HomeMajor Sins › Talebearer Stirs Enmity Between People

Chapter 43. The Talebearer Who Stirs Up Enmity Between People

Here, the reference is to a person who passes on to others what he hears from someone in such a manner that will cause dissension among people. It is unanimously unlawful according to the opinions of the Muslim scholars. There are many proofs that maintain the prohibition of that abhorred action. The following are some of them:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"He who stirs up enmity among people by quoting their words to each other will not enter paradise.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Once the Messengers of Allah (pbuh) passed by two graves and said,

"The two are being tormented, and not for anything excessive: one of them did not free himself of traces of urine, while the other was a talebearer.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said,

"You find that among the worst people is someone who is two-faced, showing one face to some and another face to the others.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

He (pbuh) also said,

"Who he stirs up enmity among people by quoting their words in this world, Allah will severely torment him in the Hereafter.” [Ibn Hibban and Abu Dawud]

Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali highlighted the fact that this heinous sin is not confined to transforming the speech of others only but it includes unveiling what one does not like to be unveiled even if it is done through speech, writing, gestures etc. One should, however, keep silent concerning what he discovers of the affairs of others except incase when publicizing it would benefit the Muslims or prevent them from committing a sin. Moreover, the one to whom talebearer told news of others, should abide by the following:

  1. Disbelieving what this person told him for such a man is of no piety,
  2. Advising the talebearer to abstain from this heinous sin,
  3. Detesting the sinner for the sake of Allah,
  4. A voiding suspicion as the Glorious Quran instructs, O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin. (Al-Hurjurat: 12)
  5. Avoiding spying and searching out the other people's faults as the Glorious Quran commands, And spy not on each other. (Al-Hujurat: 12)
  6. Abhorring this sin: A man came to Umar Ibn Abd Al-Aziz and told him something about another person which the latter would have disliked being mentioned. Thereupon Umar said to him, "Let us examine your case: If you are lying, you are one of those who mentioned in the verse, If a sinner comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth. (Al-Hujurat: 6), and if you are telling the truth, you are one of those mentioned in the verse, A slanderer; going about with calumnies. (Al-Qalam: 1) But if you wish we may forgive you." The man replied, please forgive me, O Commander of the Believers. I shall never do it again.

A man wrote a letter to As-Sahib Ibn Abad (may Allah bestow mercy on him) calling him to unlawfully consume a property of an orphan. When As-Sahib Ibn Abad, replied to his letter he said, "Slander is abhorred, the dead is in Allah's mercy, the orphan is in Allah's support, the property is Allah's gift and the one who intercedes to consume unlawfully the property of others is cursed by Allah."

Al-Hasan Al-Basri, said, "Assuredly, the one who tells you about the speech of others would also tell others about your speech."

Referring to the verse, Violent (and cruel) with all that of a doubtful birth. (Al-Qalam: 13), Ibn Al- Mubarak said, the illegitimate child does not keep in secret the speech of people."

Once a righteous man visited one of his friends who told him something about another person that the latter would have disliked being mentioned. Thereupon, the righteous man said, 'O brother! You have committed backbiting and caused me to commit three crimes:

  1. The abhorrence of that brother,
  2. Anxiety in my heart,
  3. Suspicion about your truthfulness.

A man came to Ali Ibn Al-Husain (may Allah be pleased with him) saying, "So and so of people insulted you." Thereupon, Ali Ibn Al-Husain said, "Let's go to such man." Having reached the latter man, Ali Ibn Al-Husain said, "If what you have said is true, I ask Allah then to forgive me. While if it is untrue, I ask Allah to forgive you."

In commenting on the verse, "His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood as fuel.” (Al-Masad: 4), some scholars state that "She was a talebearer. This heinous sin is likened with carrying the wood the similarity between carrying the news and carrying the wood is that in the former it causes fierce enmity while in the latter it causes fierce fire.

Chapters

Chapter 1

Ascribing Associates To Allah, the Most High (Shirk)

Chapter 2

Killing A Human Being

Chapter 3

Sorcery

Chapter 4

Not Performing The Prayer

Chapter 5

Not Paying Zakat

Chapter 6

Breaking One's Fast During Ramadan Without An Excuse

Chapter 7

Not Performing the Hajj when Able to

Chapter 8

Showing Disrespect to One's Parents

Chapter 9

Severing the Ties of One's Relatives

Chapter 10

Adultery

Chapter 11

Sodomy

Chapter 12

Accepting Usurious Gain

Chapter 13

Wrong Consuming An Orphan's Property

Chapter 14

Lying About The Prophet

Chapter 15

Fleeing From The Battlefield

Chapter 16

The Leader Who Misleads His Followers, The Tyrant And The Oppressor

Chapter 17

Arrogance, Pride, Conceit, Vanity And Haughtiness

Chapter 18

Bearing False Witness

Chapter 19

Drinking Alcohol

Chapter 20

Gambling (qimar)

Chapter 21

Accusing A Woman Of Adultery

Chapter 22

Misappropriating Spoils Of War, Muslim Funds Or Zakat

Chapter 23

Theft

Chapter 24

Highwaymen Who Menace The Road

Chapter 25

The Engulfing Oath

Chapter 26

Taking People's Property Through Falsehood

Chapter 27

Collecting Taxes

Chapter 28

The Consumption of Haram

Chapter 29

Suicide

Chapter 30

Telling Lies

Chapter 31

The Dishonest Judge

Chapter 32

Bribery

Chapter 33

Women Imitating Men And Vice Versa

Chapter 34

The Pimp and the one Who Permits His Wife to Fornicate

Chapter 35

Marrying Solely To Return To The Previous Husband

Chapter 36

Not Freeing Oneself Of All Traces Of Urine

Chapter 37

Showing Off In Good Work

Chapter 38

Learning Sacred Knowledge For The Sake Of This World, Or Concealing It

Chapter 39

Breach of Trust

Chapter 40

Reminding Recipients of Ones Charity To Them

Chapter 41

Disbelieving In Destiny (qadar)

Chapter 42

Listening To People's Private Conversations

Chapter 43

The Talebearer Who Stirs Up Enmity Between People

Chapter 44

Cursing Others

Chapter 45

Breaking Promises or Pledges

Chapter 46

Believing Fortune Tellers And Astrologers

Chapter 47

Wife Rebelling Against Her Husband

Chapter 48

Picture Making