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Monday 19 February 2024

Social Network: How People Unknowingly engage in Vain Talks (Backbiting and Slandering)

The growing number of technological advancement in the world today with its unlimited access and ubiquity has virtually collapsed barriers of distance, race, ethnicity and the likes making it easier for diverse people discuss, relate share information, commerce and ideas. Significantly, the advancement is most felt in the ubiquitous social network platforms than in other forms, which equally have their own unique impacts.

Islam is not averse to advances in the development of life, but cautions the people against using it in a way that will lead them to disobey Allah (swt).

No doubt, the issue of backbiting and slander as some forms of vain talk has gained grounds among the Muslims all in the name of socializing despite the fact that these acts are also among the great sins. Islam demands that our relationship with one another should be with utmost sincerity and must responsibility. 

Also Read: Reasons You Should Not Visit Magician And Fortuneteller In Islam

We should also have respect for the dignity, reputation, and privacy of others. Islam teaches us that we are not only accountable for our attitudes and actions but also for anything else over which we have control or influence in our society. Upon this, therefore, Almighty Allah mentions the issue in the Glorious Qur’an:

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. Q(49:12).

Abu Hurairah narrated the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “God and His Messenger know best.” He then said, “It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike.” Someone asked him, “But what if what I say is true?” The Messenger of God said, “If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him.” (Muslim).

Indeed, when we ponder on this verse and the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), we can say that majority of social network users and in fact most of the phones calls as well, have bearing towards either of the three things mentioned in the verse and Hadith quoted above, that is spy, backbiting, and slandering.

People are mostly carried away by thinking that no one will see the conversation, or hear the call forgetting that Allah says:

“And to Allah belongs the Ghayb of the heavens and the earth, and to Him return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you (people) do.” Q(11:123)

Allah (swt) also cautions Muslims on rumors.

“O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you done.”. Q(49:6)

Lastly, we should know that we have time to repent and ensure that we avoid vain talks of any sort especially backbiting, slander of colleagues and friends in offices, schools or our immediate community. It is never too late for one to seek forgiveness from Allah (swt). Allah (swt) promises to accept an individual’s repentance before death for Allah (swt) is oft-forgiving, oft-Merciful.

As the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said; “Whosoever believes in Allah (swt), and the Last Day, should say what is right or keep mute…”

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