This article briefly discusses the most important destructive methods that Islam has highly prohibited it:
A: back biting
It has become an overriding concern in the community that all people are aware of the evil consequences of back biting. Gossip and listening to it, destroys the social characteristic of those who cannot defend themselves.
Back biting is a symptom of mental disorder. Those who backbite, no doubt he has lack of characteristic and with this method he wants to replenish this lack. So, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali peace upon him says that back biting is the effort of disable people and in the holy Quran it is considered as the worst action, i.e. eating the flesh of your dead brother".
Prevention of Gossip
Islam has Suggested so many strategies to prevent this social harm that here we mention the most important of them:
1. Making the people aware of the ugliness of Gossip
In religious texts, there are so many expressions for the ugliness of Gossip to show the evil of back biting (For example eating the flesh of a dead brother)
2. Refraining from organizing the parties that promotes back biting
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said on the signs of the Apocalypse:
Back biting will consider as a moral and sweet case.
The Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) says:
Any party in which people back bite, the religion will be destroyed there. So keep your ears from listening to the gossip because both speaker and listener share in the sin.
3. Avoiding the normalization of gossip for a person
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) has said:
Do not habit yourself to the gossip and back biting because the addiction to gossip is a great crime.
4. Considering the rights for the body
Imam Sajjad peace be upon him has mentioned so many rights for all members of body and people are obliged to preserve these rights for example, he says, "the right of ear is that to keep your ear from listening to gossip."
5. Determining the task for the people against the one who back bites
Anyone who has the ability should stop the gossip and defend the person who is back biting about.
Mohammad the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
The person who help his Muslim brother and defend him against gossip, the almighty God will protect him against thousand kinds of evils of this world and here after and if he does not defend his brother against gossip while he has the ability to do it; his sin is more than seventy sin of the one who back bites.
6. Expressing the severe punishment of gossip in the Hereafter
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
On the night of ascension, I faced a group who scratched their faces with their nails. I said: O Gabriel! Who are these people? Gabriel said they were the ones who back bite people and also those who made people slander [the scandal].
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) also said:
God said to Moses peace be upon him: Definitely someone who dies, while he has repented from gossip, is the last person who enters the heaven and one who dies, while he insisted to gossip, is the first person who enters the hell.
If the person committed the gossip for any reason, before he is used to it, he should be careful and offset his wrong. Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) said:
If you back bite someone and he knew it, you should seek his forgiveness and if he did not know that you have back bitten him, you should ask God to forgive him.
It is even more destructive method that gossip, since gossip is the expression of a real disadvantage of a person to others, but the accusation, is the statement of a defect that is not true about the accused person that is ascribed to him.
In addition, many traditions, the holy Quran has also referred to it as a bad deed:
Everyone who slips or does a sin [and] then attributes it to an innocence person, certainly he has drawn up its slander and he has done a manifest sin.
And those who bother the faithful men and women who have committed no evil they have certainly done a slander and a manifest sin.
When you told it [= calumny and slander] by your tongue and behalf of others and you had no knowledge and understanding about it, and you considered it as a simple deed, it was so great sin for God.
Obviously, if such a way spreads in the society, it will threat the dignity and honor of the people. In the society that some people consider it as their right to libel the others, people cannot feel secure and the society will be destroyed because people cannot be kind together. Thus, cooperation, mutualism and symbiosis between them disappear also.
In today's society, "gossip" has become increasingly popular among the people and in the spoken and written media and it's sometimes called a fight or revenge, but Islam categorically rejects it.
Prevention from slander
Although the main way to prevent the damages of character assassination is "vision therapy" but sometimes, legal punishment is intended for damages. This penalty can be preventive so people would avoid these damages with knowledge of the prevention aspect. But if the deterrent effects of fines do not work, the role of fines and penalties will be administrative and the penalty will be done for slander creating. We can consider the sample of taking fines and legal penalties in severe libels that destroy a person's spiritual life. If someone contributes an ugly and unjust behavior, such as sexual perversion to others, the law should "punish" him by taking certain conditions, eighty stripes for him, unless he was able to bring four witnesses to prove that he has not told that, otherwise even if the three witnesses attest that his speech had been told correctly, the three witnesses and the person will be punished. In cases where for an accusation no specific penalty has been given, the Muslim judge is allowed by Islam to punish due to its discretion the criminal in legal terms as "punishment".
3. Tittle-tattle and sedition
Paying attention to the negative effects that are caused by this behavior in the society shows its ugliness meanwhile this behavior destroys the social position of such a person in front of other people. Therefore, the Qur'an has deeply prohibited this behavior:
“Do not obey the person who has sworn a lot and who seeks the fault of people a lot and steps in the way of gossip.”
