Rafed English

Do Not Pay Attention to Slanderous Talks

Adopted from the book : "Principles of Marriage" by : "Sheikh Ibrahim Amini"

One of the negative characteristics of some people is their speaking ill of each other. This characteristic, is not only unpleasant by nature, but it is also a cause of much mischief. It causes suspicion, pessimism, disharmony, and strife among the people. It destroys friendly atmospheres and sows the seed of discord among families. It separates men from their wives and it could lead to homicide.

Unfortunately, this characteristic is so widespread among the people that it does not even seem bad any more. In a gathering it is rare not to hear gossiping and backbiting. specially, in a women's gathering, the element of gossip is dominant. When two women meet, they start gossiping. They talk slanderously of others as if it is a competition. They sometimes talk about their husbands. For instance, they discuss their looks or jobs, and find fault with the other woman's husband. One woman would blame the other one for being married to, say a mechanic or a shoemaker. If the husband is a driver she would say: "Your husband is always traveling, how can you cope with this?" If he is a butcher, she would say: "Your husband always smells of fat." If he is not earning much, she would say: "How do you live with such little money? Why did you marry him? Is it not a pity that you, with such a beauty, have married such a short and puny man? How did your parents allow you to do this? Were they fed up with you? You could have married any man you wished. Why did you choose this man? He does not take you anywhere, not the cinema, not the theatre, nowhere.

By the way, your husband is such a grim faced man. How can you live with him? How could you, with all your education, marry a peasant?" Talks of this kind can be heard among a fairly large percentage of the female population of any society. Women who are used to this manner of speaking, as a matter of fact, do not think of the grave consequences which might follow. They do not think that their gossiping or picking up faults could lead to divorce or even murder .

Such women are truly demons in a human form. They are the enemies of families. They create strife among the families and turn their houses into dark and horrible dungeons. What should one do? This is a component of our societies. Even though Islam has firmly prohibited us from such deeds we are not prepared to give them up.

"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'Oh! those of you who claim to be Muslims, but failed to let faith enter into your hearts, do not speak ill of Muslims and do not find faults with them. Whoever find faults with people, then Almighty Allah will be doing just the same while looking into their faults; and in that case they would be disgraced among the people, even though they may remain in their own houses'." 66 These evil-character women may pursue one or many goals. They gossip for the sake of revenge in order to break up a family. They may do it because of jealousy or self- glorification. They might want to cover their own deficiencies or deceive the simple women. They may want to pretend that they are sympathetic. They sometimes gossip for amusement and do not pursue any goal other than satisfying their distasteful desires. But what one can be sure of is that deeds of this kind are not committed in order to help others and that such acts could have disastrous effects.

The readers have surely come across certain events which have occurred as the result of gossip. The following is such a case:

"A woman said in the court: 'Mr... used to talk behind my husband- in order to cause a clash between me and my husband. He used to tell me that my husband was not good enough for me and that he did not understand me or have any emotions. He always wanted me to get a divorce and marry him... As a result of his deluding suggestions I was misled and one day we, both together, killed my husband'." 67

Dear madam! now that you have realized the evil intentions behind gossip and if you are interested in your husband and children, then do not be influenced by the tongues of the human-shaped devils. Do not give in to their false friendship. Be sure they are not your friends, but your foes who want to see you breaking away from your family. Do not be simple and do not believe them. Try to find their evil intentions through sagacity. Stop them immediately when they set out to criticize your husband. Do not be shy to tell them: "If you want us to remain friends, then stop talking about my husband. You do not have any right t to criticize him. I love him and there is nothing wrong with him."

Once they detect your love towards your husband and children, through the firmness of your tongue, then they may become disappointed with misleading you and you will not be disturbed again. Do not think that they would become upset, or that you would lose your friends. If they are your true friends, then they should not be hurt and should even thank you. If they are your enemies, then what is better than avoiding them. If you encounter those who are persistent in their evil act, then cut off your relationship with them.

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