Monday 27 November 2023

Woe to every scandal-monger and backbiter

One of the evilest things that a man can do is talk ill of someone in his absences or always being on the lookout of finding some fault in one's character to defame or bring bad name to him. Such heinous acts are detested at a lot many places in Qur'an and Divine warnings and cautions have been pronounced for anyone indulging in fault finding or backbiting.

But despite these Divine warnings and the punishment for such acts, we find many of our brethren always on the lookout for some character failing in others and using these for their own benefit by degrading the others in the eyes of the people. Although it is good to apprise someone of his weak points individually, exposing these publicly is not only morally or ethically correct but also against the Divine commandments.

We have already shared a number of such Divine warnings from Qur'an in our earlier posts (links to these given at the end of this post). And today we share yet another verse, in fact the very first verse of Surah. 104 Humazah, which means The One who Slanders, to stress upon the gravity and severity of this act to caution our readers to refrain from backbiting, slandering and fault finding. This verse is specially for those who maliciously try to uncover real or imaginary faults in others.

The meaning and explanation of the following verse would reveal that this way of making fun of others and demeaning them through gestures is the same as what can even be witnessed today in caricatures and cartoons depicted in the newspapers of today as well as in the statements of leaders.

While we have already posted a number of posts on the same theme, the ever-increasing use of social and print media to debase one's opponent has necessitated to continue reminding those involved in social blackmailing through unearthing scandals. In fact, now a days, slandering and character bashing has become so common that these are not taken or considered as something bad for their proponents believe that it is fair to use such tactics to subdue one's opponents. And by doing so, every form of lie and underground black world is mobilized to such a great extent that the mind of ordinary people starts to accept the lie. 

Such scandal monger and backbiters fail to realize the gravity of their offence which is strictly forbidden in Islam and grave consequences for such actions and tactics have been promised for the sinners. Rember it is said in one of the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: A true Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands another Muslim is safe. 

This post is also applicable for all those non-Muslims who are engaged in passing slanders on Islam and Prophet Muhammad and debasing his revered personality just to outshine their own beliefs, most of which are tangent to earlier scriptures and that of Islam.

Now in this backdrop, read the selected verse of today:

وَيْلٌ لِّكُلِّ هُمَزَةٍ لُّمَزَةٍ
(104:1) (Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter)
The words used in the original are "هُمَزَةٍ لُّمَزَةٍ" humazat il-lumazah. In Arabic hamz and lamz are so close in meaning that they are sometimes used as synonyms and sometimes with a little difference in the shade of meaning. But this difference is not definite and clear, for the meaning given to lamz by some Arabic speaking people themselves is given to lamz by other Arabic speaking peoples. On the contrary, the meaning given to harm by some people is given to hamz by others. Here, since both the words appear together and the words humazat il-lumazat have been used, they give the meaning that it has become a practice with the slanderer that he insults and holds others in contempt habitually. He raises his finger and winks at one man, finds fault with the lineage and person of another, taunts one in the face and backbites another; creates differences between friends and stirs up divisions between brothers; calls the people names and satirizes and defames them. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
Al-Hammaz refers to (slander) by speech, and Al-Lammaz refers to (slander) by action. This means that the person finds fault with people and belittles them. 

An explanation of this has already preceded in the discussion of Allah's statement, (هَمَّازٍ مَّشَّآءِ بِنَمِيمٍ Hammaz, going about with slander) (68:11) Ibn `Abbas said, "Humazah Lumazah means one who reviles and disgraces (others).'' Mujahid said, "Al-Humazah is with the hand and the eye, and Al-Lumazah is with the tongue.'

Yusuf Ali Explanation (Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter)
Three vices are here condemned in the strongest terms: (1) scandal-mongering, talking or suggesting evil of men or women by word or innuendo, or behaviour, or mimicry, or sarcasm, or insult; (2) detracting from their character behind their backs, even if the things suggested are true, where the motive is evil; (3) piling up wealth, not for use and service to those who need it, but in miserly hoards, as if such hoards can prolong the miser's life or give him immortality: miserliness is itself a kind of scandal.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The first of these relates to gestures and actions and the second to the tongue. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:

… Making evil gestures and slandering others are two aspects of the same character. When the purpose is to make fun of others and to degrade and ridicule them, both are employed. At times, ridiculing and demeaning others through gestures can prove sharper and more effective than the tongue, and perhaps this is the reason for placing هُمَزَة before لُمَزَة . (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 9, 548)

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Islam despises this type of person whose characteristics are diametrically opposed to its own high standards of morality. Islam emphatically forbids mockery and ridicule of other people as well as deliberate fault-finding. But in this case the Qur’an describes these actions as sordid and ugly, delivering a stern warning to anyone who indulges in them. This suggests that the surah is referring to an actual case of some unbelievers subjecting the Prophet and the believers to their taunts and slander. The reply to these actions comes in the form of a strong prohibition and awesome warning. There are some reports which name specific individuals as being the slanderers meant here, but these are not authentic, so we will not discuss them, but instead content ourselves with general observations.

Do read the other posts on the same theme, the links to which are given below, and refrain for committing one of the gravest sins as mentioned in Qur'an and Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may refer to our reference page: Believers!! Beware of the Rules of the Divine Court on the Day of Judgement to read more directives on the subject. 

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on social media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Allah Kareem save us from such heinous sins.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More