Reflections

Website: www.ummahreflections.co.za

Quarterly: Issue No 90

Rabi-us-Saani 1440 – December 2018

TAQWA (PIETY)

BACKBITING (GHEEBAH)

 

MAJOR sins are indeed the cause for all misery, evil and torment in this world and the hereafter. And the worst of all sins are those that are greatest in harm and danger to humanity. Among the destructive major sins are backbiting and slandering. These two sins are forbidden by Allah because they sow enmity, evil and discord among people and lead to destruction. Backbiting is a major sin in Islam and should never be taken lightly.

Islam teaches us and emphasized on to give respect to other Muslims honour. One of the major sins is when a Muslim utters a word by describing his Muslim brother in a negative way, which could be done explicitly or implicitly. Backbiting (or Gheebah) is basically to talk about your Muslim fellow in such a manner that he/she would dislike it if told about it. In it, whether you talk about the physical defect, family, manners, conduct, faith or even his clothes, house, mode of transportation all of these are composed as ‘Gheebah’ and the person is known as a ‘Mughtaab’ or Backbiter. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an-e-Kareem:

Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread (or be publicized) among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this World and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know.

(Quran, 24:19)

O you who have believed, avoid much (negative) assumption. Indeed, some assumption is a sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead?” (Quran, 49:12)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said about Backbiting (or Gheebah) in one of his Hadith:

A man might speak a word without thinking about its implications, but because of it, he will plunge into the Hellfire further than the distance between the east and west.” (Bukhari; Muslim)

“Do you know what backbiting (gheebah) 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.” (Muslim; Abu Dawood; Tirmidhi)

Anas (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “When I was taken to the heavens (mi’raaj), I passed by some people who had nails made of copper with which they were scratching their faces and chest. I enquired who are these people Jibreel? He replied these are people who used to eat the flesh of others (backbite others) and defame them.” (Abu Dawood)

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “He who has done a wrong affecting his brother's honour or anything else, let him ask his forgiveness today before the time (i.e. Day of Judgement) when he will have neither a dinar nor a dirham. If he has done some good deeds, a portion equal to his wrong doings will be subtracted from them; but if he has no good deeds, he will be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he had wronged in the same proportion”. (Bukhari)

Making fun of someone by signs also comes under backbiting. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) opposed backbiting even when it appeared in His own family. “Once a woman visited Sayyidah Aisha (RA) and when the woman got up to leave, Sayyidah Aisha (RA) made a sign with her hand indicating to the Prophet (SAW) that the woman was short of stature. The Prophet (SAW) immediately chastised her, saying, “You have backbitten!” (Tirmidhi)

Here are some guidelines to avoid Backbiting (Gheebah):

1. We should recognize that Allah Almighty sees and knows everything beyond our limited understanding and vision.

2. We should also recognize that no one is perfect, we all are lacking in some manner.

3. Always speak well otherwise keep quiet.

4. If you hear a rumour or gossip about someone, keep it on yourself and also remind others not to gossip. If they continue to do so then walk away from there. Allah Almighty likes this action as He says in the Qur’an-e-Kareem: “And when they hear ill speech, they turn away from it…” (Quran, 28:55)

5. Try to avoid spying as it fuels the trading of secrets and misinformation which ultimately creates a climate of mistrust.

6. Most important thing is to repent to Allah Almighty for all mistakes and also seek forgiveness for the person whom you hurt.

 

SAJDAH (Prostration to Allah)

 

“Sajdah” is an Arabic word, which means conducting prostration before the Allah Almighty in the direction of the Qiblah (the Holy Kaabah), and is occasionally performed while offering the Fard (Obligatory) and Nafl (Optional) Salaah. During this condition, a Muslim Praises and Glorifies the Name of Almighty Allah, by repeating the following phrase at least three times:

Subhaana Rubbee al-A’laa” – (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High).

The above-mentioned expression completes the true gist of being in the powerless situation in front of our Rabb. Therefore, it is not merely a state of lying down but is actually the most perfect and complete form of Worship of our only Creator and Sustainer – Almighty Allah.

Almighty Allah says in the Quran-e-Kareem:

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.”  (Surah Al-Fath, 48:29)

The Messenger of Allah (SAW):

“My nation (ummah) on that day (Judgement Day) will surely have bright faces because of sujood (that they would have had performed), and bright arms and feet because of wudu (ablution).” (Ahmad)

Prostration to Allah - referred to as Sajdah (plural: Sujood) - is an important part of a Muslim’s prayers. A Sajdah to Allah reflects humility and Khushoo’ that is in one’s heart. Both the Quran-e-Kareem and the Ahadith have highlighted the numerous blessings associated with the act of Sajdah (prostration). More importantly, Sajdah provides the Muslim with an opportunity to get closer and nearer to one’s Creator and Sustainer - Almighty Allah.

 

Actual Manner and Position of Sajdah

According to the following Hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn Abbas (RA), one comes to know about the actual manner of prostrating before Almighty Allah, in which Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

I have been ordered to prostrate on seven bones i.e. on the forehead along with the tip of the nose and the Prophet pointed towards his nose, both hands, both knees and the toes of both feet - and not to gather the clothes or the hair.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

It is also noted from the above Hadith that while being in this state of sajdah, one should not worry about setting one’s clothes and hair right, because this condition of humility requires complete and total submission towards the Almighty Allah.

 

Benefits and blessings of performing Sujood

The Messenger of Allah (SAW):

“The nearest a servant of Allah is to his Rabb (Lord) is in the state of Sujood (Prostrations) so increase the Dua (that you make to Allah).” (Sahih Muslim)

“Whoever humbles himself in front of Allah, He will raise him (in status and rewards).” (Muslim; Tabarani)

“Perform Sujood much because there is no Muslim that prostrates (perform Sajdah) to Allah except that Allah raises him one degree (in Jannah) by it and forgives for him a sin.” (Ahmad)

 

When in Sujood (in a state of prayers), one should make a lot of Dua. However, making Sujood outside prayers solely for the sake of making a Dua is not recommended. This is because many Ahadith point to the Prophet’s actions (and encouragement) of raising one’s hands when making Dua.

 

Outside the regular prayers, the Prophet’s Hadith taught us to perform Sujood in the following conditions:

1. Sajdah At-Tilawah (Sajdah during recitation)

This refers to the Sajdah that a person performs when reciting some special verses (as marked in the Quran-e-Kareem).

 

2. Sajdah Ash-Shukr (Prostration of Thankfulness)

This refers to the prostration when a person performs in gratitude and in thanking Allah. The Prophet (SAW) performed this Sajdah at numerous occasions when he received good news. Similarly, the companions of the Prophet (SAW) did the same.

 

O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.

 

Requesting your duas!

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Johannesburg, Gauteng

South Africa