The Disadvantages of Slander
Adopted from the Book : Youth and Morals
The most dangerous disadvantage of slander is the destruction of the spiritual personality of the slanderer's conscience. Those who violate the natural path of their thought will lose their thinking balance and their excellent behavioral system; in addition to harming people's feelings by revealing their secrets and faults.
Slander destroys the throne of human morality and deprives man of his dignity and noble qualities with amazing speed. In fact, it burns the veins of morality in the hearts of the slanderer to ashes. Slander diverts pure thoughts to the point that the gates of reason and understanding come to a dead end. When we reflect on its harm to society,we discover that it has done great damage to its members.
Slander plays a devastating role in bringing about enmity and hatred among the different members of society. If allowed to spread in any nation, slander will deprive it of greatness, a good reputation and create an unamendable dissension in that nation.
It is unfortunate that we must acknowledge the fact that slander has found its way into all social classes. This point confirms the fact just as the events of life are related, so are the spiritual and psychological deviations that may appear in a social class penetrating to all other classes. As a result of the spread of slander, pessimism and suspicion shadow the social mind; people loose trust in each other and replace it with mistrust. With this in mind, we can safely say that unless society enlightens itself with brotherly thinking and noble qualities, it will never gain harmony or unity therein. A society which lacks the blessings of noble traits is surely distanced from life's real characteristics.
What Causes Slander to SpreadRegardless of the fact that slander is a manifestation of practical sins, it is directly related to human spirituality. Slander is a sign of a dangerous underlying psychological disorder for which we must search the spiritual and psychological realms.
Behavioral scholars mention a number of reasons for the spread of slander. The most important being:
Envy, anger, conceit, self-righteousness and suspicion. Undoubtedly, every action by any individual stems from a certain condition lying in his conscience, and as a result of a manifestation of such conditions, which are like burning coal under cold ashes, the tongue, the translator of man's feelings, speaks out slander.
When a certain characteristic becomes deeply rooted in man's conscience, it blinds his eyes and rules his thought. One of the reasons that slander is so widespread is that slanderers are heedless of its dangerous after-effects. We see people who refrain from most other sins but don't think twice about committing this miserable crime. The repetition of slander without concern as to its after-effects deprives man of control of his ability to refrain from following his lusts regardless of his knowledge of their dangerous reality. These people endeavor to achieve integrity and perfection. Individualslike this remove themselves from reality by refusing to bear the least bit of pain in the path of obtaining happiness. In this way, they fall prey to the rule of their lowly lusts.
Those who do not observe their own or other's dignity are not abiding by the law of ethics; and a person who makes life an arena for his lusts. encroaching upon other's rights deserves misery.
Poor quality of manners originates from weak faith, and manners are a result, of belief (faith). If a person has no faith, he has no motive to behave well or observe moral excellence.
Everyone has an opinion as to the best method of rescuing people from deviation and moral corruption. In my opinion the most effective way is to encourage the qualities of good will in people by awakening the calls of goodness and human instincts in them and leading them to exploit the treasures of their minds on the path of obtaining happiness. By bringing people's attention to the effects of ill manners and strengthening their will, we may become victorious over all evil characteristics, and replace the rails of darkness with noble traits.
Dr. Jago writes:
"When we intend to fight an undesirable habit we must first recognize its evil results. Then we should acknowledge the habit and finally reflect on the incidents which made us victims of such a habit. If we acquaint ourselves with the stages of this habit, we will become triumphant over the inspiration of that habit by feeling the joy of eradicating it."
With the existence of the seeds of integrity in the human soul and by providing it with the methods of defense, we are able to recognize the reasons behind misguidance and confusion and eradicate them from our souls and consciences, erecting a strong barrier in the face of our endless wants and lusts.
Actions present the actuality of people to us and therefore are reflections of their honor and reality. For this reason, if a man desires happiness he must select his righteous actions in order to transform them into valuable seeds of happiness. Men must also keep in mind that Allah is aware of all his actions no matter how minor they might seem.
According to one philosopher:
"Do not say that the universe has no reason nor sense, for by saying so you accuse yourselves of lacking reason and/or senses. Thus, if the universe had no reason or sense, you, too, would be senseless and unreasonable."
In the same manner that a society needs material essentials to be able to continue living, it needs a certain amount of harmony required to maintain spiritual ties between its various members. A society which strictly observes the heavy burden of its social duties can greatly benefit from them in obtaining integrity.
In order for us to bring our souls out of the darkness into light, we must strengthen all noble thoughts in our minds to counter any destructive ideas or inspirations. By guarding our tongues against slander, we take the first step towards happiness. In order for us to counter the wide spread of corruption, it is incumbent on us to create a psychological revolution among the people. We can do this by observing the rights of others which in turn will cause the roots of humanity and spirituality to grow, thus taking another step towards the advocacy of noble traits on which the survival of every society depends.
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