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Islam In Indonesia Essay, Research Paper

ISLAM IN INDONESIA

Indonesia is a archipelago situated in South-East Asia and comprises of 13 600 islands which stretch for approximately 5000km. Islam was introduced to Indonesia in the 14th century by Gujerati merchants from India. In 1478 a coalition of Muslim princes attack the remains of the Hinduism Empire expunging Hindu from the Indonesian empire. Islam has now become the dominant religion with 87% of the population adhering to Islam, 7% are Christians while the remainder are Buddhist, Catholic or Taoist. In recent years many conflicts have arisen between Muslims, Christians and Indonesia ethnic Chinese population, because of both religious and political differences. The clashes have been severe and 1000?s of people from both religions have been murdered and beaten and 100?s of Chinese women have been raped.

Indonesia was one of the few countries where Islam did not takeover purely by an invading military force. One feature of Islam that appealed to Indonesian’s is that it does not have a caste system such as the system in the Hindu religion. Before Islam was introduced, the king had the power to take a man’s wife and land. The people of Indonesia were told that in Allah?s eyes all men are made of the same clay.

The Islam found in Indonesia is influenced by Buddhist and Hindu practises which were prevalent prior to Islam. This translates to the fact that of the 190 million Muslims living in Indonesia only 5 to 10% adhere to a relatively purist form of Islam as seen in Pakistan. 30% adhere to a Javanised version of Islam, while the remainder consider themselves as only nominal Muslims.

Although a Muslim dominated population, its political and governing institutions are secular, and have little to do with Islam. Indonesia’s Muslim population does not control the countries wealth. Previous governments have restricted Islam’s influence by limiting the number of Muslim political parties by often forcing them to join together. It is now widely believed that the Muslim public have began to feel a new Muslim consciousness and are seeking justice.

The Muslims of Indonesia, like all Muslims, believe that Allah is the one and only God and Muhammad is his prophet. Muslims believe in many holy books, but that the Koran is the most important book, recited to Muhammad over a period of 23 years. They believe that there will be a judgement day when all people will rise from their graves and stand trail for their lives. Muslims also believe that Allah has predestined events, meaning that Allah has already chosen who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. Muslims insist that all citizens must have equal rights. No individual should ever be above the law, no matter how powerful, and no one beneath the law, no matter how humble. Allah taught that it was impossible to force people to believe what they do not wont too. Therefore people should be allowed to have free minds and follow any faith they may wish to. To a Muslim, the ideal society is one in which there is justice, peace, love and compassion. Muslims believe that Allah owns the soul and he decides when an individual will die. Therefore suicide and euthanasia is rejected in a Muslim society and abortion is only allowed when the life of the mother is at stake. Birth control is allowed as long as both parties consent. Islam is also completely against people having sexual intercourse before they are married as well as anyone who commits adultery. Islam also prohibits homosexuality believing that it is dirty and unnatural

The key values of Islam are faith, justice, forgiveness, compassion, mercy, sincerity, truth, generosity, humility, tolerance, modesty, chastity, patience, responsibility and courage. The behaviours that Islam abhors are hypocrisy, cheating, backbiting, suspicion, lying, pride, envy, anger, divisiveness, excess and extremism. Many of these ideas and values are forgotten by many of Indonesia?s population.

The Five Pillars of Faith influence a Muslims life in Indonesia; this is because the pillars demonstrate their beliefs in Islam. These pillars include; the recital of the creed. There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. the Salat, or prayer, which must be observed five times a day while facing the holy city of Mecca; The third pillar is known as Zakat, the payment of alms to the poor and needy. Ramadan is a period of fasting held during the ninth month of the year, it is a time when a Muslim will refrain from eating, drinking or sexual intercourse between dawn and dusk; the fifth pillar is the pilgrimage to Mecca, if health and wealth permit a Muslim must trek to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime.

