Khutbah's Title: The Backbiting and Backbiters

Khateeb Name: Sheykh Saalih Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn Humayd

Makkah Al-Mukarramah

 Al-Masjid Al-Haraam

               

First Khutbah :

             

To proceed:

O People! I enjoin you and myself to be pious to Allaah The Almighty. He who fears Allaah The Almighty, Allaah The Almighty will be sufficient for him, and he who fears people, they, indeed, will never avail him nothing against Allaah The Almighty. Again, I enjoin you and myself to achieve piety towards Allaah The Almighty. It is the piety which Allaah The Almighty does not accept but it, He does not grant mercy but upon its people, and He does not also reward but due to it. Keep in mind that those who advise people to adhere to it are much, while those who, actually, adhere to it are a few.

My fellow Muslim, The religion of Allaah The Almighty is perfect and comprehensive. It included the facts of creed and legislation, monotheism and worship, transaction and custom. It addresses the mind and heart, sense and soul regarding the principles of legislation and morals, education and behavior. It is a religion that comes from our Lord The Exalted. This religion sets the rules and the system that help in establishing a noble, inwardly and outwardly pure Muslim. This Muslim is also of sound heart, pure sentiment, pure tongue, and pure soul. He also behaves politely with His Lord, his soul, all people, and even with the obsessions of the conscience and the emotions of the soul. In this regard, Allaah The Almighty says (what means): {"O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin…"} [Al-Hujuraat: 12].

  It is a true religion in which the rulings of legislation meet with the purity of feelings, and the commandments make balance with the prohibitions.

 It is a religion that sets up a pious society that its sanctities are inviolable, the presence and the absence of its individuals are protected. In this Islamic society, no one can think ill of his Muslim brother, and no one can search for his faults.

 My fellow Muslim, This is an example of bad morals from which the religion of Islam took a severe and strict stance. The spread of this form of bad morals in the society represents a defect, an impiety and weakness in practicing the rulings of the religion. It disturbs the protection of sanctities, the soundness of hearts, the safeguarding of honors and the seeking of truth. It is a great, grave and destructive sin that its sinner and the one who is pleased with the listening to it share the same sin.

  It is the backbiting, O the servants of Allaah, It is the mentioning of the faults of your Muslim brother while he is absent. It is the mentioning of your Muslim brother with what he displeases, whether this fault in him or not. Thus the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, made clear of it.

  Regarding this, Your Lord, the Almighty, in His Glorious Quran, says (what means): {"… And do not backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when deed? You would detest it. And fear Allaah; indeed, Allaah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful."} [Al-Hujuraat: 12].

  My fellow Muslim, Your blood, property and honor are sacred and inviolable. O brothers and sisters, Backbiting has three names all of them are in the Noble Book of Allaah The Almighty. They are backbiting, falsehood and calumny. If what did you say about your brother is actually in him, it is the backbiting. If you conveyed what you heard about your brother, it is the falsehood. If what did you say about your brother is not in him, it is the calumny. This is what the religious scholars clarified about this division.

  Backbiting includes everything aiming at vilification and defamation, be it through uttering words, winking, sign or writing; figuratively, the pen is one of the two tongues.

 Backbiting is used in belittling the person with regard to his religion, creation, morals, origin and kinship. He who blames a creature regarding his creation, he, principally, blames His Creator.

  This is your Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him, calling upon those who are afflicted with this disease saying: "O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not backbite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allaah The Almighty will search for his fault, and if Allaah The Almighty searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house."

  Regarding backbiting, Al-Hasan, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says: "By Allaah, backbiting spoils the religion of the person in a way that is faster than the canker which afflicts the human body and spoils it."

 

  It is amazing to find some of those who are belong to this religion committing the sin of backbiting while they know that the one who is afflicted with this disease is of an unstable and a gloomy heart. The person of this wicked heart is accustomed to harbor hatred against people and dislike goodness for them. His taking care of harming people exceeds his taking care of benefiting himself. His happiness is to find that the blessing sent down upon his brother disappears; the tribulations and calamities afflict him; and the goodness keeps away from him. If his brother enjoys goodness, success, facility of livelihood, beneficence to others, he will become sad and grieved.

  This person of such heart is lying and diseased. He envies in the ease and rejoices at the distress. He always is worried and spiteful. Happiness of others makes him sad and their sadness makes him happy. His heart is full of grudge, hatred and malice. All these words are synonyms that lie in deeply-rooted enmity. The person of such enmity waits for opportunities in order to spit out his venom and throw his arrows.

  Is the believer required to harbor such malice against his brother? It is as if he rejoices at his disappointment and distress, and as if he has never experienced the meaning of the brotherhood of the faith. In this effect, , Allaah, Exalted be He, says (what means): {"… Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when deed? "} [Al-Hujuraat: 12].

Backbiter is eloquent but insolent. He has no faith that prevents him from backbiting. He has no chivalry that makes him maintain noble deeds. If he finds an opportunity, he hastens to satisfy his foolish nature. He rushes to gatherings with incessant discourse and uninterrupted speeches. He utters what makes the ears of the faithful and the hearts of the pious feel disgust.

