One of the most common traits of housewives in a society of ignorance is their love of gossiping. Even if they do not have the time or the occasion, they will surely find some bit of time for gossip. We can see them devoted to it in doorways with their neighbors, on the telephone for hours with their friends, and sometimes at tea and coffee parties. These people living by this morality derive a great deal of pleasure from gossiping, because they can humiliate a person who has criticized them, and make themselves look superior. For this reason, even if there is a more useful or pleasant topic to be discussed at a meeting of friends, they will insist on bringing the conversation around to gossiping. Anyone can become the fodder for their gossip: Their neighbors, friends, relatives, spouses, television stars or even a complete stranger passing in the street.
But, it is not right to say something behind someone’s back that he would not appreciate. If there is some matter a person should be criticized for, and if there is any benefit in it, the best thing to do is to inform the person in question. But if the matter is discussed by everyone, and the person being criticized is not informed, it cannot be said that there is any underlying good intention or intelligent purpose. Moreover, the individuals doing the gossiping are aware that the same thing would certainly happen to them because it is a common practice of ignorant societies. But they would certainly detest it. When they hear that other people have been talking about them, they are very upset by it. But, though fraught with such over-sensitivity, they will nevertheless behave terribly towards others without caring whether they are hurting anyone.
However, Allah has forbidden human beings from gossiping. He explains to us in the Qur’an that gossiping is not part of a good moral character, and if there is something wrong, He commands that the offending person be told by “enjoining the good and forbidding the evil”:
You who believe! Avoid most suspicion. Indeed some suspicion is a crime. And do not spy and do not backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat his brother’s dead flesh? No, you would hate it. And fear Allah. Allah is Ever-Returning, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hujurat, 12)
So, according to this command of the Qur’an, believers never criticize another person behind their back. They know that one of the greatest signs of real love and friendship is to act in such a way as to be of benefit to another person both in this life and the next. If they see a person behaving incorrectly, they will immediately tell them, and urge them to make up for their mistake. This is the basis of real friendship and loyalty. But, in a society of ignorance, the dearest relationships, like marriage, are not based on sound foundations, and, because they do not rest on mutual love and respect, this negative tendency is then widespread.2012-01-21 01:44:11