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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Back You are here: Home Books The Educational System in Islam Backbiting



Backbiting is a lethal defect and evil that unveils envy, oppression, and lack of faith. Unfortunately, people hanged to the bad manner of backbiting that became a general custom and a fruit in which they have fun. They used to place each other on the table of slicing to reveal the flaws and imperfections of one another openly.

Reality of backbiting:
Backbiting stands for mentioning the others' affairs that they detest, whether frankly, metonymically, indicatively, symbolically, or literally. It also comprises the mentioning of religious affairs, such as accusing of larceny, treason, negligence of prayers, impiety to parents, or the like, and worldly affairs, such as accusing of ill manners or loquacity or mocking the way of dressing or the like.

Illegality of backbiting:
Islam has banned backbiting since it arouses malice and animosity. God says:
And do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But
you abhor it.
Hence, God considers the backbitten as a brother, considers his honor as the flesh, and considers backbiting him, while he is unaware, as his death.. God also says:
Surely, as for those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a
grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter. And Allah knows, while you do not know.
The Prophet (s) said, “Backbiting is more serious than fornication. God may forgive the fornicators if they repent, while He will not forgive the backbiter before the backbitten forgives.” “He whoever keeps on backbiting and unveiling his brother, will be kept on in hell-fire, and God will unveil his flaws before the creatures.” “Sessions in which backbiting is prevalent are ruining the religion. Prompt your hearings from listening to backbiting. The deliverer and the receiver are parties of the sin.
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said, “He whoever declares what he notices and hears about his faithful brother, is with those who are intended in God’s saying:
Surely, as for those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a
grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter.”
Backbiting is a grand sin for which God will chastise and interrogate on the Resurrection Day.

Incentives of backbiting:
Ethicists mention a number of incentives of backbiting. They are as follows:
- Mocking and ridiculing encourages backbiting others.
- Jocularity incites to backbite others.
- Faulting others and self-love causes backbiting.
- Associating, flattering, and consenting to individuals that are accustomed to exposing people’s defects cause backbiting.
- If it is expected that somebody will sooner or later backbite, this may lead to take initiative in backbiting him.
Backbiting is a sign of the ingenuity of mentalities that is irrelevant to virtue and morals.

Penance of backbiting:
The penance of backbiting is seeking the backbitten’s satisfaction and acquittal. Numerous narratives assert this indication. It is related that backbiting will not be forgiven unless the backbitten forgives. The Prophet (s) said, “Those against whom there is a complaint of honor or assets, should seek the acquittal before the coming of that day on which there will not be any dirham or dinar. On that day, the good deeds of the charged will be added to the complainants. If there is no good deed, the evils of the complainants will be added to the charged.”
Jurists have issued that the repentance due to which God forgives and pardons does not omit the chastisement of backbiting because it is people’s, not God’s, rights.

Protection against backbiting:
- A deliberate concern of the ceaseless chastisement that God has threatened the backbiters for debasing, dishonoring, and wronging the others, is a protective method against this malignant disease.
- The consideration of the worldly vices that are originated from backbiting, especially when it reaches the backbitten and arouses or increases animosity and may creates harm, insult, and aggression, may encourage avoiding backbiting.
- Removing and treating the incentives of backbiting will save against going on backbiting others.


Tattling is as evil element and a door to arousing sedition. It unveils ignobility and villainy.

Reality of Tattling:
Tattling stands for informing others of the ill wording that is said about them. It is a sort of divulging the secrets and exposing the screens. It comprises the conveyed words and deeds, whether they were acceptable or unacceptable. In other words, tattling stands for the broadcasting of any kept secret affair.

Censure of tattling:
The holy Quran censures the malevolent quality of tattling. God says:
And yield not to any mean swearer, defamer, going about in slander. Woe to every slander, defamer.
The Prophet (s) said, “The most beloved of you to Allah are the best of moralities and the modest. They are those who like others’ company and others like them. The most hateful of you to Allah are those going in slander, driving wedges between the associates, and searching for the innocents’ flaws.”. “For those who refer to a Muslim’s flaw for tattling, they will be in the hell-fire in the Hereafter.”.
Imam al-Baqir (a) said, “The Paradise is interdicted from the backbiters and those going about in slander.”.
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said, “Those who convey a deed of a Muslim for the purpose of debasing and dishonoring, God will dismiss them from His guardianship to the Satan’s. The Satan will reject them, too.”.

