11-24-2006, 09:39 PM
THE BACKBITING OF THE HEART
Know that having bad thoughts about someone is forbidden just like having bad speech
So just as it is forbidden for you to speak to others about the defects of a
person, it is likewise forbidden for you to speak to yourself about that and to hold bad
thoughts for him.
â€œO you who believe, avoid much (types) of suspicion. Verily some (forms) of
suspicion is a sin.â€ [Surah Al-Hujuraat: 12]
And Abu Hurairah ( radyAllaahu â€˜anhu) reported that Allaahâ€™s Messenger ( sallAllaahu
â€˜alayhi wa sallam) said: "Beware of suspicion, for indeed suspicion is the most
untruthful form of speech." 39
The ahaadeeth with this same understanding I have mentioned here are many. What the
backbiting of the heart means, is: When the heart has firm conviction and holds bad
thoughts about someone.
But as for the notions that occasionally display in one's mind or
when one talks to himself, then as long as these thoughts do not remain established and
continuous in him, it is excused according to the consensus of the scholars.
because he has no choice in the matter so as to stop it from occurring nor can he find any
way to liberate himself from it when it does occur.
This is the understanding of what has
been authentically established (in the texts).
The Messenger of Allaah ( sallAllaahu â€˜alayhi wa sallam) said: â€œIndeed, Allaah has
permitted for my ummah, that which their souls whisper to them, so long as
they do not speak it out (audibly) or act upon it.
The scholars say: â€œThis refers to the notions that form in one's mind, but do not become
settled or established there.â€
And they said: â€œThis is regardless if the notion consists of backbiting, disbelief or so on
(i.e. it is pardoned, so long as it does not settle).
So (for example) whoever's mind
becomes flooded with thoughts of disbelief, but they are only thoughts, without him
intending to have them carried out, and he then rids himself of these thoughts right after
they occur, he is not a disbeliever nor is there any sin on him.
39 Saheeh â€“ Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (10/484 of al-Fath) and Muslim (2563)
40 Saheeh â€“ Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (5/160 of al-Fath) and Muslim (127 and 202)
We have already stated previously, in the chapter on the (internal) whisperings, the
authentic hadeeth, in which the Companions said: "O Messenger of Allaah!
Some of us
find things in our thoughts that are too tremendous to speak of."
So he ( sallAllaahu
â€˜alayhi wa sallam) said: "That is the confirmation of Faith." 41
And this goes for the other reports we have mentioned in that chapter that bear the same
The reason for these thoughts being excused is due to what we have stated previously
that these thoughts are impossible to prevent. Rather, one is only able to prevent those
thoughts from becoming settled and established in oneâ€™s mind. This is why the heartâ€™s
being resolute and determined on these thoughts is forbidden.
So whenever these thoughts, which consist of backbiting or any other sin, present
themselves in your mind, it is an obligation on you to repel them, turn away from them
and mention some excuses or explanations that will change what seems apparent.
Abu Haamid Al-Ghazaalee said in Al-Ihyaa: "If bad thoughts should occur in your heart,
then these are from the whisperings of the Devil, which he has placed in you.
must deny and reject them because he is indeed the most wicked of evildoers ( faasiq).
And Allaah has stated:
â€˜If a wicked person (i.e. faasiq) comes to you with news, then verify it, lest you
harm people without realizing it (i.e. out of ignorance) and afterwards you
become regretful for what youâ€™ve done.â€™ [Surah Al-Hujuraat: 6]
So it is not
permissible for you to believe Iblees (the Devil).
And if there is some sign that indicates that he is corrupt, yet he implies the opposite of
that, then it is not permissible to hold bad thoughts (for him).
41 Saheeh â€“ Reported by Muslim (132); Translatorâ€™s Note: This hadeeth shows the Companionsâ€™ zeal
and enthusiasm in commanding themselves with good and forbidding themselves from evil, such that
they would even fight against the evil notions that passed through their minds.
But as it is impossible
to prevent such thoughts from occurring every now and then, they asked the Prophet about this.
response to them meant that their trying to repel these thoughts showed their strong Eemaan (Faith)
and love for good.
Among the signs that indicate one holding bad thoughts (for someone) is that your heart
changes with him from the way it used to be, and that you run away from him and find
him to be unbearable.
And that you are lazy when it comes to having concern for him,
showing kindness to him and being worried when he does evil.
And indeed the Devil
comes close to oneâ€™s heart when the slightest trace of defects show in people, and he
places this in you, while you think (these thoughts) occur due to your astuteness,
intelligence and quick alertness. But the believer sees with the light of Allaah.
person is in reality speaking with the deceptions and the evil plots of the Devil.
And if a trustworthy person informs you of this, then do not believe him nor reject him, in
order that you will not have bad thoughts about either of them.
Whenever some evil thoughts about another Muslim come into your mind, then let that
make you increase in your showing concern and being kind to him because this will
enrage the Devil and repel him from you.
So he will not place such thoughts in you
afterward out of fear that it will only cause you to increase in your supplication for that
And whenever you come to know of a defect or a mistake in another Muslim based on
some proofs, which cannot be denied, then advise him in
privacy and do not let the Devil
deceive you such that he invites you and leads you towards backbiting him.
you admonish him, then do not admonish him while you are happy and pleased that you
have knowledge of his deficiency.
So it is as if he is looking at you with the eyes of awe
and respect while you are looking down at him with condescending eyes.
your intention in that to free him from this sin, while you are distressed over him, just as
you are distressed when some deficiency enters in you.
And his getting rid of that
deficiency without you having to admonish him (i.e. on his own) should be more beloved
to you than him having to rid himself of it due to your admonishing.
These are the words of Al-Ghazaalee. I say: We stated previously that if someone is
presented with a notion of bad thoughts for another person, he should cut off those bad
But this is unless there is some (religiously) legislated benefit that leads to
thinking (about that person) in this manner.
any comments inshalah....
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