A Muslim?s life in Indonesia is affected by what is known as Sharia law. Sharia law is a set of regulations, principles and values from which legislation is developed. It is the detailed code of conduct or the canons comprising ways and modes of worship, standards of morals and life, laws that allow and prescribe and that judge between right and wrong. Sharia can be amended according to changing social needs and this has occurred in Indonesia. Unlike other Muslim dominated countries, Sharia does not control every aspect of the Indonesian legal system. Property disputes are not settled under Sharia, neither are many other legal disputes. Secular courts have been given authority over all religious courts even at a district level. But Sharia does play a more significant role in smaller, more isolated villages. The power of Sharia in Indonesia has been tested. In 1952 a Christian male and a Muslim female petitioned the Jakarta district court to authorise their marriage. The two were not allowed to be married because it was forbid under Sharia. The court allowed them to be married effectively meaning that state law held power over Sharia.

Islam?s ?rites of passage? also influence an Indonesians life. Rites of passage strongly influence the names that Muslim children are given, commemoration, marriages and funerals. Muslims believe that cremation is not allowed because the body will be required when Allah resurrects people from their graves on the day of judgement. In 1973 the Indonesian government introduced a marriage bill, which placed strong restrictions on polygamy and permitted inter-religious mixed marriages. These laws went against what is stated in the Koran and upset many Muslims and the law regarding mixed marriages was removed. In the present Indonesian society polygamy is regarded as morally reprehensible.

Islamic banks emerged in Indonesia in the 1960s and have since grown rapidly. There popularity among the population is a response to the growing western influences, people wish to reclaim the old values of Islam. In an Islamic banking system, interest cannot be accepted on loans or given to money in saving accounts. In an Islamic bank, a person can place money in a bank account. The bank uses this money to invest in other business and then divides the profit between them and the client at a predetermined rate. Interest was banned in the Koran because it was seen as the exploitation of the economically weak by the strong and powerful.

Indonesian women are far more socially and politically advanced than women in almost all other Less-Developed countries where Islam is the majority religion. Women in Indonesia are not required or expected to wear the hijab, but most cover their heads with a scarf. The men do not treat them as second-class citizens but men and women are segregated in houses of worship. Women, such as Megawati Sukarnoputri can hold very high positions in Indonesian society. Despite these advances Indonesian women are still not allowed to vote in any elections.

Indonesia is currently in a state of turmoil, protest constantly break out into full-scale riots and looting. The major social problem facing Indonesia currently is the escalating violence. Political analysts, Frans Magnis-Suseno said in Asia Week ?Indonesia has a tradition of violence? and in the current society this is becoming more evident. The trouble began to appear soon after Indonesia’s economy collapsed and the people were looking to find someone to blame. They were led to believe that the Chinese minority who control much of the wealth caused the problems. The indigenous people (pribumi) felt discriminated against and in the post Suharto era they were more inclined to say so. Because the majority of ethnic Chinese were of a different religion to the majority, the violence developed into Muslim verses Christian conflicts and was a demonstration of the distrust that exists towards other ethnic groups and belief systems despite the presence of widely diverse groups that live in Indonesia.

Indonesian people from both cultures also began to protest against the widespread corruption that is institutionalised in the Indonesian parliament and governing bodies. After Suharto was re-elected unopposed the people took to the street. They had enough of their government. These protests readily turn into full-scale riots and Indonesia’s people turned their anger to racial and religious differences. People also wish to end the military?s role in Indonesia?s government. This resulted in army officers such as General Wiranto taking being given less prominent roles in the newly formed government. Indonesia?s frustrations also boiled over onto the street because in June the World Bank estimated that as many as 50 million people are not eating the minimum amount of calories needed to stay healthy. This is because in less than two months the price of rice doubled.

It is also widely believed that the violence in instigated and encouraged by people on the verge of power, including members of the Indonesian army. Men who are well out of their teens have been seen wearing school uniforms. Many army uniforms have gone missing and it is suspected that the people wearing these have fired shots at students to prompt a violent reaction from them and reduce their creditability. These people have been exploiting Islam because Islam is supposed to respect other religions, not burn their churches.

Conflicts between religious groups have developed for many other reasons. Many Muslim extremists are working to make Indonesia an Islamic state. Many other Muslims and people from minority religions strongly oppose this view. The newly elected president Abdurrahman Wahid is totally against making Indonesia an Islamic state. He believes that his people should subscribe to nationalism first and Islam second and has always tried to improve relations between Christians and Muslims and between the Pribumi and ethnic Chinese. After his election as president, many extremists held heated protests throughout the archipelago.

