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Adaab >> Backbiting

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رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مَرَرتُ ليلةَ اُسرِيَ بي على قَومٍ يَخمِشُونَ وُجوهَهُم بأظفارِهمِ، فقلتُ: يا جَبرَئيلُ، مَن هؤلاءِ ؟ فقالَ: هؤلاءِ الذينَ يَغتابُونَ الناسَ ويَقَعُونَ في أعراضِهِم

On the night that I was taken on my Night-Journey [to the heavens], I passed by a group of people scratching their own faces with their nails, so I asked, ‘O Gabriel, who are these people?’ so he replied, ‘These are people who backbit about other people and disparaged their reputations.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
Tanbih al-Khawatir, v. 1, p. 115; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 124

الترغيب والترهيب: قالَ رسولُ اللّه‏ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الغِيبَةُ أشَدُّ مِن الزِّنا، قيلَ: وكيفَ ؟ قالَ: الرجلُ يَزني ثُمّ يَتوبُ فَيَتُوبُ اللّه‏ُ علَيهِ، وإنّ صاحِبَ الغِيبَةِ لايُغفَرُ لَهُ حتّى يَغفِرَ لَهُ صاحِبُهُ

Backbiting is worse than adultery’, at which he was asked, ‘How so?’ He replied, ‘A man commits adultery, then repents, and Allah pardons him for it, whereas the backbiter is not forgiven until his victim forgives him.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, v. 3, p. 511, no. 24] ; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 125

الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الغِيبَةُ جُهدُ العاجِزِ

Backbiting is the attempt of one who is incapable [of doing better himself].
Amir al-Mu'minin Imām ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (a.s.)
Nahj al-Balagha, Saying 461; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 125

الإمامُ‏الحسينُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ لِرجُلٍ اغتابَ عِندَهُ رجُلاً ـ: يا هذا، كُفَّ عنِ الغِيبَةِ؛ فإنّها إدامُ كِلابِ النارِ

Imām Husayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (a.s.) said to a man who was backbiting about a man in his presence, ‘Stop backbiting, for verily it is the food of the dogs of Hell.’
Imām Husayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (a.s.)
Tuhaf al-`Uqoul, no. 245; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 125

الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا تَغتَبْ فتُغتَبُ، ولا تَحفِرْ لِأخِيكَ حُفرَةً فَتَقَعَ فيها ؛ فإنَّكَ كما تَدينُ تُدانُ

Do not backbite lest you become a victim of backbiting, and do not dig a hole for your brother lest you fall in it yourself, for you will be paid back whatever you put in.
Imām Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq (a.s.)
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 75, p. 249, no. 16; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 125

الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): قالَ رَجُلٌ لعليِّ بنِ الحسينِ ’: إنَّ فُلانا يَنسُبُكَ إلى أ نّكَ ضالٌّ مُبتدِعٌ ! فقالَ لَهُ عليُّ بنُ الحسينِ ’: مارَعَيتَ حقَّ مُجالَسَةِ الرجُلِ حيثُ نَقَلتَ إلَينا حَديثَهُ، ولا أدَّيتَ حَقِّي حيثُ أبلَغتَني عن أخي ما لَستُ أعلَمُهُ ! ... إيّاكَ والغِيبَةَ فإنّها إدامُ كِلابِ النارِ، وَاعلَمْ أنّ مَن أكثَرَ مِن ذِكرِ عُيوبِ الناسِ شَهِدَ علَيهِ الإكثارُ أ نّهُ إنّما يَطلُبُها بقَدرِ ما فيهِ

A man once came and told Ali b. al-Husayn (AS) [i.e. Imam Zayn al-Abidin], ‘Verily x has said that you are astray and that you are an innovator!’ So Ali b. al-Husayn (AS) said to him, ‘Neither have you observed the right of the man you sat with by transmitting to us what he spoke about, nor have you observed my right by informing me of something about my brother which I would not have known! … Beware of backbiting for verily it is the food of the dogs of Hell, and know that whoever frequently talks about people’s faults, the frequency of his backbiting is a witness [to the fact] that he only finds faults in others according to the extent present in himself.
Imām Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq (a.s.)
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 75, p. 246, no. 8; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 125

رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): الغِيبَةُ أسرَعُ في دِينِ الرجُلِ المُسلمِ مِن الآكِلَةِ في جَوفِهِ

Backbiting eats away at a man’s faith faster than a gangrenous sore can eat away to the inside.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 357, no. 1; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 126

رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مَنِ اغتابَ مُسلِماً أو مُسلمَةً لم يَقبَلِ اللّه‏ُ صَلاتَهُ ولاصيامَهُ أربَعينَ يَوما ولَيلةً، إلّا أن يَغفِرَ لَهُ صاحِبُهُ.