  He has abundance in tongue (eloquence) that seduces him to assail the governor, the learned, the eminent person, and even the foolish and the unlearned. He also uses his tongue in every gathering and to assail every class. Speaking, for him, represents an overwhelming desire. If he gives full rein to his tongue to discuss the affairs of people, he falls in mistakes, and if he talks about the facts of religion and science, he distorts the truth and loses reverence.

  His chatter has a clamor that makes the mind absent. He takes the first place in gatherings, and the words that scatter from his tongue make the wise person affirms that the talking of such person is not of wakeful awareness and deep thinking. It is as if this person has a terrible separation between his tongue, mind and faith. He is the fiercest of opponents. He intrudes upon discussing the matters of religion, policy, science and literature. To keep in mind that the cause behind the scientific deterioration, the sectarian partisanship and the religious split in the facts of the religion and the matters of the life may be this dispraised way of exploiting the tongue in a clear argument, dispute, backbiting, calumny and falsehood.

  In meetings, he wastes his time in picking up news, searching for faults of people. He does not find any bliss or amusement but in intruding upon the affairs of people. He is a slanderer and defamer and is going about with a slander. Woe to him and woe to him. He speaks words that he does not understand its repercussions but he sinks down in Hellfire farther than the distance between the east and the west.

  My fellow Muslim, The most hideous thing that this person and the like commit is the backbiting of rulers, scholars, people who are responsible for controlling the market with regard to price and so on, people who are responsible for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. They also defame the noble persons, the ordinary and famous people. They abase them, deprive them of their reverence, distrust them, defame their works and efforts, and make doubt to their abilities and efficiencies. No a great person is mentioned but they belittle him, no a noble person is appeared but they abuse him, no a righteous person is emerged but they accuse him and no a responsible person is distinguished but they detest him. They go about with lie, deception, fallacy and confusion. They accuse the trustworthy, defame the righteous, agitate the turmoil, implant the hatred and confuse the ordinary people. They also sever the relations and disunite the groups; they are ominous, bearer of fuel and inflamer. They distribute accusations and search for the faults. For example, this is tall and this is short, this is an ignorant and this is disobedient, this is traitor and this is suspected. The eye is winking, the tongue is slanderer and the words are defamer. Their meetings are evil, their companionship is harm, their actions are hostile and their speech is obscene.

  Allaah is the Greatest, O the servants of Allaah, Is the believer required to harbor such malice against his brother?!

 O Muslims, Every person loves and hates, be pleased and becomes angry, support and becomes hostile to. However, the wise does not support anyone in an absolute way, nor does become hostile to anyone in an absolute way. He loves a thing of him and hates another, be pleased with a moral and displeased with another, approves a deed and disapproves another. The prudent is the one who loves his loved one moderately, because one day, he might become his enemy, and he is also the one who hates his enemy moderately, because one day, he might become his loved one.

  Mind and faith, with regard to the one you love, dictate that you do not change his bad qualities into good ones as if you do not see in him any fault. In this regard, Allaah, the Almighty, says (what means): {"O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allaah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness…"} [Al-Maa’idah: 8]

O brothers and sisters, Sin and offense become great when backbiting is committed by those who belong to knowledge and righteousness, and have the appearance of the pious. So they combine between praising themselves and dispraising the others.

  May Allaah protect you, See the accurate words recorded by Imam Al-Ghazaali in his book of "Al-Ihyaa", and by Imam Ibn Qudamaah Al-Maqdisi in his book of "Muhktasar Minhaj Al-Qasidin", and by Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami in his book of "Ath-Thawaajir" when they talk about such kind of people. They, may Allaah have mercy upon them, said: "When a person is mentioned in the presence of those who pretend pious, they say: 'Praise be to Allaah who did not try us with shamelessness and the commitment of such and such.' Their supplication is mainly meant to reveal the faults of others." They also said: "He may increase his wickedness by beginning with the praise of the one who defames him in order to reveal his denial of backbiting. He may say: 'He was diligent in worship, knowledge, virtue and honesty, but he is weakened gradually and slackened like us.' So he mentions himself aiming at defaming others and making himself among the righteous who criticize themselves. That way he combines between three grave sins: backbiting, showing off and praising the soul. Rather, they are four grave sins. The fourth is that he thinks ignorantly that he is from among the righteous who abstain from backbiting. Hence, the Satan mocks at him and uses him as a plaything and finally leads him to lose his good deeds and enters Hellfire."

Another example, he may say: "I became sad due to what afflicted our friend with regard to such and such. I ask Allaah The Almighty to firmly keep him on the right path. Actually, he tells lies. This person must know that Allaah The Almighty is Knowing about his wicked conscience, and that way he exposes himself to the Wrath of Allaah The Almighty more than the ignorant who publicly commit sins." End quote

 

 Allaah is the Greatest, O brothers and sisters, some people from among the righteous predecessors say: "We lived during the time of the righteous predecessors and found that they do not see that worship is limited only to prayer and fasting but it extends to include the abstention form slandering people."

