From an anonymous contributer

“You missed a spot!” The young girl said, pointing a finger at the window that her older sister was cleaning. Her sister did not look pleased. And why should she? Her hard work was being criticized by her idle sister.

Too many times we criticize our brethren, both in blood and in Islam, when we ourselves do not look at our own faults. How many times have we slandered our brothers, backbitten them, been harsh to them, and even boycotted them for something we could have easily done ourselves? And all this is usually done before any real attempt at naseehah is made.

The term ‘Qiil wa Qaal’ (he said and she said) can be defined with the following scenario:

‘Abdullah: I heard Hamza was with some girl last night, and it wasn’t his mother.
Zubayr: No way! But he’s got a beard falling down on his chest.*with distaste and a weird sort of passion* Hypocrite.

Zubayr: Hamza was spotted dating some girl last night! Probably wasn’t even Muslim.
Zubayr’s sister: Oh my Gawd! Really?! Not Hamza… he’s one of the good guys. *stares into space, as if with remorse* You know, I think I know her! There was this girl with him X number of days ago.

And so on…

Although the above scenario may seem somewhat comic, it happens all too often. Sometimes, sadly, the finger of blame falls on scholars. In these cases, the majority of the time, the rumourmongering and gossiping is initiated by overzealous youths with little or no knowledge about the matter with which they are accusing the other. Sometimes, however, it is started by older Muslims who should know much better. We see this fitnah taking place today on internet forums and Islamic websites that should be dedicated to praising Allah and His Messenger, not petty slandering.

Narrated Al-Mughira:
The Prophet (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Allah has forbidden you to be undutiful to your mothers, to withhold (what you should give) or demand (what you do not deserve), and to bury your daughters alive. And Allah has disliked that you talk too much about others, ask too many questions (in religion), or waste your property.”[Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73 (The Book of Manners), Number 6]

Do we not know that nameemah (rumourmongering) is one of the acts that cause a Muslim to be punished in the grave? I don’t know about you, but the thought of slandering another whilst one knows they will be punished in the grave seems nonsensical to me.

The saddest thing of all is that sometimes when we get caught up in all of this, feelings get stirred up, and sometimes we resort to making up lies. This is obvious when both sides are testifying that that the exact opposite thing happened. Alhamdulillah, our Prophet warned us of this:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

 Allah’s Apostle (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said thrice, “Shall I not inform you of the biggest of the great sins?” We said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah and to be undutiful to one’s parents.” Then the Prophet sat up after he had been reclining and added, “And I warn you about giving a forged statement and a false witness.” The Prophet kept on saying that statement until we thought he would never stop.
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73 (The Book of Manners), Number 7]

All this can be easily avoided if we guard our tongues, and remember that we will be asked about what we did with them. Ask yourself, why am I saying this? Why am I listening to this? Allah knows our intention, and blessed is the saying of our Prophet:

Narrated ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab:
The Prophet (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “O people! The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle, and whosoever emigrated to take worldly benefit or for a woman to marry, then his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”

Allah – The Most High – has Said:

O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it…But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. [Al-Hujraat:12]

And He said:

Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter.

So I shall conclude with this , and I pray that we may take this noble advice:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the gravest lie in talk, and do not be inquisitive about one another, and do not spy upon one another, and do not feel envy with the other. And nurse no malice, and nurse no aversion and hostility against one another. And be fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.” [Sahih al-Muslim, Book 32, Number 6214]