Whoever backbites a fellow Muslim man or woman, Allah neither accepts his prayer nor his fasting for forty days and nights, until and unless the victim of his backbiting forgives him.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 75, p. 258, no. 53; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 126

رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): يُؤتى بأحَدٍ يَومَ القِيامَةِ يُوقَفُ بينَ يَدَيِ اللّه‏ِ ويُدفَعُ إلَيهِ كتابُهُ فلا يَرى حَسَناتِهِ، فيقولُ: إلهي، ليسَ هذا كتابِي! فإنّي لا أرى فيها طاعَتي؟! فيقالُ لَهُ: إنّ رَبَّكَ لايَضِلُّ ولايَنسى، ذَهَبَ عَمَلُكَ بِاغتِيابِ الناسِ. ثُمّ يُؤتى بآخَرَ ويُدفَعُ إلَيهِ كتابُهُ فَيَرى فيهِ طاعاتٍ كثيرَةً، فيقولُ: إلهي، ما هذا كتابِي! فإنّي ما عَمِلتُ هذهِ الطَّاعاتِ! فيقالُ: لأنَّ فلاناً اغتابَكَ فَدُفِعَت حَسَناتُهُ إلَيكَ

On the Day of Resurrection, a man will be brought forth to stand before Allah, and his book of deeds will be presented to him, and he will not see any of his good deeds therein, upon which he will exclaim, ‘My God, this is not my book! For verily I do not see any of my acts of obedience therein?!’ So he will be told, ‘Verily your Lord neither loses nor forgets [deeds], but your deeds have gone because of your backbiting people.’ Then another man will be brought forth, and will be presented his book of deeds, and he will see many acts of obedience recorded therein, and will exclaim, ‘My God, this is not my book! For verily I did not perform all these acts of obedience!’ and he will be told, ‘It is because so and so backbit you, so his deeds have been transferred to you.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
Jami`a al-Akhbar, p. 412, no. 1144; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 126

رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) ـ لأبي ذرّ ـ: .... يا أباذرٍّ، إيّاكَ والغِيبَةَ؛ فإنَّ الغِيبَةَ أشَدُّ مِن الزِّنا ... قلتُ: يارسولَ اللّه‏ِ، وما الغِيبَةُ؟ قالَ: ذِكرُكَ أخاكَ بما يَكرَهُ، قلتُ: يارسولَ اللّه‏ِ، فإن كانَ فيهِ ذاكَ الذي يُذكَرُ بهِ ؟ قالَ: اِعلَمْ أ نَّكَ إذا ذَكَرتَهُ بما هو فيهِ فقدِ اغتَبتَهُ، وإذا ذَكَرتَهُ بما ليسَ فيهِ فَقَد بَهَتَّهُ

O Abu Dharr, beware of backbiting, for verily backbiting is worse than adultery…’ [Abu Dharr narrates], I asked, ‘O Prophet of Allah, and what is backbiting?’ to which he replied, ‘Your mentioning something about your fellow brother that he would not like.’ I asked, ‘O Prophet of Allah, and what if the thing mentioned about him was actually true about him?’ so he replied, ‘Know that if you say something about him that is true then you have indeed backbit about him, and if you what you have said is not true, then you have indeed slandered him
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 77, p. 89, no. 3; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 126

الترغيب والترهيب عن عَمرُو بن شُعَيبٍ ـ عن أبيهِ عن جدِّهِ ـ: أنّهم ذَكَرُوا عندَ رسولِ اللّه‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) رجُلاً فقالوا: لا يَأكُلُ حتّى يُطعَمَ، ولا يَرحَلُ حتى يُرحَلَ لَهُ، فقالَ النبيُّ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): اغتَبتُمُوهُ، فقالوا: يا رسولَ اللّه‏ِ، إنّما حَدَّثْنا بما فيهِ ! قال: حَسبُكَ إذا ذَكَرتَ أخاكَ بما فيهِ

