What does Allah say about people "badmouthing" or talking behind peoples backs and being judgemental?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
What does Allah say about people "badmouthing" or talking behind peoples backs and being judgemental? I know there is a specific place in the Quran where this issue is dealt with. Also are people/muslims allowed to judge fellowmuslims based on their clothes, hair, make-up, piercings, tattoos? Or is that up to God. Personally I dont care what a person does, as long as they dont hurt anybody. As humans we are imperfect and hardly fit to pass judgements? What does Islam say?
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Your statement: What does Allah say about people "badmouthing" or talking behind peoples backs and being judgemental? I know there is a specific place in the Quran where this issue is dealt with.
Allah and His Messenger (saws) have guided the believers to absolutely abstain from bad-mouthing or back-biting others, and those who do will be committing a sin in the sight of Allah Subhanah and will have a severe accounting on an Inevitable Day.
We must clarify here that speaking ill of other people behind their backs, or back-biting, means that one says the truth about the person, his actions, or character, or deeds. That is what is termed gheebah or back-biting; and the believers are commanded to abstain from it. If one invents or speaks a lie about a person, his actions, or his character, or his deeds, behind his back, that will be called bohtaan or slander; and that is indeed a grave sin which has a punishment prescribed for it in the life of this world, and a very severe accounting in the Hereafter!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 49 Surah Hujuraat verse 12: O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay ye would abhor it...but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful.
Allah Subhanah has enjoined and commanded the believers in the above aayah to abstain from back-biting and compared it to the heinous crime of eating the flesh of ones own brother. Just as one would hate to eat the flesh of ones own brother, one should hate the act of speaking ill of someone behind his back, even though it be the truth! If one back-bites by inventing lies and falsehood, he will be guilty of a much more serious sin; bohtaan or slander.
Your statement: Also are people/muslims allowed to judge fellow muslims based on their clothes, hair, make-up, piercings, tattoos? Or is that up to God.
All decisions and judgments are upto Allah Subhanah Alone; for He Alone knows the Absolute Truth about every matter.
It would not be considered good manners or etiquettes in Islam, that a believer, simply by looking at the outward apprearance of a person, his clothes, his hair, his make-up, his piercings, his tattoos, etc. makes a judgmental decision about the person and his faith! It is only natural that a human being would make a judgment in his mind by looking at the appearance and the character of a person he is dealing with; but to openly declare his judgment about the person and his faith, or speak ill about the person behind his back would definitely not be appropriate.
Its obvious that a woman walking the streets in scanty revealing clothing, with made-up hair and full make-up, and having piercings on her lips, and tongues, and eye-lids (and elsewhere), and displaying tattoos all across her body will not be considered a righteous God-consious woman! But to start spreading rumours about this woman, and calling her names behind her back, or declaring her character to others in public, would definitely not be appropriate. Allah Subhanah Alone is the One Who knows even the secrets of the hearts, and He Alone Will Judge every person according to his/her own deeds on an Inevitable Day.
But, if one is a sincerely well-wisher, and sincerely wants to advise and help his believing brother from committing a sin; there is absolutely no harm if one believer goes to his believing brother and advises him that such and such a deed or act he is doing is against the teachings and guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws).
The basic guidance in such matters that Islam has given to the believers is that if one has a fault, he should speak to him alone and as a sincere well-wisher and brother; and advise him to fear Allah and amend himself. But if one is righteous and has done great deeds, Islam has guided the believers never to praise a person on his face, but rather praise is considered true praise only when done behind ones back.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,