Why is backbiting and Slander considered such a heinous act in Islam that its consequences are described as severe punishment in this world and the next? And yet we see that the media culture thrives on it as does the average reader and watcher of that media.
In supposedly respectable magazines such as People’s magazine we read about the hints of sexual and other types of misconduct of celebrities. In media journalism there is an entire passel of lackeys assigned to finding “dirt” on potential Presidential, house and senate & other political candidates.
We watch the commentary by experts on FOX and Bill Reilly show where people who are present or who may be absent have their reputations picked apart at the seams.
Have you ever wondered what would happen to ratings if backbiting and slander were removed from the media?
The knee jerk response is: How would you know how good or how corrupt a person is? And also: Well people would be fooled into believing in people’s integrity even in its absence.
What would actually happen if slander and backbiting were erased from the media?
After the first few months days or hours of boredom in missing the voyeurism, our lives would settle into a normal interaction with our families, our friends, neighbors and co workers. We would find ourselves less suspicious and more in harmony with the diverse people we come across in these relationships.
THE OUTCOME OF ABSENCE OF BACKBITING & SLANDER IN SOCIETY:
- When backbiting is prohibited, people are no longer suspicious of the other person’s behavior and the interaction between them and the outcome is more positive creating harmony between them.
- When slander is prohibited, then people are not hurt and do not feel the need to spend money on lawsuits to defend their family or business’s integrity. Again resulting in harmonious interactions in business and personal interactions.
- Prevention of violence: No one goes postal because there is an absence of harboring resentment in response to the faceless promoter of slander and backbiting against which one might find oneself helpless,
- When slander is prohibited, People making haraam money by making a business out of slandering people do not flourish, again creating harmony in good.
- When backbiting is prohibited, there is a veil placed on the deficiencies of a person. Thus each person while being aware of his or her deficiencies tries harder to overcome them.
The end result of all these acts is inner and outer harmony at an individual and societal level.
For quotes on Slander (Namima) and Backbiting from the Quran & Sunnah , see posts coming up in the next few days inshallah.