We are all humans, let’s start with that. And apart of being human is to be flawed. To be human is to make mistake and to be imperfect. None of us roam this world as a perfect human being. We all sin, we are all guilty of sinning and doing what we are not supposed to do. What is important is that we repent and we ask forgiveness from Allah (s.w.t). We ask Him to forgive us and have mercy on us.
There are a few things that we do, especially in our culture and society, that are disliked by Allah (s.w.t) and are explicitly written as wrong in the Holy Quran : back-biting.
Back-biting is essentially talking about some one else without their knowledge (behind their backs as the phrase goes). Another point of back-biting is spying or creating assumption. This is in a sense as gossip. You go off of what you hear and you assume one thing.
"O you who have believe, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.”
(49:12) The Holy Quran
This ayah refers to the flaw that we have in society : the need or the desire to speak negatively about our fellow neighbours/friends/brothers and sisters of society (be it Muslim or non-Muslim).
Tabloids and gossip columns have been a staple in our growing culture since the start of Hollywood. With fame comes drama. And with drama comes gossip. But our religion and our Lord : Allah (s.w.t) asks us to stay away from this.
Because it ends up hurting ourselves. The good deeds that we have earned are given to those that we talk about. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine on the Day of Judgement, you are standing before Allah (s.w.t) and all the good deeds that you have earned in this world were given away to someone else (the person that you talked about)?
Wouldn’t it break your heart to see you moving away from the one eternal paradise : Jannah?
I understand that sometimes we fall victim to gossip and back-biting : not voluntarily. Sometimes it just happens. But that is when we have to stop ourselves. When we find ourselves giving in to gossip and back-biting : we need to stop ourselves and remind ourselves of how harmful it will be to our souls.
We need to remind ourselves of how much our Creator : Allah (s.w.t) despises those who gossip and back-bite. It is easy to fall into sin. However, know that every single time you make the effort to fight against your Nafs and the Shaytan, to do the right thing commanded by Allah (s.w.t), Allah (s.w.t) : The Most Merciful actually rewards you.
He rewards you for trying. He rewards you for reminding yourself of the sin. He rewards you from not giving into the sin.
Also, do not be discouraged if you find yourself to have fallen into back-biting or gossiping. Remember, we are flawed mortals. We will make mistakes. But what we need to be doing is that whenever we have acknowledged our mistakes : repent.
Sit on your prayer mat and ask Allah (s.w.t) for forgiveness. And He, the Most Forgiving, will grant you forgiveness. Do not feel like you are a bad person or a bad Muslim. Don’t let your heart be filled with sorrow over your mistakes. Use it as a chance to do better in the future. Never feel like you cannot ask Allah (s.w.t) for forgiveness or mercy. Allah (s.w.t) is always with you.
This dunya (world) is a big test. A test for us to see where we lie in faith and trust in Allah (s.w.t). Let us not fall victim to the needs and desires of this temporary world. It’s not worth it in the Hereafter.