In Ambon the religions are almost evenly divided among the populous. The two groups have been living harmoniously for many years and the two groups have been working together in business and on civic projects. Yet, recently the situation has changed. The most probable cause of the violence was an argument between a Christian bus driver and a Muslim migrant. From this small incident the violence spread and intensified. Mobs burned several businesses and left Christian and Chinese shops intact. Barricades and signs such as, “You are now entering Muslim territory”, were erected and to travel to certain areas a person must recite a prayer as a proof of religion. Leaders from both sides have stated that they are only defending their respective communities.

The ethnic Chinese population who are living in Indonesia are among the wealthy people of Indonesia. The Chinese are barred from the military and the civic service. Ethnic Indonesian?s feel resentment towards them and have resorted to beating, murdering and arson in an attempt to get rid of the ethnic Chinese so the pribumi can take over their business and wealth. One of the strongest cases to show Indonesia?s resentment towards ethnic Chinese occurred after a mayor in Java blocked plans to build a school on an old Chinese cemetery. Mobs ransacked the graveyard, dug up the corpses and stole the valuables that were buried along side the dead and the coffins and marble headstones were stolen and sold.

At present Islam is being used as a vehicle for people to cause disruption and further their own ambitions and gain more power. They are using the uneducated and bigoted people in Indonesia?s society. The people of Indonesia, from almost all religions, have forgotten the values that their respective religions are meant to uphold. The chaos is caused by religion and many religious leaders are doing little to stop and prevent the violence. Hostile groups send out bands of vigilantes to roam the streets, beat people and then flee to their respective churches or mosques. No matter what the violence and protest are for; it is almost always tinged with a religious purpose.

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Islam In Indonesia Essay Research Paper ISLAM

Islam In Indonesia Essay Research Paper ISLAM

Islam In Indonesia Essay, Research Paper

ISLAM IN INDONESIA

Indonesia is a archipelago situated in South-East Asia and comprises of 13 600 islands which stretch for approximately 5000km. Islam was introduced to Indonesia in the 14th century by Gujerati merchants from India. In 1478 a coalition of Muslim princes attack the remains of the Hinduism Empire expunging Hindu from the Indonesian empire. Islam has now become the dominant religion with 87% of the population adhering to Islam, 7% are Christians while the remainder are Buddhist, Catholic or Taoist. In recent years many conflicts have arisen between Muslims, Christians and Indonesia ethnic Chinese population, because of both religious and political differences. The clashes have been severe and 1000?s of people from both religions have been murdered and beaten and 100?s of Chinese women have been raped.

Indonesia was one of the few countries where Islam did not takeover purely by an invading military force. One feature of Islam that appealed to Indonesian’s is that it does not have a caste system such as the system in the Hindu religion. Before Islam was introduced, the king had the power to take a man’s wife and land. The people of Indonesia were told that in Allah?s eyes all men are made of the same clay.

The Islam found in Indonesia is influenced by Buddhist and Hindu practises which were prevalent prior to Islam. This translates to the fact that of the 190 million Muslims living in Indonesia only 5 to 10% adhere to a relatively purist form of Islam as seen in Pakistan. 30% adhere to a Javanised version of Islam, while the remainder consider themselves as only nominal Muslims.

Although a Muslim dominated population, its political and governing institutions are secular, and have little to do with Islam. Indonesia’s Muslim population does not control the countries wealth. Previous governments have restricted Islam’s influence by limiting the number of Muslim political parties by often forcing them to join together. It is now widely believed that the Muslim public have began to feel a new Muslim consciousness and are seeking justice.

