مَنْ أُولِعَ بِالغيبَةِ شُتِمَ۔

One who is fond of backbiting about others is reviled.



One who is fond of backbiting about others is reviled.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Backbiting)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

مَنْ أُولِعَ بِالغيبَةِ شُتِمَ۔

This can be translated as,

One who is fond of backbiting about others is reviled.

Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this amazing Hadith in light of the Quran.

The word (uliba) "أُولِعَ" in this Hadith refers to someone who is inclined towards or fond of engaging in backbiting. Backbiting, or (al-ghibah) "الغيبة" in Arabic, is the act of speaking ill of someone in their absence. It is a grave sin in Islam, as it harms the reputation and honor of others. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns us that those who indulge in backbiting are reviled, meaning they are despised and disliked by Allah.

To understand the severity of backbiting, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. In Surah Al-Hujurat (49:12), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

This ayah emphasizes the importance of avoiding negative assumptions and warns against backbiting. Allah compares backbiting to eating the flesh of one's brother, highlighting the repugnance and disgust associated with this act. Just as we would find it abhorrent to consume the flesh of a deceased person, we should feel the same repulsion towards backbiting.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Qalam (68:10-12), Allah describes the consequences of backbiting, saying,

Indeed, those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly are guilty of slander and a manifest sin. O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease and those who spread rumors in al-Madinah do not cease, We will surely incite you against them; then they will not remain your neighbors therein except for a little.

These verses highlight the harm caused by backbiting, as it leads to slander and creates division among believers. Allah advises the believers, both men and women, to observe modesty in their attire to avoid being targeted by those who engage in backbiting. Moreover, Allah warns that if the spreaders of rumors and backbiters do not cease their actions, they will face severe consequences.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a reminder for Muslims to refrain from engaging in backbiting. It is not only a sin but also a harmful act that tarnishes the unity and trust within the Muslim community. By speaking ill of others behind their backs, we not only damage their reputation but also our own character.

Reflecting on this Hadith, we should strive to cultivate a culture of respect, kindness, and empathy within our communities. Instead of indulging in backbiting, we should focus on building strong relationships based on trust and mutual support. Let us remember the words of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and strive to be individuals who are known for their noble character and righteousness, rather than being reviled for engaging in backbiting. May Allah guide us all on the path of righteousness and protect us from the sins of the tongue.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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