Backbiting and cursing.

Backbiting means to say bad things about a person when he/she is not present. It is a very bad habit which Allah has strongly condemned in the Quran.

Allah says: O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, would you abhor it. But fear Allah, for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most-Merciful.

(Al-Hujarat 49:12)

In this verse Allah stresses his disgust with backbiting by comparing it to eating the flesh of one’s dead brother.

We should not backbite, and if we hear others backbiting, we should not join them. We should either correct them, turn the conversation to another topic, or just leave. If that is not possible, we should at least be silent.

Allah has forbidden backbiting, because it can be very hurtful and ruin a person’s reputation. When talking about other people, we should try to thnk: would I be able to say these things about this person to his face? If not, we should not be discussing such matters in their absence, because they don’t have the chance to clarify or defend their actions.

Cursing is a form of verbal abuse using vulgar language or to wish misfortune on a person. A curse can be sometimes conveyed by gestures of the hands. Cursing is disrespectful and indecent. Rasulullah (PBUH) repeatedly warned against cursing:

Do not use bad lagnuage, for Allah does not like bad language or the use of it.

(Transmitted by Bukhari and Aby Da’wud)

The believer does not taunt, curse, abuse anyone, or talk indecently.

(Transmitted by tirmidhi)

The sin of verbally abusing people is so great that all the rewards one has earned form prayer, fasting, Hajj, and other religous duties will not erase it. Such a person is deprived of Allah’s mercy.

A person who is rude and has a harsh tongue will not be admitted to Jannah (paradise).

(Sharh as-sunnah)

Rasulullah (PBUH) also warned that those who wish evil on others:

Whoever curses a thing when it does not deserve it causes the curse to return upon himself.

(Transmitted by Tirmidhi and Abu Da’wud)

Therefore, we should learn to control our anger and our tongues, so that we do not harm others or harm ourselves.

This information was taken from the book, Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq-Theory and Practice by B. Aisha Lemu.

8 thoughts on “Backbiting and cursing.

  1. A couple questions if you don’t mind:

    1. Who is Rasulullah? I noticed the Peace be unto him in the parenthetical, but was only familiar with this notation for your prophet Muhammad.

    2. If a person verbally abuses someone they are deprived of Allah’s mercy? Does this mean that if a good Muslim (one who has given alms, taken a Hajj, genuinely recited the creed, etc) verbally abuses another, he cannot go to paradise?

    Thank you for your time!

  2. 1. Rasulullah actually refers to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as it means messenger of Allah.

    2. My question to this is, why would someone with such a heart in the first place verbally abuse others? Yet this is true in many of our (unfortunately) Muslim Communities. Through the answer could be only God (Allah) will decide. But what if in your religion someone goes to Church daily, gives money to the poor and still yet he Verbally abuses other people? Would you think he would go to paradise? Its best to say that in Islam treating other people with respect is another big deed. As president Obama said, there is a Hadith in Islam that says, “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”

    So all we can say is, someone that IS following the rightly guided path, Should also treat his community with respect as that includes as the rightly guided path.

  3. Also, I just wanted to add that the question is not really one any of us have an answer to. Allah is the best to judge His slaves, so if someone has falled into this sin, they should seek repentance from the Most Merciful.

    Allah says in Surah Ale Imran, RUSH to forgiveness. Why does he use the verb RUSH? When you RUSH toward something, you are in a great need of it. All of us are in need of His divine forgiveness, and only His forgiveness. We should be seeking repentance everyday.

    May Allah, the Most Great, grant us all gardens underneath which rivers flow. Ameen.

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  5. I just have a quick comment about backbiting: Theres no point in backbiting because whatever problem you have with the person you’re backbiting about doesn’t solve it…it just announces that you have a problem with this person….

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