The Muslims of Indonesia, like all Muslims, believe that Allah is the one and only God and Muhammad is his prophet. Muslims believe in many holy books, but that the Koran is the most important book, recited to Muhammad over a period of 23 years. They believe that there will be a judgement day when all people will rise from their graves and stand trail for their lives. Muslims also believe that Allah has predestined events, meaning that Allah has already chosen who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. Muslims insist that all citizens must have equal rights. No individual should ever be above the law, no matter how powerful, and no one beneath the law, no matter how humble. Allah taught that it was impossible to force people to believe what they do not wont too. Therefore people should be allowed to have free minds and follow any faith they may wish to. To a Muslim, the ideal society is one in which there is justice, peace, love and compassion. Muslims believe that Allah owns the soul and he decides when an individual will die. Therefore suicide and euthanasia is rejected in a Muslim society and abortion is only allowed when the life of the mother is at stake. Birth control is allowed as long as both parties consent. Islam is also completely against people having sexual intercourse before they are married as well as anyone who commits adultery. Islam also prohibits homosexuality believing that it is dirty and unnatural

The key values of Islam are faith, justice, forgiveness, compassion, mercy, sincerity, truth, generosity, humility, tolerance, modesty, chastity, patience, responsibility and courage. The behaviours that Islam abhors are hypocrisy, cheating, backbiting, suspicion, lying, pride, envy, anger, divisiveness, excess and extremism. Many of these ideas and values are forgotten by many of Indonesia?s population.

The Five Pillars of Faith influence a Muslims life in Indonesia; this is because the pillars demonstrate their beliefs in Islam. These pillars include; the recital of the creed. There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. the Salat, or prayer, which must be observed five times a day while facing the holy city of Mecca; The third pillar is known as Zakat, the payment of alms to the poor and needy. Ramadan is a period of fasting held during the ninth month of the year, it is a time when a Muslim will refrain from eating, drinking or sexual intercourse between dawn and dusk; the fifth pillar is the pilgrimage to Mecca, if health and wealth permit a Muslim must trek to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime.

A Muslim?s life in Indonesia is affected by what is known as Sharia law. Sharia law is a set of regulations, principles and values from which legislation is developed. It is the detailed code of conduct or the canons comprising ways and modes of worship, standards of morals and life, laws that allow and prescribe and that judge between right and wrong. Sharia can be amended according to changing social needs and this has occurred in Indonesia. Unlike other Muslim dominated countries, Sharia does not control every aspect of the Indonesian legal system. Property disputes are not settled under Sharia, neither are many other legal disputes. Secular courts have been given authority over all religious courts even at a district level. But Sharia does play a more significant role in smaller, more isolated villages. The power of Sharia in Indonesia has been tested. In 1952 a Christian male and a Muslim female petitioned the Jakarta district court to authorise their marriage. The two were not allowed to be married because it was forbid under Sharia. The court allowed them to be married effectively meaning that state law held power over Sharia.

Islam?s ?rites of passage? also influence an Indonesians life. Rites of passage strongly influence the names that Muslim children are given, commemoration, marriages and funerals. Muslims believe that cremation is not allowed because the body will be required when Allah resurrects people from their graves on the day of judgement. In 1973 the Indonesian government introduced a marriage bill, which placed strong restrictions on polygamy and permitted inter-religious mixed marriages. These laws went against what is stated in the Koran and upset many Muslims and the law regarding mixed marriage

s was removed. In the present Indonesian society polygamy is regarded as morally reprehensible.

Islamic banks emerged in Indonesia in the 1960s and have since grown rapidly. There popularity among the population is a response to the growing western influences, people wish to reclaim the old values of Islam. In an Islamic banking system, interest cannot be accepted on loans or given to money in saving accounts. In an Islamic bank, a person can place money in a bank account. The bank uses this money to invest in other business and then divides the profit between them and the client at a predetermined rate. Interest was banned in the Koran because it was seen as the exploitation of the economically weak by the strong and powerful.

Indonesian women are far more socially and politically advanced than women in almost all other Less-Developed countries where Islam is the majority religion. Women in Indonesia are not required or expected to wear the hijab, but most cover their heads with a scarf. The men do not treat them as second-class citizens but men and women are segregated in houses of worship. Women, such as Megawati Sukarnoputri can hold very high positions in Indonesian society. Despite these advances Indonesian women are still not allowed to vote in any elections.

Indonesia is currently in a state of turmoil, protest constantly break out into full-scale riots and looting. The major social problem facing Indonesia currently is the escalating violence. Political analysts, Frans Magnis-Suseno said in Asia Week ?Indonesia has a tradition of violence? and in the current society this is becoming more evident. The trouble began to appear soon after Indonesia’s economy collapsed and the people were looking to find someone to blame. They were led to believe that the Chinese minority who control much of the wealth caused the problems. The indigenous people (pribumi) felt discriminated against and in the post Suharto era they were more inclined to say so. Because the majority of ethnic Chinese were of a different religion to the majority, the violence developed into Muslim verses Christian conflicts and was a demonstration of the distrust that exists towards other ethnic groups and belief systems despite the presence of widely diverse groups that live in Indonesia.

Indonesian people from both cultures also began to protest against the widespread corruption that is institutionalised in the Indonesian parliament and governing bodies. After Suharto was re-elected unopposed the people took to the street. They had enough of their government. These protests readily turn into full-scale riots and Indonesia’s people turned their anger to racial and religious differences. People also wish to end the military?s role in Indonesia?s government. This resulted in army officers such as General Wiranto taking being given less prominent roles in the newly formed government. Indonesia?s frustrations also boiled over onto the street because in June the World Bank estimated that as many as 50 million people are not eating the minimum amount of calories needed to stay healthy. This is because in less than two months the price of rice doubled.

It is also widely believed that the violence in instigated and encouraged by people on the verge of power, including members of the Indonesian army. Men who are well out of their teens have been seen wearing school uniforms. Many army uniforms have gone missing and it is suspected that the people wearing these have fired shots at students to prompt a violent reaction from them and reduce their creditability. These people have been exploiting Islam because Islam is supposed to respect other religions, not burn their churches.

Conflicts between religious groups have developed for many other reasons. Many Muslim extremists are working to make Indonesia an Islamic state. Many other Muslims and people from minority religions strongly oppose this view. The newly elected president Abdurrahman Wahid is totally against making Indonesia an Islamic state. He believes that his people should subscribe to nationalism first and Islam second and has always tried to improve relations between Christians and Muslims and between the Pribumi and ethnic Chinese. After his election as president, many extremists held heated protests throughout the archipelago.

In Ambon the religions are almost evenly divided among the populous. The two groups have been living harmoniously for many years and the two groups have been working together in business and on civic projects. Yet, recently the situation has changed. The most probable cause of the violence was an argument between a Christian bus driver and a Muslim migrant. From this small incident the violence spread and intensified. Mobs burned several businesses and left Christian and Chinese shops intact. Barricades and signs such as, “You are now entering Muslim territory”, were erected and to travel to certain areas a person must recite a prayer as a proof of religion. Leaders from both sides have stated that they are only defending their respective communities.

The ethnic Chinese population who are living in Indonesia are among the wealthy people of Indonesia. The Chinese are barred from the military and the civic service. Ethnic Indonesian?s feel resentment towards them and have resorted to beating, murdering and arson in an attempt to get rid of the ethnic Chinese so the pribumi can take over their business and wealth. One of the strongest cases to show Indonesia?s resentment towards ethnic Chinese occurred after a mayor in Java blocked plans to build a school on an old Chinese cemetery. Mobs ransacked the graveyard, dug up the corpses and stole the valuables that were buried along side the dead and the coffins and marble headstones were stolen and sold.

At present Islam is being used as a vehicle for people to cause disruption and further their own ambitions and gain more power. They are using the uneducated and bigoted people in Indonesia?s society. The people of Indonesia, from almost all religions, have forgotten the values that their respective religions are meant to uphold. The chaos is caused by religion and many religious leaders are doing little to stop and prevent the violence. Hostile groups send out bands of vigilantes to roam the streets, beat people and then flee to their respective churches or mosques. No matter what the violence and protest are for; it is almost always tinged with a religious purpose.

Backbiting (Gheebah) and its Expiation

23328. Backbiting (Gheebah) and its Expiation

A. What is the ruling on accusing somebody of having a loose tongue?
B. Do you have to tell them what they have said and to whom?
This is a matter that has arisen and instead of the person being told what they are supposed to have said and to whom. They are being told that the ones telling them they have a loose tongue, that they have it on good authority that they do not have to say any more than "you have a loose tongue"
C. How can a person be accused of something they might not have said without telling them?
The person could be innocent and their reputation is now in pieces.
I ask you to please provide all the relevant Islamic rulings on this matter to Inshallah stop all the slandering and backbiting that is happening to the person accused of having a loose tongue.