Incentives of tattling:
- The will of stirring up discord, evil, and malice against the slandered causes tattling.
- The will of approximating and favoring those about whom a word was said, for obtaining their confidence, is another incentive of tattling.
- The will of rupturing relations and creating sedition between the slanderer and the slandered is another incentive of tattling.

Protection against tattling:
- A deliberate consideration of the sedition and the evil that is created from tattling may save against adhering to it. Tattling is a means of destroying and corruption that is possessed only by the faithless.
- Looking upon the chastisement that God will subject upon the tattlers, whose deeds reach to no profit at all, may remove this ill quality.
- Tattlers should regard that their deeds debase them, and make people distrust and belie them.


Islam has called to the mutual respect and esteem. According to the Islamic education, it is illicit to mock or debase others whether by words, deeds, or indication in order not to arouse animosity and discrepancy. God says:
O, you who believe! Let not one people laugh at another people perchance they may be better than they, nor let
women laugh at other women, perchance they may better than they. And do not find fault with your own
people nor call one another by nickname. Evil is a bad name after faith. And whoever does not turn, these it is that
are the unjust.
Mockery, carping, and defamation bring on heart malice, rupture the bonds of mutual association, amiability and disobedience, and occasion God’s scorn. Mockers are surely wronging themselves and approaching God’s chastisement and castigation.


Schadenfreude stands for the enjoyment obtained from others’ troubles. It suggests ignobility and meanness. Experiments have shown that those who are enjoyed for others’ misfortunes would eventually be inflicted by similar misfortunes. Imam as-Sadiq (a) said, “He whoever expresses glee for others’ misfortunes will not leave this world before being inflicted by a misfortune.”. Schadenfreude originates spites and animosity among people.


Islam has called to avoid garrulity and ill wording and the like matters since they waste time uselessly. More than one Quranic text refers to this ill manner. God says as He mentions some qualifications of the favorable servants:
And when they hear idle talk they turn aside from it and say: We shall have our deeds and you shall have your
deeds. Peace be upon you, we do not desire the ignorant.
And when they pass by what is vain, they pass by nobly.
Garrulity comprises all of the sorts of idle talk that arouses lusts and corrupts moralities.
Islam has worked for disciplining and purifying the mentalities against defects and misfortunes, for saving people against the moral and mental blotches that lead to irregularity and deviation from the straight path.
The Islamic education solves the problems of the speculative elements that arouse dangerous sorts of psychic struggle. It also influences positively the general behavior, and elevates to high levels of the human culture and the sound cognizance that help in achieving the productive activities of developing the social life. In fact, the Islamic education is not devoted to disciplining and reforming the mentalities only. It aims at achieving social amendment and comprehensive guidance in all of the life aspects. Naturally, this nonesuch education will not achieve reformative and disciplinary predominance on the national maturity and composition unless it affects the mentalities, and finds a place in all of the fields of man’s behavior.


