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Lesson 54

Evil Characters - Backbiting to Mockery

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Main Points

B: Evil characters

They are the opposite of all virtues mentioned above, in addition to the following:


·  Backbiting is to mention your fellowman in his absence with what he deplores, whether 
expressly, insinuatingly or by gesture even if what is said happens to be true.

·   Backbiting is remedied by being pious due to fear of Allah, and being occupied with 
overcoming the defects and evils within oneself.

·  Backbiting is permissible only to raise a complaint, change something prohibited, give a warning, 
or for consultation.

·  Negative suspicions are also considered a kind of backbiting but are perpetrated by the heart.


·  Envy is not only to hate the good for others, but also to wish it to be gone from them. One may even strive for that purpose.

·  Al-Ghibtah is to wish to have others’ achievements in knowledge, wealth, or good conditions without wishing them to be gone from them.

·  Envy, but not Al-Ghibtah, is a mischief in religion because it infers that one is displeased with the ordainments of Allah. It is also a mischief in this worldly life because it promotes grief, affliction, the feelings of depravity and hatred among people.

Idleness and Helplessness

·  Idleness and helplessness are two forms of behavior that were condemned by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

·   Among the signs of helplessness and idleness is becoming lazy to perform prayers, leaving useful deeds and spending time in playfulness and nonsense, and lagging behind in offering charity.


·  Mockery is to ridicule and degrade others by mentioning their defects and deficiencies.

Evidence of the Qur'an and Sunnah

Evil Manners:


Allah says:

]وَلا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ[

This means: “Neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting).”
(49, Al-Hujurat: 12)

Allah says:

]وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا[ (الأحزاب: 58)

This means: “And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin.
(33, Al-Ahzab: 58)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“The blood, honor, and property of a Muslim are forbidden for all Muslims.” (Reported by Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“That who has done a wrong affecting his brother's honor or anything else must ask his forgiveness for it today before he will have neither dinar nor dirham. If he has done some good deeds, an amount equal to his wrongdoing will be deducted from them. But if he has not done good deeds, he will be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he wronged in the same proportion.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“O community of people, who believed by their tongue, but belief did not enter their hearts, do not backbite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The creditor has the right to demand.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Delay in payment on the part of one who possesses means makes it lawful to dishonor and punish him.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari)

Ibn Al-Mubarak said that "dishonor" means that he may be spoken to roughly and "punish" means he may be imprisoned for it.


Allah says:

]أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ[
(النساء: 54)

This means: “Or do they envy men (Muhammad SAW and his followers) for what Allah has given them of His Bounty?” (4, An-Nisa’: 54)

Allah says:

]إِن تَمْسَسْكُمْ حَسَنَةٌ تَسُؤْهُمْ وَإِن تُصِبْكُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَفْرَحُواْ بِهَا[
(آل عمران: 120)

This means: “If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it.” (3, Al-`Imran: 120)

Allah says:

]وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّن بَعْدِ إِيمَانِكُمْ كُفَّاراً حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم[ (البقرة: 109)

This means: “Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves.” (2, Al-Baqarah: 109)

Allah says:

]أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ[
(الزخرف: 32)

This means: “Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of your Lord? It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks.” (43, Az-Zukhruf: 32)

Allah says:

]وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ[
(الفلق: 5)

This means: “And from the evil of the envier when he envies.”
(113, Al-Falaq: 5)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“Neither nurse mutual hatred, nor jealousy, nor enmity and be fellow brothers, servants of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to keep his relations estranged with his brother beyond three days.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Beware of envy because it consumes the virtues just as fire consumes fuel.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“No envy except in two: A man whom Allah has given property, empowering him to dispose of it (on what is right), and a man whom Allah has given wisdom by which he judges and teaches it.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (SAWS) said, "Why does one of you kill his brother? Why did you not say, 'May Allah bless you?'" [Malik]

Idleness and helplessness:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one, and there is good in both. Cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter). Seek help from Allah and do not feel disabled. If anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, do not say: If I had done so and so, it would have happened so and so. But say: Allah so determined and He executed what He had ordained. The word ‘if’ opens the gates for Satan.”
Reported by Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) supplicated:

“Allah, I seek refuge in You from incapacity, from indolence, from cowardice, from senility, and from miserliness, and I seek Your protection from the torment of the grave and the trials of life and death.”
Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In another narration, he said:

“…And from the burden of indebtedness and oppression.”
(Reported by Muslim)


Allah says:

]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا يَسْخَرْ قَومٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَى أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلا نِسَاء مِّن نِّسَاء عَسَى أَن يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُنَّ وَلا تَلْمِزُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَلا تَنَابَزُوا بِالأَلْقَاب[ (الحجرات:11)

This means: “O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames.” (49, Al-Hujurat: 11)