  O So and So, May Allaah guard you and us, and have mercy upon you and us! Think well and trust your brothers and relatives. Do not listen to news conveyed by the disobedient. Mention your brother in his absence with what you love to be mentioned by his tongue. Guard and protect him from what you love to be guarded and protected. Do the deed of the one who sees that he will be rewarded if he obeyed and will be punished if he disobeyed.

  Some people said to a righteous person that a person slandered you to the extent that we began to feel compassion for you. He said: "He deserves your compassion more than me."

  A man said to Al-Hasan, may Allaah have mercy upon him: "I was informed that you backbite me." Al-Hasan said to him: "Your standing did not reach a high degree in my sight so that I can choose you an arbitrator over my good deeds."

  My fellow Muslim, Fear Allaah! May Allaah have mercy upon you! Blessed is the one who abstains from nonsense speech. Blessed is the one who controls his tongue. Blessed is the one who prevents his tongue from defaming or backbiting people. Blessed is the one who adheres to the teachings of his Lord's Noble Book. So he supplicated his Lord with a humiliated heart, truthful tongue and faithful love to his fellow Muslim saying this verse of the Quran in which Allaah, the Almighty, says (what means): {"Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful."} [Al-Hashr: 10].

 

Second Khutbah:

 

All perfect praise is due to Allaah, the Owner of the Glorious Throne, and the Effecter of what He intends. He has encompassed all things in knowledge, and He, over all things, is Witness. He (i.e. man) does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared (to record). I testify that there is true god but Allaah alone and He has no partner. He [Allaah] is closer to His slave than (his) jugular vein. I testify that our master and Prophet Muhammad is His slave and Messenger who, peace and blessing be upon him, has spread Tawheed (i.e. Islamic monotheism). Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, his household, his companions, their followers and those who perfectly follow them from among the righteous slaves.

 

To proceed:

My fellow Muslim, among the most hideous types of backbiting mentioned by scholars is the backbiting by heart; namely, thinking ill of Muslims. Negative assumption is what the soul depends on and what the heart inclines to. However, the transitory ideas and premonition are pardoned.

You have not the right to think ill of your brother. Once an evil idea regarding your brother occurs to you, you should take care of it and supplicate with goodness for him. This good behavior will infuriate the Satan and make him abandon you. To know that negative assumption leads to spy. To keep in mind that if the heart is given free rein to negative assumption, it will be satisfied with. It may ask for verification and examination, and hence, falls in spying which is prohibited; as it leads to searching for the faults of Muslim.

 My brothers and sisters, the one who listens to backbiting is sharing in the sin with the backbiter himself. He will not be saved from this sin unless he denies it with his tongue, or by his heart in case of fear. If he is able to leave the gathering in which the backbiting is committed, he, in this case, must leave, or interrupt this speech with another speech free of backbiting.

  This is the ruling of the one who listens to the backbiting, let alone, the one who listens to it astonishingly in order to encourage the backbiter to increase his backbiting. Our scholars, may Allaah have mercy upon them, said: "Accepting backbiting as true is actually backbiting, and the one who keeps silent regarding backbiting is a participant of the sin with the backbiter."

 I wonder; where is the strong and active believer who rejects the backbiting of the others in his presence and also refuses to let his ears listen to any fault of his Muslim brother. Ibn Al-Mubarak, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says: "Run away from the backbiter as you run away from the lion." End quote

  Where is the strong believer who forces the backbiter to leave his assembly; otherwise, he himself leaves this assembly of backbiting?!! There is no one in the assembly of Maymoon Ibn Siyaah can be slandered or defamed. He always forbids the backbiter from continuing his backbiting; otherwise, he himself leaves the assembly.

  O servants of Allaah, all people have faults, errors and shortcomings. So do not think that you are the only one who reached to or have knowledge about this fault.

  Why do you not occupy yourself with your faults instead of occupying yourself with the faults of the people?!! Why do you not adopt the way of advice instead of the way of defamation?!! Did you know that he who talks in what does not concern him will be deprived of the truth?

  My fellow Muslims, protect the right of your brother and safeguard his honor. In a Hadeeth, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "Whoever protects his brother's honor while he is absent, Allaah will, indeed, protect him from Hellfire."  In another Hadeeth, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "He who speaks about a believer with what is not in him, Allaah will lodge him at Radghatul-Khabal (a mud that is mixed with the juice of the people of the Hellfire) until he repents."  He, peace and blessing be upon him, also said: "Whoever does wrong with his brother with regard to honor or property, he must seek his brother's forgiveness before coming the Day of Judgment where there is no dinar or dirham. He will return back injustices by giving his good deeds to the wronged, and if his good deeds are finished, he will receive evil deeds from the wronged and he then will be thrown into Hellfire."

 

O People, Fear Allaah! may Allaah have mercy upon you! Hasten to repentance. Hasten to seek forgiveness from your wronged brothers. Avoid spite, malice, hatred and enmity.

 

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