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Calumny and the Prophetic Response

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat details the evils of calumny and how to respond.

I want to know what Shari‘a says of a women who falsely accuses husband of impotence and rejects all medical evidence. Not only that, she has spread word about the impotence of the husband throughout the community, thereby bringing him into disrepute.

I pray you are well.

Calumny

What you are describing is calumny (buhtan). It is a serious sin. Sins against oneself are bad – but sins against others are much worse.

The Messenger of Allah said, “Five particular sins have no expiation: Worshipping another besides Allah (this can be extended to disbelief in general), unjustly killing a person, calumny against a believer, fleeing from a battle, and a false oath causing a believer to lose his property.” (Ahmad).

What is understood from the hadith is that good deeds, Ramadan, etc., usually expiate and remove sins from a believer – even if he does not repent from them. These sins, however, are not expiated automatically. Whoever commits them must repent from them specifically, otherwise he will have to answer for them on the Day of Judgement.

The Prophetic Response

The best thing you can do is to respond as the noble Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, did, with patience and forgiveness.

Abu Hurayra narrated that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace said, “No wealth has ever been diminished by charity; and Allah has never raised a servant due to his pardoning [those who wrong him] except in honor; and whoever humbles himself for the sake of Allah – Allah raises him.” (Bukhari). These are tried and tested truths – do your best to follow this advice.

You are not, however, expected to be a doormat to anyone. The believer does not allow people to humiliate him. If there is active harm coming your way from people you can do what you need to prevent it, and preserve your reputation. But beware of going to excesses in your response. We are human, and emotionally charged situations can take people there.

Get out of harm’s way, and keep forgiving internally to please Allah; and whatever happens externally will go in your favor – that I guarantee you.

May Allah inspire us to adopt the prophetic response in all situations.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

I Need to Get Things off My Chest. Can I Confide in My Husband or Is That Gossiping?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I am trying to cut out gossiping. I struggle to hold things in because I have OCD and anxiety. Can I confide in my husband? He doesn’t gossip at all, and will keep what I say confidential.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for clarifying this matter.

Permissible Backbiting

Please refer to this article – When Is Backbiting Permissible?

In short, for the sake of your emotional health, you are permitted to confide in someone who can help you.
Please do your best not to give identifying information such as the person’s name or other incriminating details. Be as vague as possible, and give only just enough information in order to help you reduce your anxiety. For example, it would be better for you to say something like “So-and-so did this and it really upset me.” It would be impermissible for you to specifically name the person who upset you, unless your husband is capable of righting that wrong. In other words, it is impermissible to name someone just for the sake of venting.

For your long-term recovery, I suggest that you consider seeing a counsellor, therapist or psychologist.

I pray that Allah grants you lasting healing, and places tranquility in your heart.

Please see:

Slander, Backbiting and Talebearing

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Paulo Philippidis

How To Repent From Gossiping?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam’aleykum
I have gossiped a lot when I was in highschool. I once heard that two of my classmates were in a relationship and I told my other friends what I heard. I think the girl and boy found out. Did I do a major sin? How do I repent? Do I have to contact them?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Repent for your shortcoming, but you don’t have to contact the person.
In general, slander is unlawful and sinful. [see: Backbiting (ghiba) and Seeking Counsel]
Make a sincere general repentance for all of the occasions in which you slipped up, knowingly or unknowingly, and then resolve never to return back to your old ways. Allah is Merciful, and He relents unto those who sincerely seek repentance.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents from sin is like one who never sinned.” [Ibn Majah] Rejoice in the mercy, and show gratitude for the opportunity of another chance.
See also: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

What Should I Do After Breaching the Trust of Someone?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As salaamu alaykum
What are the steps to correct the error of revealing someone’s secret to another person? Do we tell them and seek their pardon?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
You should repent for the enormity of talebearing (namima). [see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)]
If telling the person will worsen the situation, and they will not find out otherwise, you do not need to tell them.
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Backbiting (ghiba) and Seeking Counsel

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is speaking about a situation without mentioning the persons name, even though the other person knows who it is, is that Ghiba? Not being able to express my feelings is at time unbearable. How does one vent, seek counsel or explain a situation about her marriage without committing Ghiba?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

Yes, talking about a known person would be considered slander (ghiba).

Slander: Its Basis and Ruling

Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha] (i.e. if he is known to the one addressed)

Birgivi said it is “to mention the negative points of a specific person who is known to those being addressed, to indicate these points, or to make them known by hand or any other limbs.” [Birgivi, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]

The basis is that all slander (ghiba) is absolutely unlawful (haram). Allah Most High says, “Do not slander one another.” [Qur’an, 49:12]

See also:  Slander, Backbiting, and Talebearing

Permissible Slander

Backbiting or slander is permitted in certain situations. One of these is to complain about any wrongdoing to someone who can do something about it. Another would be to seek assistance in correcting the ways of a sinner.

However, this is an exception and thus only permitted to the extent of the need. As a consequence, you could express yourself with restraint to someone who is able to do something to assist in correcting the matter; though not simply to express your frustration.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak good words or be silent.” [Agreed upon]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Tabraze Azam

Slander, Backbiting and Talebearing

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: What punishment/consequence is there for someone who spreads a false rumor, defaming another Muslim brother, without verifying its authenticity first?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Slander and talebearing are prohibited (haram).

Allah Most High says, “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, for some suspicions are a sin. Do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it, [so similarly, avoid backbiting]. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 49:12]

And He Most High says, “Woe to whoever disparages others behind their back or to their face.” [Qur’an, 104:1]

Hudhaifa reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A slanderer will not enter the Garden.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by two graves and said, “They are being punished and not for anything very great. One of them did not guard himself from urine and the other was involved in backbiting.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Imam Nawawi said, “Slander and talebearing are two of the ugliest and most frequently met with qualities among men, few people being safe from them… Every legally responsible person should refrain from saying anything except when there is a clear advantage to speaking.” [Keller, Reliance of the Traveller]

The scholars say there is nothing like safety. Therefore, one should remember the words of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last day, let him say the good or remain silent.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani