OK. Here is another article I've just translated from the original version in http://www.shiar-islam.com/ . Guess I was wrong in thinking that all the articles there are less than two pages of A4 paper long. This one takes almost 4 pages. But I've promised myself to translate the articles in order as presented on the website, otherwise I could alway jump to the shorter articles as recommended by the original writer himself. So here it is...
SLANDER BRINGS DESTRUCTION
by Al-Ustaz Syed Hasan Alatas
English translation by Radzi Sapiee
To “slander” is to report something which is untrue for the purpose of tarnishing a person’s good name while giving the “slanderer”, the person who makes the slander means to satisfy or reach a certain ambition. Such action is forbidden by Allah S.W.T. and the person who slandered will be punished dearly in the hereafter.
Allah S.W.T. said in the Quran: “Surely those who slanders the believing men and women, and then they fail to repent, for them will be the suffering of jahannam (hell) and for them a torment very painful”. (Q.S. al-Buruj: 10)
Allah S.W.T. also said: “O you who believe, avoid being suspicious, for most suspicions are sinful. And don’t you spy on others and try to find faults or the shame of people, nor shall you backbite one another. Do you like eating the flesh of your dead brother? Of course you abhor this. Thus be pious to Allah, for Allah is the Redeemer and Most Merciful.” (Q.S. al-Hujurat: 12)
Regarding the waging of war against those who declare war on the Muslims, Allah said: “You may fight them until there is no more slander and religion is only for Allah. If they refrain (from fighting you again), then there should be no more hostility, except to those who transgress.” (Q.S. al-Baqarah: 193)
Slandering is even worse than killing (innocent human beings). Allah S.W.T. said: “To slander leads to a bigger sin than murder.” (Q.S. al-Baqarah: 217)
The cause and effect from a slander could lead to huge destruction. Not only the name of the person being slandered is tarnished, it could lead to the genocide of a whole race or the fall of a whole nation.
The history of Islam is a clear proof where the three main caliphs of Islam became victims of slander. Caliph Umar ibnu Khattab R.A., Caliph Khalifah Othman bin Affan R.A. and Caliph Ali bin Abi Thalib R.A. were all murdered because of slander. So was the case with a number of the descendants of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. who were mercilessly killed by power-crazed humans.
Allah S.W.T. said in the Quran: “O you who believe, if a fasiq (wicked or those of questionable faith) person brings you any news, you shall first investigate (to know the truth), lest you commit injustice towards some people with something they don’t desire, out of your ignorance, then become sorry and remorseful for what you have done.” (Q.S. al-Hujurat: 6)
We can find many verses of the Quran talking about the subject and condeming slander. Please refer to the following verses in the holy book: 2:191, 2:193, 2:217, 3:7, 4:91, 5:41, 6:23, 7:155, 8:25, 8:28, 8:39, 8:73, 9:47, 9:49, 17:60, 21:35, 21: 111, 22:53, 24:63, 25:20, 29:10, 35:14, 37:63, 39:49, 54:27, 60:5, 64:15, 74:31.
Muslims must emulate the attitude adopted by the prophet and his companions in facing the enemies of Islam and dealing among themselves.
Allah S.W.T. said: “Muhammad Rasulallah (messenger of Allah) and those with him are harsh and stern against the disbelievers, but kind and compassionate amongst themselves.” (Q.S. al-Fath: 29).
