By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)
Translated by: Ghassan RimlawiAnd yield not to any mean swearer. A slanderer, going about with calumnies, (Habitually) hindering (all) good, transgressing beyond bounds, deep in sin,
These Ayahs guide the Muslim believers to refrain from blindly obeying such people, who are ready with oath, at any time without being based on truth, thus disrespecting Allah's position as a result of their addiction to swear whether when there is a need or not. And tell them that Allah's disgrace falls on these people. Then we have the defamer who exposes the faults and flows of others and the slanderers that hear from one-person bad things about someone, and relay it to the latter.
Allah wants to show that such an attitude makes those who do it far away from Him. That is why he says: Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And Allah hath power over all things.
Imam Jafa’ar As-Sadiq (a.s.) says that the Prophet(p.) once asked some of his companions: Shall I tell you about the most evil among you. When they said yes, he told them that they are those who "slander", and move among the people to incite strife, those – who create dissention among friends and those who attribute flows and sins to the innocent, as a result of a certain hatred complex or the like.
The Prophet is reported to have said that “a slanderer does not enter Paradise", which means that if a man fulfills all his worshipping duties, but he commits slander – tells others what has been said about them in their absence will find the door of Paradise closed in his face.
Imam Al-Baqir has repeated the same saying when he said that Paradise is prohibited to those who commit slander. Imam Ali (a.s.) advised some of his companions to keep away from slander because it incites hatred and distances one away from Allah and the people, since Allah hates the slanderer and the people will become wary of him.
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) says: who helps against a believer even by a part of word will meet Allah on the day of judgment with the following written between his eyes: "There is no hope in My Mercy".
These are some of the sayings regarding this sin that is considered a major one, since it prevents one from entering paradise. Yet this habit is spread in our society, where we find people on the family level telling the husband what his wife has said, about him leading to divorce. We also find it in the atmosphere of intelligence spheres whether among individuals in which they would convey something about a person to another to create a problem for him, or even in local, regional or international intelligence agencies which might threaten the lives of believers and innocent people, when the slanderer conveys to an unjust authority he deals with, one of the things an opposition member or believer has said, so that he would be punished by jail or assassination.
We know that the work of intelligence agencies whether local, regional or international is to hear what has been said and covey it… Some would convey it to the political authority they work for to ensure the integrity of the nation and enable the state to face those who incite strife. But others might convey some talk to an unjust authority that would lead to punishing the innocent.
Others may be motivated by hatred or as a result of a complex to distort the image of a believer, accusing him of false accusations and altering what he has sad. A believer should refrain from doing such a sin since it deprives him of Allah's satisfaction and paradise.
There is a tradition that illustrates slander in a very lively way; it says that a bottle of blood will be brought to the slanderer, on the Day of Judgment and he will be told. This is your share of the other's blood. He would then answer, but I did not kill or wound anybody. It is true that you were peaceful but you heard him say a word and you conveyed it to the tyrant and he killed him. Therefore you are a partner in the victim’s blood.
Therefore, the meaning of being a believer is that people are safe from your hand and tongue. The meaning of being pious is to fear Allah towards yourself and others. This is what Allah wants you to understand when you perform your prayers, which enjoins good and forbids evil. Slander is one of the biggest evils that we have to refrain from and educate our children and families, to abstain from in response to Allah's saying: O ye who believe! save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.
* The aforementioned is an edited Friday sermon.