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Published on March 18th, 2015 | by Abu Umayza | Views: 2001


Nails of Copper – Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه

“Slandering, Backbiting, Tale-bearing and Hypocrisy” – Part 1

Adapted from Ibn Muflih al-Maqdisi, ‘Al Aadaab Al-Shar’iyyah’ (1/5)

Slandering, backbiting and tale bearing are prohibited, and the hadeeth narrated from Anas ibn Malik رضي الله عنه who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “During the Mi’raj (the Night of Ascension):

لما عُرج بي مررتُ بقومٍ لهم أظفارٌ من نحاسٍ يخمشون وجوهَهم وصدورَهم ! فقلتُ : من هؤلاءِ يا جبريلُ ؟ قال : هؤلاءِ الذين يأكلون لحومَ الناسِ ، ويقَعون في أعراضِهم

“I passed by a people who had nails of copper scratching their faces and chests. I asked who are these O Jibreel? He replied, “They are those who eat people’s flesh (i.e. backbite them) and disgrace their honour.” [1]

Sa’eed ibn Zayd رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إن من أربى الربا الاستطالة في عرض المسلم بغير حق

“The most prevalent kind of usury is going to lengths in unjustly exposing a Muslim’s honour.” [2]

Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr and ‘Adi ibn Hatim said الغيبة مرعى اللئام – “backbiting is a pasture for the depraved (and the wicked).”

Abu ‘Aasim an-Nabeel said لا يذكر في الناس ما يكرهونه إلا سفلة لا دين له – “None recall in front of people what they hate (to be mentioned) except the lowly who have no Deen.”

Abi Da’wud recorded in his Sunan on the authority of Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه:

إن من أكبر الكبائر استطالة المرء في عرض رجل مسلم بغير حق ، ومن الكبائر السبتان بالسبة

“Verily from the greatest of sin is going to lengths in unjustly exposing a Muslim’s honour without right, and it is from the major sins…” [3]

Al-Quradhi mentioned about some people (who said), “indeed backbiting is only such when it’s related to Deen, not if it’s in the context of lineage etc. but the opposite is true since speaking about these matters contravenes the consensus (ijmaa’) referring to whoever reveals a defect (to disgrace his brother with); and there’s no disagreement that (any level of) backbiting in from the gravest of sins.

And yet others contend that backbiting and tale-bearing are from small sins. And (this is of course not the case) as we find recorded in the Sunan of Abi Da’wud and Tirmidhi an authentic hadeeth in which A’ishah رضي الله عنها made a gesture of the hand alluding to the short height of Safiyyah رضي الله عنها – upon which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said to her:

لقد قلت كلمة لو مزجت بماء البحر لمزجته

“You have spoken a word that, if it was to be mixed with the sea, it would contaminate it.” [4]

And Hamaam narrated the hadeeth of Hudayfah رضي الله عنه who said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم say:

لا يدخل الجنة قتات يعني : نماما

“The Qataat (i.e. the talebearer) will not enter Paradise” [5]

Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated:

إن شر الناس عند الله يوم القيامة ذو الوجهين الذي يأتي هؤلاء بوجه وهؤلاء بوجه

“Verily, the evil person to Allah on the Day of Judgment will be a double-faced person who appears to some people with one face and to others with another face.” [6]

Abi Da’wud and Tirmidhi’s version mentions “the evil person” because hypocrisy, deceit, lies and wanton release of secret for separate groups of people; he comes to each person with the thing they love, showing that he has their interests at heart. Such cajolery is prohibited and this is what Ibn ‘Aqeel (one of the well-known scholars) said in his book ‘Al-Funnoon’ about Allah’s Words, “They are as blocks of wood propped up” [7]

Meaning a piece that leans against wall, it doesn’t stand alone nor is it fixed to its place. It leans on whoever supports them, and pretend that “every shout is against them” and their beliefs; “they are the enemy” outwardly and inwardly. Abi Ash-Sha’tha’ narrated that it was said to Ibn ‘Umar, ‘when we are in the presence of our leader, we say such words, and when we leave his company, we say other words. Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه said:

كنا نعد ذلك على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من النفاق

“We used to consider such (action) at the time of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم to be from hypocrisy.”

Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنه also said:

ثل المنافق كالشاة العائرة بين الغنمين تعير إلى هذه مرة وإلى هذه مرة

“The similitude of a hypocrite is that of a sheep which roams aimlessly between two flocks. It goes to one flock at one time, and to the other flock at another time.” [8]

Abi Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated the famous hadeeth that “The signs of a hypocrite are three:

إذا حدث كذب ، وإذا وعد أخلف ، وإذا عاهد غدر

“if he speaks, he lies; and if he promises, he breaks it; and if he makes a pact, he is treacherous.” [9]

To be continued…


[1] Sunan Abi Da’wud, 4878 and others. Graded as hasan by Ibn Hajar (Fath al-Bari, 4/452); saheeh by Ibn Muflih (‘Al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah’, 1/31); Al-Waadi (Saheeh Musnad, 131) and Al-Albani (Saheeh al-Jaami’ 5213).

[2] Sunan Abi Da’wud, 4876 and others. Authenticated by Ibn Hajar (Fath al-Bari, 4876); Al-Haythami (Majma’ az-Zawa’id, 8/153); Al-Haytami al-Makki (Al-Zawajir, 2/78); Al-Albani (Saheeh al-Jaami, 2203) and others.

[3] Sunan Abi Da’wud, 4877. Graded as hasan by Ibn Muflih. Al-Albani said it was hasan li-ghayrihi (Saheeh at-Targheeb, 2832), while he graded the chain of Sa’eed bin Zayd as saheeh (Silsilat as-Saheehah, 7/1667); Ahmad Shakir said it was saheeh (‘Umdah at-Tafseer, 1/492).

[4] Sunan Abi Da’wud, 4875. Graded as saheeh by Ibn Daqeed (Al Iqtirah, 118); Al-Waadi (Al-Fatawah al-Hadeethiyah, 1/430); Al-Shawkani (Al-Fath al-Rabbani); Al-Albani (Saheeh at-Targheeb, 2834).

[5] Saheeh al-Bukhari, 6056

[6] Saheeh al-Bukhari, 6058

[7] Surah Al-Munafiqoon, 4

[8] Saheeh Muslim, 2784 (who added the words, ‘it doesn’t know which one to follow’)

[9] Saheeh al-Bukhari, 3178

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Abu Umayza

The more the people are guided to follow the goodness, the greater the opportunity for him to get the reward.

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