Allah S.W.T. reminded the Muslims: “O believers! No man shall humiliate another man, for it could be that the one humiliated is better than the one who humiliates. No woman shall humiliate another woman, for it could be (also) that the one humiliated is better than the one who humiliates. Don’t any of you declare out in the open another person’s weakness. And don’t call out names (bad ones). The worse of names is being called a fasik (person of questionable belief) after having believed. Whoever fails to repent then he is a transgressor.” (Q.S. al-Hujurat: 11)
Allah S.W.T. also made this reminder: “Verily the Muslims are brothers, so keep the peace between your two (disputing) brothers and be pious to Allah so you will receive bounties.” (Q.S. al-Hujurat: 10)
Abi Ayyub related that Rasulallah S.A.W. said this: “O Abi Ayyub, do you want me to tell you of a charity which is most favoured by Allah and His messenger? Abi Ayyub answered, yes I do o Rasulallah. Thus Rasulallah S.A.W. said: “Make peace among men who are enemies and those who are angry at each other”” (H.R.al-Tabrani)
Allah S.W.T. reminded us: “Do not be like those who are divided and disputed, despite the clear proofs given to them. For they have incurred a terrible retribution.” (Q.S. Ali-‘Imran: 105)
He also said: “Verily those who divide themselves into factions separated from others, then you do not belong among them even a bit.” (Q.S. al-An’am: 159)
Allah S.W.T. further said: “Hold fast all of you to the rope of Allah, do not be divided. Remember Allah’s blessings upon you when (in the dark times) you used to be enemies and Allah reconciled your hearts. Thus by His grace, you became brethren. You were at the brink of the pit of hellfire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His revelations clear for you, so that you may be guided.” (Q.S. Ali-‘Imran: 103)
Guided by the revelations from high above, our master the prophet S.A.W. managed to unify all the Muslims from all sort of race and tribes. Blessed with this unification, the Muslims became the best of humankind in every field and became prime examples for all. So was the case with the companions. They followed the Quran and examples set by the prophet and managed to spread Islam all over the world.
If we care to study the history of the rise of Islam and its people under the leadership of the prophet and his companions, that we would know that Islam always call for mankind to unify as one. This is very clear in our prayers where we worship the one and only God, Allah S.W.T and prayed towards the same one direction, that is towards the Ka’bah in Mecca. We hold on to the same holy book al-Quranul Karim while following the Sunnah or examples of the prophet. Mankind is reminded that they all came from the same father, that is Prophet Adam A.S.. We are asked to get to know each other and forbidden from making fun of other faiths. There are more pointers given by Allah S.W.T. to unify mankind especially Muslims. All these are given so we could exist in peace and live together with lots of love.
If we want to solve whatever dispute that arises by following the guidance gave by the Quran and Sunnah of the prophet, God willing there will be peace and security for every men especially Muslims. We should avoid making slanders, backbite, stop making all sort of complains and refrain ourselves from the tendency of breaking up into small rival group and other bad inclinations. Instead we should try to get close to Allah S.W.T. by following all His commandments and leave all that is forbidden.
As normal human beings, for sure we have weaknesses and have made many mistakes. Thus it is better for us to improve ourselves while asking forgiveness for our mistakes and weaknesses. It is not too late to ask for guidance from Allah S.W.T. Leave behind the tendency to find out other people’s faults. Don’t be like what is said in this Malay proverb: “An ant across the sea you manage to see but an elephant right in front of your eyes and you are blind to it.”
There is no real perfection in this temporal world. Nevertheless we are encouraged to enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong. Callmankind to the way of Allah S.W.T. using wisdom and good examples. If we have to dispute anything, then do it in a much better way. Stop all kinds of slander. Work together in all matters of common interest and leave behind any action which could cause chaos, actions which could benefit others but bring ruin to us and our children. Don’t be like what is said in a Malay proverb: “You win all the cheers but lost your home and village.”
History has shown that when we fight among ourselves, others just wait to take advantage. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. has managed to bring the Ummah, the community to embrace brotherhood and unity until the Muslims became examples of excellence. A small number of Muslims were able to defeat a huge number of enemies and the became the best of humankind. We believe and have faith the glorious days of Islam would soon again become a reality, as long as we are willing to return back to the guidance of al-Quran and Sunnah of the prophet.
Throw away the bad and take what is clear for the sake of our prosperity and the safety of our children. Allah S.W.T. reminded us: “By the time of Asr (the afternoon going to evening) veryly all mankind is at loss, except for those with (true) faith and lead a righteous life, always exhorting one another to uphold the truth, and exhort one another to be steadfast.” (Q.S. al-Asr 1-3)
May Allah gives us all knowledge and guidance. Amen.