slander and Backbiting

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Mushtaq Hurra

Everyone wishes to earn recognition among his fellows, neighbors and colleagues. We, the human beings, are born with such longings and traits. And it is not bad at all to carve a niche for ourselves or wine fame. But, it should not be by putting others at stake . Those who become famous, necessarily give outstanding performances in different walks of life. But, some shirkers and mentally deficient people, make use of slandering and backbiting to earn fame. They straight away do down others to win fame by belittling their characters behind their backs.
Slandering and backbiting are two such mean methods which people make use of to get fame. The vice of slandering is a devilish act to score brownie points at the cost of others’ honour and self-esteem. Allah( SWT) has cursed the scandal-mongers with the harshest words. “ Woe to all scandal mongers and backbiters “ ( Surah Al -Humazah, Al-Quran ). And at another place, Allah (SWT) has held them as those who eat the flesh of their dead brother. Someone has considered it harsher than fornication.
Our beloved prophet Mohammad(SAW) has called it a very displeasing act. The Sahabah( RA) would never resort to character belittling of their fellows. They even had good perceptions about the wrong doers as well. Talking malicious about others to cement our own awe on others, is almost a psycho disorder because sane and mentality sound people can not resort to these cheap means to become famous or special in the eyes of people.
With the growing deterioration and degradation of moral values and standards , men of contemporary societies indulge in the bizarre acts of character assassination and slandering of others’ without giving a serious thought to the level of embarrassment and pain caused to the victims by their talks or gestures. Leveling false charges against people behind their backs, is an act of cowardice and ill-mentality. The culprits want to elevate their own false standards, and wish to enjoy the limelight contrary to their hollowness.
Talents and endowments are divine blessings which are showered on a few from heavens. Prophets, statesmen, scientists and leaders are chosen by Almighty Allah among millions. Allah( SWT) has created us with varied aptitudes and IQ levels. Level of fame and status is decided at Empyrean ( Arsh ) by Almighty Allah. Al-Quran endorses the view by saying, “ Watu-izzu Manta-Shaa-u Watu-Zillu Manta-Shaa-u “. Men can only work hard and inculcate virtues, rest is decided by Allah( SWT) in the heavens.
Some people are hell-bent to earn fame overnight, without raising their standards to the required levels. It takes a lot of hard work, determination and honesty to win the fame. Famous people burn their midnight oil to serve mankind through their unselfish and sincere activities, and in return God bestows them with fame and status.
Character belittling is not only an act of winning fake fame but it tarnishes the respectable image of people to the extent that they undergo serious stress and strain. In some cases, it takes prolonged time for truth to prevail. Even many lo]ose the battle of life given the magnitude of trauma they undergo by these fake allegations and accusations. Many people are acquitted of false charges but after facing a lot of wrath and humiliation. The act is considered highly condemnable from the religious point of view, and is enough to invite Allah’s rage, but there must be strong legislations in every civilized and cultured society to punish the guilty because it causes an unimaginable level of torture to the victims. Physical torture and injuries are visible to everyone but emotional and psychological scars are invisible, and thus they often remain unhealed.
One thing is clear that once these scandal mongers and backbiters are exposed, they lose every sort of credibility and dignity if they have achieved any. They are looked down as the buffoons with no reputation and dignity. These people suffer from the stigma of inferiority complex throughout their lives which belittles their own Images when they attempt character and honor assassination of others.
The evil of scandal mongering and backbiting is not confined to any particular section of our society. Many ignoramuses who have degrees to their credit, resort to these hypocritical means to gain some credibility in the eyes of the others which they never manage to get because people devalue them for this vice which cannot be attributed to feminine gender only because men equally fell prey to this evil practice. May Allah save and safeguard us from the ills of scandal mongering and backbiting.

—The writer is a teacher, columnist, poet and a social activist. He can be reached at: mushtaqhurra143@gmail.com

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