Criticizing others and finding faults in them for no reason is one of the worst habits of human beings. People hate the persons who habitually keep on finding fault with others. They try to avoid such troublesome persons. Sometimes this faultfinding becomes the cause of enmity and conflict. If someone’s faults are mentioned when he is not around, it is termed as backbiting (ghaibat) and even if this is done in the presence of the person, it is an affront and not desirable. The Religion of Islam has termed ghaibat as a major sin. There are many traditions on the subject. For example:
The Prophet of Islam, delivering a sermon, has said in a pronounced tone:
“Those people Who profess to be believers with their tongues; but the faith has not entered their hearts Don’t ever do backbiting and criticism of the Muslims and don’t keep searching their faults. Because one who tries to find his brother’s faults Allah will bare his own faults and render him the laughing stock for others."1
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq says:
“Whoever says something injurious to the reputation of a Mu’min, Allah shall remove him from the group of His friends and send to the band of Satan who too will refuse to accept him as a friend."2
The Prophet of Islam said:
Whoever does ghaibat of any believer man or woman, Allah will not accept his prayer (salat) and fasting (sawm) for forty days, unless he obtains the pardon of those whose backbiting he has done.”3
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq said:
“Ghaibat and faultfinding are taboo. And they destroy the virtues of a person as the fire destroys the fuel."4
Unfortunately such a major sin has become an everyday routine for our people. It has reached such grave proportions that the people don’t consider that they are sinning backbiting and finding faults in others. The mother criticizes the father and the father finds fault with her. Neighbors and relatives don’t tire counting each other’s faults. The innocent children pick up this loathsome habit from their home and parents. Children do backbiting of other children. When they grow up doing this, it becomes difficult to shun the bad habit.
Some parents pamper and praise their children to the sky. While, in fact, they need to gloss over their shortcomings. Sometimes the parents falsely praise the child for the things he has not achieved to put him to ridicule for his failures.
In such situations the children might turn hostile to the parents. Or even they may get the habit of uttering blatant falsehoods. They can also become the victims of inferiority complex. It is better, therefore, for the parents not to unnecessarily talk of the failures of the children derisively.