S ELF -A WARENESS : K NOW YOUR SOUL !
The light reflected from objects, when hits our eyes, enables us to see. One has to reflect psychologically, emotionally and spiritually in order to see things inside the self. Exploring deeply within us actually illuminates dark
corners of our mind and heart.
Being aware of weaknesses, strengths, beliefs, motivations, emotions, and thoughts enables one to
• Assess situations objectively and rationally
• Understand others in a better way
• Visualize self-perception by others
A Muslim will achieve self-awareness by journeying to know Allah. The people who have truly found faith are at eternal peace. Allah remembers the people who remember Him. Taking care of the soul is the first duty of a
Muslim. Knowing ourselves spiritually creates a devoted Muslim who encourages good and forbids evil.
One’s soul can be taken care of by knowing the diseases of the soul and how to cure them.
GHIBA: LEAVE IT!
Ask even a nominally practicing Muslim, and they’ll know enough to know that ghība, or backbiting, is categorically harām. But there still remains a fair amount of confusion as to what constitutes ghība.
Ghība is a true, but negative, statement made about a person in his dvance that—were he present to hear it—he would dislike to have mentioned.
From here, we can see that ghība is, in part, defined not by the backbiter, but rather, the hurt feelings of the backbitten. People can take offense to any number of topics, such as one’s bodily characteristics, level of religiosity, character, wealth, children, emotional reactions, gait—the list goes on. The point is that ghība occurs when the backbiter brings the
shortcomings of another individual to the attention of others.
Ghība pertains to the living and the dead, to Muslims and non-Muslims. It is a Muslim’s sacred duty to preserve the honor of all people in society.
Backbiting takes away good deeds from the backbiter, and transfers them to the backbitten. A backbiter will not be forgiven unless the backbitten forgives him. Ghība is different than buhtān, or slander. Ghība is to unlawfully relate true information, whereas buhtān is to unlawfully relate false information, and is an even greater sin than backbiting.
Why is ghība seen as such an incredibly terrible sin in Islām? What are the benefits of avoiding it? Firstly, ghība rips communities apart and divides them. Avoiding it establishes a united, healthy society.
Secondly, avoiding ghība preserves everyone’s honor. You are even allowed to lie to protect someone’s honor from being ruined due to ghība. For example: a woman had a sinful past but made tawba. If a blackmailer tries to expose her past, it is duty of a Muslim to defend the honor of the woman by telling a lie and denying the backbiter.
Thirdly, avoiding ghība keeps people practicing a sincere and sound Islām, free from hypocrisy. Why, then, does our nafs and Shaytān still tempt us to backbite, if avoiding it has so many benefits? Here are some of the excuses we find to do this sin.
• Our desire to find out the full truth of a matter which does not actually
• Peer pressure from bad company that is engaging in ghība.
• Out of self-defense from ghība being done against us, we commit ghība
• “Everyone else is doing it!”
• To denigrate your enemies and social competitors.
• Out of jealousy towards other people.
• Out of boredom and idleness.
• Out of an evil inclination to callously mock someone else.
May Allah protect us from ghība and its ill effects, amīn.
“O you who have believed, avoid much
[negative] assumption. Indeed, some
assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite
each other. Would one of you like to eat the
flesh of his brother when dead? You would
detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is
Accepting of repentance and Merciful”. (49:12)