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) considers such a man as the seditious person and introduces him as the worst people:
“The worst of you are those who divide among friends and speak about the fault of the Blessed ones.”
A time will come when people do not respect except the back biter and do not like except the bad rep.
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) on the signs of the Apocalypse says: "At that time, the market of gossip is common and prosper."
Prevention of gossip The religion of Islam asks people not to accept the word of such people and stop them of doing so and not to tell their words to others so this act will be stopped.
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said:
“Do not hurry to accept the word of telltale because although the telltale appears in the clothing of advice [and compassionate] but he is betrayer.”
Interestingly, for the good of the community, order that if the Tattler, he denied it, do not follow it and accept his words.
Someone asked Imam Kazem (peace be upon him)! I have heard some gossip and backbiting told by one of my religious brothers, when I asked him, he denies it, while some trustful people have told me. He said: deny your eye and your ear and do not destroy your trust toward your brother. If fifty people swear and attest to you that your friend has said something and he himself told you that he has not told such a thing, believe his word, and deny those fifty people.
Do not say something that makes people ugly and disgraced, and harm his manhood, do not reveal it so not to be of those that the almighty God has told in his book: "Those who like to reveal the evil believers of faithful people; there is a painful punishment for them."
Every human being has been created by nature in such a way that hates humiliation and seeks "self-esteem" that is also considered today as a criterion for growth of character. This feature leads one to keep himself far from the people who sought to destroy him, and even he will hate them.
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) says:
“Do not blame [Others] too much, because it leads to hatred and hostility.”
On the other hand, from a religious perspective no Muslim is allowed to break his character and disdain himself: “the dignity and greatness is for God and His Messenger and the believers.” so people cannot say that I want to disgrace myself and they should not allow the other people to disgrace and humiliate him and of course other people cannot humiliate him.
Infallible Imams (peace be upon them) say in Hadiths: ”Anyone who blames a believer for the error and sin, he will not die, unless he commits the same error and sin.”
“Whoever blames a believer, God will blame him in this world and the hereafter.”
The closest thing that brings the believer toward profanity is that someone [in appearance] shows the brotherhood in faith [and] then he enumerates his mistakes and errors to blame him one day.
Preventing the blame
Islam to prevent this damage, has used the method of "vision therapy" and has emphasized that one must reform himself, rather than blaming others for their character, unless he has planted the seeds of enmity and hatred. In the "vision therapy" we should also condemn the behavior of individuals to modify their mentality and change their attitude. This method can have positive and durable effects because any person accepts the ugliness of this damage fully, his motivation for committing this behavior will be reduced.
Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) said:
“This disadvantage is enough for people who see the evil in other people while they do not see it in themselves or blame people for something that they themselves cannot leave it.”
5. Mocking and teasing
This method of character destruction has been common for most people to the extent that it is difficult to leave it and they consider leaving it impossible. It will be either because of enmity or despising or laughing at others, is one of the factors of personality destruction. When some people see that others have different ideas or they may make problem by their knowledge, money or social position then mock and humiliate them to stop them. We must accept that everybody has special abilities that should be used for the benefit of society, but mocking destroys this ability meanwhile it may cause bad effects within the soul of humiliated person and force him to revenge because all people do not have the same self-esteem and they cannot ignore it.
Repeated mocking may cause mental effects like severe sadness and other mental disorders for the humiliated person and destroys not only his social position but also force him to suicide.
God says in the holy Quran:
O you who believe! No one should make fun of the others that they may be better than themselves, and women should not ridicule other women who may be better than themselves.
Way of prevention
The holy Quran according to analytical psychology analyzes the mental root and main reason of this ugly behavior that is the same feeling of self-centeredness in the soul of people who mock the others. This feeling make them dare to humiliate others and mock them.
So no one has the right to consider other people more humiliated than his own, and this is an important point in the community because of this negligence, in addition to the mocking-up, other destructive methods (such as putting a bad name on others and using art as a tool of satire ) will prevail. Quran with intense expression refers to the ugliness of these things:
Alas to those who back bite and mock.
Several possibilities have been proposed for those who mock and ridicule.
These two words have a broad concept that in any way involves all ways of attacks to others, such as criticism, backbiting, sarcastic, mocking with tongue or gesture and gossip.
Undoubtedly, tarnishing the character of others in any form is prohibited because it will have devastating social effects; the lowest effect is creating hostility and loss of sincerity among people. Of course, believers never use these methods, as in this verse, we read:
The believers will never call people with ugly names ... and never bother others with tongue