Heavenly Call (28)
Welcome to the 28th episode of Heavenly Call on the occasion of the blessed fasting month of Ramadhan.
We start with the special supplication of the 28th day:
“O Allah, grant me this day a plenteous share of supererogatory devotions; favour me therein by carrying out my requests; and bring me near therein to the means of approach to You; O You Who are not held up by the demands of the importunate!”
In the previous episodes we discussed some of the ills that weaken social bonds. Ridiculing, slandering, backbiting and insulting others were briefly mentioned. Today we are going to continue the discussion. The holy Qur'an says in ayah 12 of surah Hujuraat, "O you who have faith! Avoid much suspicion. Indeed, some suspicions are sins. And do not spy on or backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it. And be wary of Allah; indeed, Allah is All-Clement, All-Merciful."
In the same manner as people suffer from physical diseases, they may be gripped by psychological and spiritual diseases, which are more dangerous than physical ones. One of these deadly diseases is undue suspicion regarding others. Islam instructs us to be as much optimistic towards others as possible. The Prophet of Islam says, "Find an excuse for the speech and behavior of your brother; and if you cannot, make an excuse."
Imam Ali (AS) also says, "Justify your brother's behavior in the best way so that the way of suspicion is blocked and, as long as you can find a good justification for the act that hear from him, never let suspicion enter your mind."
As you noticed the holy Qur'an tells us that some of the suspicions are sins. We should obey the divine commands. As a matter of fact, many suspicions are baseless. Another ethical flaw that the holy Qur'an calls on us to avoid is spying on others. Spying on others may expose their secrets and cause them to lose their face in society. This evil act will undermine the pillars of society. People will not feel secure and many of the social activities will be paralyzed.
Undoubtedly, prying on the privacy of fellow members of the society in order to expose their faults and humiliate them in public, is not allowed in Islam, although it is permitted to gather information regarding the activities of enemies. Therefore, security and intelligence bodies take shape in order to monitor the acts of enemies closely so as to detect and thwart their plots.
Another ethical flaw that is stressed in the ayah that we recited, is backbiting. According to narrations from the Infallible Imams, backbiting means speaking negatively about brothers-in-faith in their absence that naturally hurts them on being informed.
As per the sayings of the Prophet and the Infallible Imams this sin has been considered worse than adultery. To show the gravity of this sin, the noble Qur'an says that backbiting is like eating the flesh of one's dead brother. In explanation of this part of the ayah, exegetes of the holy Qur'an say that since the backbitten person is not present to defend himself the backbiter is actually eating his dead flesh.
Furthermore, according to the words of the Prophet and the Infallible Imams, every act has an internal consequence and the internal consequence of backbiting is like eating the flesh of the dead brother. It is narrated that once the Prophet of Islam miraculously proved to a woman, who was backbiting another woman, how she was eating her dead flesh.