Islam has adopted positively the principals of the general health to concentrate in the legislative fields. All of the precepts and laws of Islam yield the best fruits that preserve the physical health and guard against many diseases. Some Western physicians, after they had been acquainted with the Arab and Islamic medicine, accepted Islam. Dr. Georgeo Dar Blanto says, “All of the Islamic precepts, rituals, and recommended practices have a good relation to health. They always intend to achieve two goals at the same time; religious and physical.”.
Dr. Ronan confirms the same fact. Dr. Rondsandge says, “The Islamic instructions represent health since they call to contentment and moderation in food and drink, cleaning, and washing with pure water five times a day before every ritual prayer. In addition, the ritual prayer is a set of physical activities. Islam has also decreed to confine those who are defected by infectious diseases. The Islamic sciences allot a great part of searches for the health conservation.”.
The fascinating physical instructions of Islam admired the Western physicians, such as Dr. G. Blanton and Dr. Ronan, who regard the Prophet (s) as the noblest and the excellent physician in this world. Dr. Blanton says, “It is quite undeniable that treatment and health were within the main topics that Mohammed dealt with. In addition, he himself enjoyed a considerable acquaintance with medicine.”.
At any rate, the Prophet (s) cared very much for the well-being since he believed that without the marks of the physical education along with its application, the elements of the sound life are unavailable. He was so careful of the physical soundness such that he used to instruct his companions to supplicate to God for good health and recovery, “After certitude, nothing is more beneficial than sound health.” He also approved medicine and called to specialization in this field. He said, “Science is of two sorts; physical and religious.” Likewise, he ordered of medication and assured that each malady has a remedy. He said, “Use medication. God has not made a malady before He had created its remedy, except death- it is surely cureless.”. He also constituted a special medical program titled ‘At-Tibb un-Nabawi –The Prophetic Medicine-’. In this program, he exposed some diseases and provided their remedies in addition to a comprehensive elucidation of food, such as fruits, edibles, and meat that are medically useful.
Imam Ali (a) also expressed some physical courses within his recommendations and advice, among which was that magnificent advice he had afforded to his son Imam al-Hassan (a) in which he said: “O son! May I offer four words after which you will no longer need medicine? Do not eat unless you are hungry. Stop eating while you are still hungry. Chew food deliberately. Before sleeping, go to toilet. You will not need medicine.”.
This advice is the highest physical recommendation that the modern medicine has declared. Overeating and inaccurate chewing bring about many diseases to the digestive system.
Imam as-Sadiq (a) also discussed medicine and hygiene and delivered valuable lectures that revealed the most accurate affairs of these sciences. He also discussed physiology, blood circulation and the microbes that affect diseases. Moreover, he reviewed the qualities of fruits, vegetables, meat, and the like. These physical and medical discoveries have been compiled in a book titled ‘Tibb ul-Imam as-Sadiq’ –Medicine of Imam as-Sadiq-. The Imam argued with the best physicians of his age and discussed the deepest and most accurate medical advances. Those physicians submitted to his knowledge and confessed of the questions he had provided. Most of these argumentations are recorded in the books dealing with the life of the Imam. We may consider that the best of these advances are those recorded in the book titled ‘Amalil Imam as-Sadiq’ –Dictations of Imam as-Sadiq-, in which chapters pertaining to physiology with its accurate questions and topics are recorded. The most modern scientific labs and analytic devises and technology have not attained the topics that are discussed in that book. Naturally, these treatises contributed in the development of hygiene. As much as we conceive, the most splendid physical theses that are related to the Imams (a) are those recorded in the book titled ‘Ar-Risaletul Thehebiya’ –The Golden Treatise-. It is also called ‘Tibbul Imam ar-Rida’ –The Medicine of Imam ar-Rida-.
Imam ar-Rida (s) wrote it as a response to the demand of al-Mamun, the Abbasid caliph. Historians mention that the caliph concerned greatly with that book that he ordered the writing it with gold and betook as a course of his physical life. He also eulogized that book honorably. He said, “I named it the golden and stored it in the store of wisdom after the Hashemite youth had copied it. The soundness of corporeality depends upon the well preservation of food and averts diseases to form vigorous life that brings about wisdom due to which the Paradise is gained.”
It surely deserved protection, guard, attention, and consideration since the seekers of wisdom and knowledge could depend and refer to it. It also was the authority since it came out of the houses that inherited the Prophet’s rulings, the prophets’ eloquence, the successors’ proofs and the scholars’ ethics. It is the remedy of the diseased. I showed it my retinue and the most knowledgeable people of wisdom, medicine, and authoring. They all praised and applauded it for the high rank of its writer and the truthful contents.”.
The Imam (a) disputed with the master scholars of his age that the caliph had gathered for overcoming him so that the caliph would have a flaw through which he would debase and disgrace him. However, those master scholars were unable to overpower the Imam. They confessed of his virtue and mastery in that field.
In any case, Islam has constituted general principals of physical courses that guard against many diseases.