It is bad enough to talk about your brother regarding what is true [let alone what is false]!
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib, v. 3, p. 506, no. 13; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 127

الإمامُ الكاظمُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَن ذَكَرَ رجُلاً مِن خَلفِهِ بما هُو فيهِ ممّا عَرَفَهُ الناسُ لم يَغتَبْهُ، ومَن ذَكَرَهُ مِن خَلفِهِ بما هُو فيهِ ممّا لايَعرِفُهُ الناسُ اغتابَهُ

He who talks about someone behind his back, mentioning what is true about him, and what people already know, then he has not backbit about him, whereas he who talks about someone behind his back about something that is true but that people do not know about, then he has backbit about him.
Imām Mūsā ibn Ja‘far al-Kāżim (a.s.)
al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 358, no. 6; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 127

رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): أربَعةٌ لَيست غِيبَتُهُم غِيبَةً: الفاسِقُ المُعلِنُ بِفِسقِهِ، والإمامُ الكَذّابُ إن أحسَنتَ لم يَشكُرْ وإن أسَأتَ لم يَغفِرْ، والمُتَفَكِّهونَ بالاُمَّهاتِ، والخارِجُ عنِ الجَماعَةِ الطاعِنُ على اُمَّتِي الشاهِرُ علَيها بسَيفِهِ

‘Four types of people are such that talking about them behind their backs is not considered backbiting: the immoral person who makes a public display of his immorality; the dishonest leader who, even if you were to be good to would not appreciate you and if you were to be bad to would not forgive you; those who joke about their [and others’] mothers; and one who is a dissenter, who defames my community, and draws his sword against it.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 75, p. 261, no. 64; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 127

الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): السامِعُ لِلغِيبَةِ كالمُغتابِ

The one who listens to backbiting is as [bad as] the backbiter.
Amir al-Mu'minin Imām ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (a.s.)
Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 1171; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 128

الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ وقد نَظَرَ إلى رجُلٍ يَغتابُ رجُلاً عندَ ابنِهِ الحسنِ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ: يابُنَيَّ، نَزِّهْ سَمعَكَ عن مِثلِ هذا ؛ فإنّهُ نَظَرَ إلى أخبَثِ ما في وِعائهِ فَأفرَغَهُ في وِعائكَ

O my son, steer your hearing clear of such a person, for verily he took the most repulsive thing from his mind and poured it into yours!
Amir al-Mu'minin Imām ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (a.s.)
al-Ikhtisas, p. 225; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 128

الإمامُ زينُ العابدينَ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): حقُّ السَّمعِ تَنزيهُهُ عن سَماعِ الغِيبَةِ، وسَماعِ ما لايَحِلُّ سَماعُهُ

The right of the ears is to keep them pure from listening to backbiting, and from that which is unlawful to listen to.
Imām `Alī ibn Husayn (a.s.)
al-Khisal, p. 566, no. 1; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 128

رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مَن تَطَوَّلَ على أخِيهِ في غِيبةٍ سَمِعَها فيهِ في مَجلِسٍ فَرَدَّها عَنهُ، رَدَّ اللّه‏ُ عَنهُ ألفَ بابٍ مِن السُّوءِ فِي الدنيا والآخِرَةِ

Whoever does a good service to his fellow brother by deterring people from talking behind his back in a gathering where he hears them backbiting him, Allah will repel from him a thousand types of evil in this world as well as in the Hereafter.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
Amali al-Saduq, p. 350; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 128

رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): مَن اُغتِيبَ عِندَهُ أخوهُ المسلمُ، فاستَطاعَ نَصرَهُ فلم يَنصُرْهُ، خَذَلَهُ اللّه‏ُ فِي الدنيا والآخِرَةِ

He in whose presence a fellow Muslim brother is talked about behind his back, and who does not defend him despite having the ability to do so, Allah disgraces him in this world as well as in the Hereafter.
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
al-Faqih, v. 4, p. 372; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 129

رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) ـ وقد سُئلَ عن كَفّارَةِ الاغتِيابِ ـ: تَستَغفِرُ اللّه‏َ لِمَنِ اغتَبتَهُ كُلَّما ذَكَرتَهُ

Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.) was asked about the penance for backbiting, to which he replied, ‘You must seek Allah’s forgiveness on behalf of the one you have talked about every time you remember him.’
Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafā (s.a.w.w.)
al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 357, no. 4; Mizan ul Hikmah, page No. 129