The Prophet (pbuh) defined backbiting when he said: “Do you know what is meant by backbiting?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “To say something about your brother which he dislikes.” One asked, “Even if what I say is true about my brother?” He replied, “If such defects you say are true about him, then you have backbitten him, and if he doesn’t have what you say, then you have committed slander against him.”
(Related by Muslim, Abu Dawood, and Tirmidhi)
“…Neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?
You would hate it [so hate backbiting]” (Surah Hujurat, 49:12)
In life, the lessons learnt in one phase can be a big help when facing other trials of dunya. Sometimes I tell myself that may be Allah subhanahu wa ‘taala taught me all those lessons in order to help me through some future events of my life. You never know, right?
A friend had once advised me that when you know being in a certain place, seeing a certain someone, or talking to certain people is going to effect you in a negative manner then DON’T do it! No matter how much you want to be a part of that particular get-together, DO NOT go! No matter how much you want to look at that particular person, DO NOT see! No matter how much you want to know what your friend told about you to someone else, DO NOT listen!! PERIOD. Why? Simple, what you see, what you hear and what situation you put yourself into has a direct effect on your heart. So, save your dear heart the trauma and stay away!
Alhumdulillah, these words of advice have brought me a long way! And especially when people talk negative about someone else. Be it on a serious note, with a good intention or otherwise. If I know that I *have* to be with a certain someone say a family member despite whatever negatives they have or they think about me … then I’d rather not have anyone else coming to me and back-biting about them… for the simply reason that this is going to effect the way I see them and in turn make it miserable for me to live with them.
It’s as simple as this, when someone comes and tells you something negative about a person or about what they said about you… which in the first place they shouldn’t have since backbiting is absolutely un-islamic… but nevertheless if they do say it and may be they even do so with a good intention, then the only thing this does is sow the seed of negativeness in your heart and mind about that person.
So, now everything that person does becomes wrong; even if they are doing something right, the seed on negativity has been sown and so you begin to see the person in a negative light! The problem with this state of mind is that, that person remains how he/she is but it effects you in a very negative way… now your mind and heart gets so absorbed in this negativeness that you just cant even bear the person. In which case, it gets absolutely hard to live with them.. a nightmare to say so. Now all that one little comment about someone that reached you ear has done is, messed up your relationship, your life and your peace big time!
That’s why in my humble opinion, its soo much better to stay away from knowing anything negative about anyone if not for anything than atleast for YOUR peace of mind! SubhanAllah!! So, next time someone comes to you telling you about what kind of person xyz is or what xyz said about you, then do yourself a favour please – shoo the shaytan asking you to listen to them away and tell them “Thank you very much, but I SO don’t wish to know”.