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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tale-Bearing: A Gravely Major Sin

It is recorded in the two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam is reported to have said that a tale-bearer (to harm others) will not enter Paradise. Fudail Ibn 'Iyad rahmatullahi alaih says that there are three evil deeds of man that destroy all his righteous actions . They are: [I] backbiting; [2] tale-bearing; and [3] lying.'Ata' Ibn Sa'ib rahmatullahi alaih says that he asked Sha'bi rahmatullahi alaih about the Prophetic Tradition in which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam is reported to have said:"Three types of people will not enter Paradise: [I] a murderer; [21 a tale-bearer; and [31 a trader who is involved in usury." 'Ata' Ibn Sa'ib rahmatullahi alaih says that I cited this Tradition to Sha'bi and asked him in a surprising tone that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam has equated 'a tale-bearer' with a murderer and a usurer. He replied: "Indeed, tale-bearing is the root cause of murder and usurpation of wealth." [Qurtubi]

وَامْرَأَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ

And his wife [as well] - the carrier of firewood. - Surah Lahab (111:4)

Idiomatically, Arabs use this expression to refer to a 'tale-bearer ', that is,one who gathers pieces of gossip and carries them between individuals and families in order to ignite the fires of discord and enmity between people, exactly as one would gather firewood to kindle the fire. This telltale woman improperly carried information concerning the private affairs of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, and the blessed Companions in an attempt to ignite and instigate trouble. In this verse too, the phrase 'the carrier of firewood' has been interpreted by Sayyidina Ibn 'Abbas radi'Allahu anhu,Mujahid, 'Ikrimah rahmatullahi alaih; and a group of commentators to mean that 'She was a tale-bearer' while Ibn Zaid, Dahhak and other commentators rahmatullahi alaih retain it in its original sense, and explain that she literally used to collect thorny branches from the jungle, and place them in the path of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam in order to harm him -hence the description: 'carrier of firewood'. [Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir].


1. Ma'ariful Qur'an, Surah Lahab (111), Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani Rahimahullah pg 911-912

2. The Meanings of the Noble Qur'an with explanatory notes, Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

1 comment:

Muhammad Nauman Mumtaz said...

MaashaAllah I appreciate the effort