Cleanness is one of the most important elements of the composition and prosperity of the physical life since it protects from the lethal and epidemic diseases. Islam has adopted positively and involved some rulings and obligations to cleanness. God praises and adds cleanness to the qualifications of the favorable. He says:
Surely, Allah loves the returners and loves those who purify themselves.
Certainly, a mosque founded on piety from the very first day is more deserving that you should stand in it. In it are men who love that they should be purified. And Allah loves those who purify themselves.
Many reports of the Prophet and the Imams deal with the adherence to cleanness, considering it as a principal rule of the individual and social lives.
“Cleanness is a part of faithful believing.”
“The religion is based upon cleanness.”
“Allah is good and loves the good. He is clean and loves those who are clean.”
“Purity is the half of faithful believing.”
The cleanness to which Islam has called comprises the following:
- Islam has called to the cleanness of the body by removing the dirt, clipping the nails, shaving the hair, and brushing the teeth.
- Islam has called to the cleanness of the clothing by removing the insects that carry diseases.
- Islam has called to the cleanness of the residence, especially the bathroom.
- Islam has called to the cleanness of food and drinking water.
Any negligence of these matters may lead to the effect of diseases. This is forbidden, because it is, according to the Islamic legislation, a sin. God says:
And do not throw yourselves to the danger.
Islam has also abhorred and warned against dirt. The Prophet (s) said, “How evil the dirty servants of God are!”. Some of the types of dirtiness are the body dirt, dress dirt, lodging dirt, sitting in dirty places, and spitting in the public places and mosques.
Islam’s attention to cleanness is evidently clear through the following enactment:

Islam has directed both sexes to wash all of the body, with water soon after any sexual intercourse or wet dream. God says:
And if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash yourselves.
Modern science has proven that the human body loses a part of its vitality and activity after each sexual intercourse, and will not return by any action other than washing all of the body with water. It is also obligatory upon women to wash their bodies and remove the dirt of blood after purification from the blood of menstruation. This washing recovers the women’s vitality and activity. Muslim jurists refer to other obligatory and recommended baths that make Muslims clean, in most cases, and away from dirt and filth.

Ablution is obligatory before the five daily prayers in addition to other obligatory prayers except the Funeral Prayer. It is obligatory to wash the face and the two arms, and pass the hand over, for Shias, the head and the feet. Similarly, it is recommendable, in the ritual ablution, to wash the hands and rinse the mouth and the nose in addition to the other actions. The specialist physicians mention important advantages for the ablution. They are as follows:
1. Water that is shed on the face and the hands helps in activating the dermal capillaries. This increases the heart vivacity, activates the body respiratory processes, and helps in inhalation and exhalation. Consequently, the perceptive motivated nerves are stimulated. Then, the stimulation moves to the whole cardiac, gastric, and pulmonic nerves, as well as all of the organs and glands.
2. Eyes are protected against ophthalmia because they are washed with water several times a day.
3. The nasal channels are cleaned from the germs gathering there by rinsing the nose.
4. The skin is protected against dermatoses. The face and the hands are uncovered organs that are vulnerable to the affection of microbes. Immunity will certainly be obtained if those organs are washed several times a day.
5. The oral cavity is protected against the germs that penetrate because of the pollution of hands. If the hands are always clean, they will not carry any microbe. Diseases that affect the human body through polluted hands are the digestive parasites, typhoid, and paralysis. At any rate, the ablution is the most notable means of protecting the human bodies against such serious diseases.
6. The ablution alleviate tense nerves and anger, as physicians aver. The Prophet (s) said, “Rage is the Satan’s. The Satan is created of fire. Water extinguishes fire. You should perform the ablution whenever you are enraged.”.