Published Date: 2002-06-01

Praise be to Allah.

The Muslim has to guard his tongue and avoid things that have been forbidden. Among these forbidden things which people often take lightly are gheebah (backbiting), buhtan (slander) and nameemah (malicious gossip).

Gheebah or backbiting means speaking about a Muslim in his absence and saying things that he would not like to have spread around or mentioned. Buhtan or slander means saying things about a Muslim that are not true, or in other words telling lies about him. Nameemah or malicious gossip means telling one person what another said in order to cause trouble between them.

There is a great deal of evidence to show that these actions are haram (impermissible). It will suffice for us to mention just a few of them in order to demonstrate that they are haram.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“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 forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful” [49:12]

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.”

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed by two graves and said, “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for anything that was difficult to avoid. One of them used to walk about spreading malicious gossip (nameemah), and the other used not to take precautions to avoid getting urine on himself when he urinated.” Then he called for a green branch, which he split in two and planted a piece on each grave, and said, “May their torment be reduced so long as these do not dry out.” [al-Bukhaari, Muslim]

For a person to say of another, “He cannot control his tongue (or he has a loose tongue)” is undoubtedly one of those things that a person would dislike to have said about him. If it is true, then it is gheebah (backbiting), and if it is not true then it is buhtan (slander).

Everyone who does any kind of backbiting, slander or malicious gossip has to repent and pray for forgiveness, and that is between him and Allaah. If he knows that any of his words reached the person about whom he was speaking, then he should go to him and ask him to forgive him. But if he does not know, then he should not tell him; rather he should pray for forgiveness for him and make du’a(supplication) for him, and speak well of him in his absence just as he spoke against him. Similarly, if he knows that telling him will provoke more enmity, then it is sufficient to make du’a for him, speak well of him and pray for forgiveness for him.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his honour or anything else, let him seek his forgiveness today, before there will be no dinar and no dirham, and if he has any good deeds to his credit they will be taken from him in a manner commensurate with the wrong he did, and if he has no good deeds, then some of his counterpart’s bad deeds will be taken and added to his burden.” [al-Bukhaari].

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

Whoever wrongs a person by slandering him, backbiting about him or insulting him, then repents, Allah will accept his repentance, but if the one who was wronged finds out about that, he has the right to settle the score. But if he slandered him or backbit about him and the person did not hear of that, then there are two views according to the scholars, both of which were narrated from Ahmad, the more correct of which is that he should not tell him that he spoke against him in his absence. It was said that he should rather speak well of him in his absence just as he spoke badly of him in his absence, as al-Hasan al-Basri said: the expiation for gheebah is to pray for forgiveness for the person about whom you backbit. Majmoo’ al-Fataawa.

And Allah knows best.

Literature review on backbiting in islam


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Backbiting: A Favorite Pastime

Nowadays people have discovered a new way of enjoyment by joking and making fun of others, which is another form of backbiting

By Maryam Hedayat | islam.ru | 20 May 2014

Backbiting is such a common evil that even though the whole world is destroyed and luckily three persons survive, the other two will move aside and backbite about the third one.

Backbiting is perhaps the most frequently committed sin of the tongue. Regardless of the fact that Islam defines back biting as eating a dead brother’s flesh, still it is everyone’s favorite pastime at homes, clubs, parks, weddings, offices, shops, even funerals and graveyards are not safe.

Often we indulge in a discussion and somehow end up speaking about someone not existing among us. It is almost unavoidable as conversation seems less interesting without backbiting.

Backbiting is to speak ill about a person behind his back, counting matters regarding his ethics, activities, appearance, or character. Not only is backbiting restricted to words, but also it includes every behavior and action, whether indicative or straight.

Finding faults in others is the easiest thing in the world. The habit of fault-finding and bad-mouthing has become so common that even the feeling of its sinfulness and wickedness has vanished.

