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Gossiping and Energetic Debts

“One’s rightful due” is a term we hear often among the people… “You impinged on my rightful due” or “You took my rightful share” etc. 

What is this “rightful due”? 

We also often hear the word “backbiting” or “gossiping” (giybah) and how such an appalling act it is; yet we always seem to have some form of justification to continue to engage in it.

The closest translation of the Arabic word “giybah” is “gossip”. What exactly is denoted by this word, why is it so wrong, and why has the Rasul of Allah (saw) so strongly advised against it with his words:

“Gossiping is thirty-six times worse than adultery.”

Jabir and Abu Said (ra) narrate from the Rasul of Allah (saw):

“Abstain from gossiping for it is much worse than adultery. An adulterer may repent for his mistake and Allah may forgive him but one who engages in gossip will not be forgiven until the person he gossiped about forgives him.” [Ghazali – Ihya-u Ulumiddeen]

Why do you think the Quran employs such an abhorring example to describe backbiting?

“O you who have believed, avoid most assumptions (guesswork about things of which you have no certain knowledge). Indeed, certain assumptions are an offence (lead to or are an outcome of duality). And do not spyon others (do not inspect or inquire into the private matters of others out of curiosity), and do not backbite. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would detest it! So, protect yourselves from Allah, the Tawwab, the Rahim.”[1]

Consider the authentic hadith reported by hadhrat Aisha (ra):

“The Rasul of Allah (SAW) was looking into marrying Safiyyah (ra). So, when the Rasul asked me about her I said she was nice and everything but made a gesture with my hand to show that Safiyyah was short. In response to this the Rasul said ‘just this gesture; if it were to be put it into an ocean it would stain the whole ocean’.

Some other time I had again spoken about someone to the Rasul of Allah (saw) and he said ‘even if many of the things of the world were given to me I would still not like to speak ill of anyone in their absence!’'” [Abu Dawud, 41:4857]

Abu Hurairah (ra) reported: The Rasul of Allah (saw) said, “Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “Allah and his Rasul know best.” The Rasul said, “To mention your brother in his absence in a way he would dislike.” It was said, “What do you think if what I said about him is true?” The Rasul said, “If what you say about him is true, it is backbiting. If it is not true, it is slander.” [Muslim]

 ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (ra) reported: The Rasul of Allah (saw) passed by the carcass of a dead mule and he said to his companions, “That one of you eat from this until his belly is full is better than to eat the flesh of (gossip about) his Muslim brother.” [Ibn Hibban]

Indeed, as the Quran states the act of gossiping/backbiting is as atrocious as eating the flesh of one’s dead brother!

But why? Let us look at what this means.

As I’ve been explaining thus far, engaging in certain spiritual practices; prayer, dhikr, fasting, giving alms, or even an act as simple as removing an obstacle from someone’s path, allow you to collect the energy you will need to survive in the afterlife.

But as soon as you start to talk about someone in an unpleasing way in their absence a connection is formed between your brain and their brain and depending on the extent to which you spoke negatively about them that much positive energy is immediately transferred from your brain to theirs! Imagine that! All that positive energy you strived to achieve, all the hard work you put in and all the prayers and practices you engaged in to collect that energy is instantly gone, donated to the person you gossiped about! You could have used that energy for millions of years in the afterlife! 

[1] Quran 49:12

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