Brushing the teeth
Islam has recommended using the toothbrushes. The Prophet (s) said, “Unless I did not want to fatigue my people, I would order them of using the toothbrush.”
The toothbrushes in the early era of Islam were the miswaks. They are branches of a tree that includes small fibers used for cleaning the teeth. Dr. Hamid al-Badri refers to some of the hygienic advantages of these fibers. He says, “This plant is chemically composed of cellulosic fibers and some volatile oils. It has aromatic rating and mineral salts such as Sodium chloride, which is the normal salt, and potassium chloride and gypsum oxide. Thus, these sticks are natural toothbrushes that are supplied with mineral salts and aromatic materials that help in cleaning the teeth. The Prophet (s) and his companions used these natural toothbrushes many centuries ago, while the other toothbrushes were first used in 1800. It is worth mentioning that any negligence of the teeth may lead to tooth decay that carries poisonous materials and originates many diseases.”.

Using the toilet:
Islam has legislated cleaning after using the toilet. This process stands for cleaning the urinal organ twice or, preferably, three times with water. For the fecal organ, it is optional to clean with water or with a material that removes the feces thoroughly. The first way, however, is preferable, as jurists confirm. This notable enactment creates body cleanness and protects against the microbes and the dirt of the urine and the feces.

Cleanness of dresses:
Jurists unanimously have agreed upon the obligation of wearing clean clothes during prayers. They have also ruled the invalidity of the prayers that are performed by those whose clothes are –intentionally- unclean. They rule that such prayers should be repeated with clean clothes. It is quite acceptable that the cleanness of dresses plays a big role in the achievement of individual and social physical soundness, and protects against definite diseases.

Hairdressing and nail clipping:
Islam tends to clean the parts of the body; hence, it urges on hairdressing and nail clipping. The Prophet (s) said, “There are five matters that are within the sound nature. They are shaving the pubes, circumcision, trimming the mustache, tearing out the hair of the armpits, and clipping the nails.”. Health and protection against infectious diseases are obtained through the application of these healthy courses.
In any case, Islam has decreed cleanness, because it involves the prosperity and the development of the general health, and contributes in saving good physical soundness. The developed countries, along with the international health organizations, strive for publicizing the general health among peoples of the world. They also work for guarding man from irregularity and aberrance. Bantam, the English, says, “Diligent preservations in the legislative purity of the Islamic religion will dismiss sinning and quit the defects. All of the criminals that I have seen in the jails were dirty in appearance and reality.”


Islam has constituted a distinctive course of nutrition, and ordered Muslims of applying them to their lives.

Moderation of food:
Islam has shown the necessity of moderation in food. God says:
O, children of Adam! Attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not
extravagant. Surely, He does not love the extravagant.
This holy Verse includes the principals of the general health and founds an equable rule of physical safety. This is the moderation of eating. Overeating ravages the body and causes the infliction of many diseases. Imam as-Sadiq (s) says, “If people economize in their eating, their bodies will be sound.”. Imam ar-Rida (s) says in ar-Risaletu Thehebiya, “O Amirul-Muminin*! Consider only the food that suits you and your stomach, and intensifies and relishes your body to prepare it for yourself and use as the diet. The excessive food is useless. The food that is neither excessive nor imperfect is the useful. You should not have the adequacy of food. You should leave the food while you are still craving for it. This is better for the stomach and the body, and more helpful for the mind and less heavy for the physique.”.
Islam has underlined the necessity of moderation in eating since it achieves the physical soundness and takes away from diseases. The Prophet (s) said, “Eat only when you crave, and abstain while you are still craving.” “Sons of Adam –human beings- have not filled a bowel worse than the abdomens. Sons of Adam should be content with a few bits that rectify the body. If this is impossible, one third should be given to eating, and one third to drinking, and one third to breathing.” “Stomach is the house of every malady. Diet is the head of every remedy. Give the soul what it habituates.”
Overeating creates serious and impending developments that lead to many dangers and difficulties. Some of these dangers are as follows:
- Overeating causes fatness, which is a serious ailment, since it brings about heart troubles, hypertension, nephric defects, and diabetes.
- Overeating causes the digestive system to encounter many diseases due to the extension and reduction of the stomach, such as ulcer and the like.
- Immoderation in eating causes problems of fecundity. Modern medical surveys have proven that the immoderation in having food, especially the fatty, affects the activities of the glands and the sexual reproduction. In some cases, it may lead to barrenness..
- Overeating may cause mental defects and idiocy.