Apparently the worst of all sins are those that are greatest in harm and danger to humanity. Among the destructive and harmful major sins are backbiting and slandering. These two sins are forbidden by Allah because they spread hate, evils and create conflict among people and lead to destruction. They cause hostilities between family, friends, neighbors and relatives.

The Holy Quran says:

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deed 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 .” (Surah Al Hujrat, 49:12)

Almost all of us are aware that backbiting is a sin. Yet we often indulge in it. It was believed that only women were guiltier of it. But most men also indulge in backbiting and gossiping. There could be uncountable reasons behind badmouthing like inferiority complex, weakness, cowardice, frustration, bitterness, jealousy and so on.

The tongue, though very small and tiny in size, holds great importance in our life. In fact, all the social matters that are related to morals and ethics are mainly related to tongue.

All our good and bad behaviour are mostly the miracle of the tongue, while telling a lie, abusing, slandering, backbiting, gossiping, and all other social evils are concerned with this tiny piece of flesh.

Buddha, the great thinker and philosopher said:

The tongue is like a sharp knife, kills without drawing blood .”

In fact, speaking anything about a person in his/her absence, that he would hate to have mentioned or discussed, whether it is about characteristics, physical appearance, wealth,worldly affairs, wife, children, manner of speech, style of walking, it is the same whether mentioned that with words, through writings, or whether you point or indicate him by gesturing with eyes, hand or head are all backbiting.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once asked his followers: “Do you know what backbiting is?

They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best .”

He (pbuh) continued: “Saying something about your brother that he dislikes .”

Someone then asked, “What if what I say about my brother is true?

The Prophet (pbuh) responded: “If what you say is true then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him .”

Since we all known that whoever safeguards his/her tongue will make fewer mistakes, and will be in control of himself and avoid from doing something wrong. The Prophet (pbuh) guaranteed Paradise for one who guards his/her tongue. He is reported to have said:

"Whoever gives me surety to safeguard what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I guarantee for him (entrance into) Paradise ."

In fact, backbiting plants the poisonous seeds of hatred among people. In so many cases, backbiting has caused serious problems and unwanted tragedies.

Allah (swt) has warned us in the Holy Quran:

Do not concern yourself with things about which you have no knowledge. Verily, your hearing, sight, and heart -- all of them will be called to account " (Surah Al Isra 17:36).

Perhaps, backbiting has become an issue of people’s gatherings and a way for expressing their anger, doubts and jealousy. Those who indulge in backbiting, in fact, try to hide their own faults and harm others. They are unaware of the fact that they are only harming themselves.

The Prophet (pbuh) once gave guidance to Abu Dharr (r), saying: “O Abu Dharr! Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is graver than adultery (zina) .”

Abu Dharr (r) said: “Why is that so, O Messenger of Allah ?”

He (pbuh) replied: “That is because when a man commits adultery and then repents to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance. However, backbiting is not forgiven until forgiven by its victim. ” [Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasai'l al-Shi`ah, vol. 8, hadith no. 18312

Nowadays people have discovered a new way of enjoyment by joking and making fun of others, which is another form of backbiting, this could involve mockery and sarcasm.

Before laughing and making fun of others we must remind ourselves what Allah Subhanahu wa taa’la has voiced us in the Holy Quran:

"O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter is better than the former. " [Al-Hujuraat 49:11]

Hence badmouthing and slandering is one of the severe social evils today. It is one of the most destructive elements that destroys the social structure and spoils the social affairs. When the ill speech grasps the one about whom it is said, it hurts him and arises feelings of hatred, suspicion and disgust in him.

The teachings of Islam are peace, harmony, love and kindness. Therefore, suspicion, lies, backbiting, slandering and gossiping are completely against the ethics of Islam. There should be respect for the honor, prestige and privacy of others. These are the foundations that combine the complete fabric of social system.

Therefore we must perceive in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. One must be honest, humble and respectful to the whole human race and avoid polluting tongues by speaking evil, criticizing, mocking and insulting others.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have told his companions (May Allah be pleased with them) that the first thing to suffer punishment in hell will be the tongue. Thus we must guard our tongue and avoid things that have been prohibited in Islam. We all must use our tongue in a manner that is pleasing to Allah and must try to speak well or either keep silent.