October 9, 2015

18125242570_759b0782fa_bBelievers, stay away from conjecture; acting upon some conjecture may lead to sin. Do not spy on one another or back-bite. Would any of you like to eat the disgusting dead flesh of your brother? Have fear of God; God accepts repentance and is All-merciful. (49:12)

Backbiting is a part of life, or at least it has become so. It is so intertwined in our lives that we often forget it is forbidden in our religion. It is among the worse actions. God brings to mind no less than the imagery of a man eating the flesh of another. How disgusted are we with the idea of cannialism? And yet God choosing no less of an example -whether as spiritual reality, metaphor or both, to show us the grave sin of backbiting. I was given some advice that I should behave towards gossip as though it is forbidden (which of course it is) to the point where people know better than to talk against someone to me. This will no be an easy road as I realize how much we all enjoy gossip. We don’t purposefully enjoy it but there is something very appealing about talking about people behind their back, for one we don’t get to hear their side of the story, we create reality as we see fit. We create their story without their input, we take all the control. But as easy and as horrifyingly enjoyable as it is to back bite it’s also not difficult to see why God would ask us in relation to it if we’d like to eat the flesh of our brother. There is something about backbiting that feels very much like devouring someone. And when we think of others speaking against us in private our stomachs turn and we grow in fury. It’s no surprise that colloquially talking badly about someone is called “chewing them out”. We know what we’re doing. We have to not only stop engaging in backbiting but also treat it like the horrying reality it is – “Would any of you like to eat the disgusting dead flesh of your brother?”

I pray God helps us in this matter. And lastly I have to note to myself and to you dear reader, this includes gossip about celebrities, famous people and politicians -they are after all still human beings.


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