Islaam forbids Gheebah, however there are six occasions when the practice is beneficial to the Muslims. None of the six reasons as I understand them are for personal reasons and or should be used to exposed the sins of our brothers and sisters.
Allah has blessed the American Muslims with several Graduates Of the University Of Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Most of them have been made to be of no benefit to us because of Buhtaan, Gheebah and Nameemah. People are in the habit of telling or repeating stories about their Brothers and or Sisters without hearing the other side of the story. In some instances the facts are not known are they are distorted because they are presented out of the context that the events occurred. Such representations are no more or less than Nameemah (lies). Probably more than not the stories about our Brothers or sisters are personal in nature and constitute Gheebah (backbiting).
How did the Salaf deal with each other? Here are some examples that we all could benefit from.
1. Buhtaan against an innocent person was known by the Salaf to be heavier in sin than the weight of the skies. Safety is in silence was their understanding and it was the rule with them. They knew that to be quiet at the right time was the quality of true men. Also to speak at the right time is the noblest of all characteristics.
2. Once a man from the Salaf visited his brother. His brother conveyed some bad or distorted information about another person, so he told his brother: My brother, you have made a long Gheebah (backbiting) if it is true and Nameemah (slander) if it is not true or distorted. You have caused me THREE offenses: made my brother disliked to me; made my heart think about what you have said; and made me suspect your honesty.
3. Bakr Bin Abdullah is reported to have said: Always do something where if you do it and you are right then you will be rewarded and if you are wrong you will not be punished. And avoid doing something where if you are right you will not be rewarded and if you are wrong you will be punished. They ask, What is that thing? He said ill suspicions of people; if you are right you will not be rewarded; but if you are wrong, you are sinners.
4. Muhammad Bin Kab was asked what qualities are low and not fitting for a believer? He said: Talking to much, uncovering the secrets and accepting the sayings of everyone.
When are the men going to stand up and begin to correct this problem? Are we afraid to correct each other when The Prophet SAW advised us that Islaam is but good advice. Giving the advice is an obligation on all of us. We listen to tapes where one brother is destroying brothers and we are silent and or we continue to buy the tapes of the Brothers. Perhaps we all need to revisit the Information on the exceptions to Gheebah. We need to know the rules regarding when and what we can say about each other.
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