Holy Qur'an 49/12
Dear Viewers, We wish and pray for peace, serenity and tranquility for all our esteemed viewers and a blissful and prosperous life, with dignified provisions and all good things of the world. May the peace and blessings of ALLAH be on all of us!
Through this traditional greeting we assure and express our regards, reverence and good wishes for you and for all mankind. May the CREATOR and SUSTAINER of the Universe shower HIS bounties on all HIS creatures on this earth!
Now we take recourse to the Last Book of our LORD in order to reform and develop our actions, emotions and attitudes in conformity with the Glorious Qur’an, the Divine Book of Guidance. We profess and testify the Oneness of our LORD and strive for purification and perfection of our own life. We strongly believe that no other course on this earth can ensure an all-round development of our personality than the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the practice of our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.s) who has set the highest standards of piety and righteousness.
Today we shall ponder over verse 12 of chapter 49 and find out what message does it contain for us and for the whole mankind!

It is not at all possible to render the Heavenly words of ALLAH in any earthly language, as the words of Man can never be a match for the diction of GOD ALMIGHTY. And so ours is only an attempt to get closer to the contents and spirit of the original verse, to seek guidance from GOD’s commandments that guarantees success of both the worlds. May the LORD of the worlds help us in this effort! According to my understanding, the meaning and gist would be:

“O faithful ones! Avoid much negative assumptions, verily some assumption is sin. And do not spy on one another, and nor let any of you back-bites other. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would loathe and hate it! And ever remain conscious of ALLAH. Verily, ALLAH is an acceptor of repentance, a Dispenser of grace.”
Man has many inborn traits and tendencies, which develop or diminish in course of time, rather harden or melt away depending upon the response or reaction of the people around him. Gradually these tendencies develop into habits that we consider as ordinary and insignificant in our scheme of life and unconsciously get involved in such practices. For the time-being, they do not appear to be of serious nature. But we fail to realize that these seemingly small habits may prove disastrous in the long run, and produce far-reaching consequences that would ultimately reflect on us.
And as such, there are many things that appear small in the beginning, but assume big proportion as the time goes on. The Holy Qur’an that teaches the highest standards of physical, moral and spiritual life, makes it clear that even the smallest flaw in one’s character may bring disgrace to a person, and eclipse the brighter facets of his personality.
A human mind never stops working as long as a man lives. If it does not get some constructive occupations, it intentionally or unintentionally moves on to negative tracks. It allows raw thoughts, allusions and insinuations to overpower it. Thus it becomes an easy target for the evil impulses that keep tempting him while creating a mess of his mind with divergent views, wild guesses, charged emotions and irrational beliefs. These initials impressions harden as the time goes by, and from here starts the vicious circle landing a man into the territory of sin and impiety.
But let us not forget that every man has to stand for accounts before his Real Master on the Day of Final Judgment. If any reaction of this negative thinking is offending to HIS other creature, it might prove very costly for him. The wisest course for a man is to be always alert and watchful, because when the Promised and Ultimate Hour of Dooms comes, it will come all of a sudden and without any prior notice.
Once a man develops a negative outlook, he indulges in wild guesses and conjectures about other people’s affairs. His presumption often leads him to form false notions and unfounded beliefs. When he deals with those people, his preconceived ideas force him to adopt a biased attitude towards them that culminates into ill-will and suspicion. Without any solid reason and proof, we should never form wide of the mark opinion about any one. If a man is quick to come to conclusion, it impedes the growth of his personality. It also results in reducing his area of influence and opportunities for interaction with other people. His social circle shrinks. The efficiency of his senses reduces for want of free interplay. And the small habit that was taken up as a casual attitude produces larger and negative effects.
There is no man in this world that has no flaws, no shortcomings in his character. Man is in fact an amalgamation of good or bad tendencies, merits and demerits. If we over-look the defects of other people, and concentrate on their good quality, it will result in the development of a healthy and congenial society where people will have trust on one another. People in their social dealings will be guided by goodwill and compassion. Their indulgence in sad or joyous events will not be a formal presence but real and heartfelt.
When the rain stops, a beautiful rainbow spreads across the sky, while the earth appears mud-spattered. Now it depends on the viewers, what to look at, where to concentrate. Flowers smile amidst thorns. This is the law of the Nature. This is the system of the CREATOR that negatives exist by the positives. And here comes the role of the Book of Guidance. Its primary object is to strike a cord between men and their CREATOR and then to mould their character, to shape their attitude. It imparts training to the believers how to avoid thorns while enjoying the fragrance of the flowers, how to convert misfortune into opportunity, how to extract-out positive result from every event, every evil and every experience good or bad.
If a man develops a pessimist attitude, always looking at the darker side of the thing, always finding fault with other men, while willfully ignoring their merits, he can never develop a healthy outlook. And so he can never render any constructive service to the people around him, to the society. He will also fail to earn the respect of the society, the social circle he moves in.
Thus there can never be any development in the personality of a man until he learns the art of understanding other people. The Book of GOD ALMIGHTY plays a very significant role in inculcating those positive traits among the believers that would not only ensure a respectable place in the society but also brighten his prospects in the Hereafter.
Our LORD declares in chapter 41/34:
“And never can be equal the good and evil, negative and positive. Hence ward-off evil with something that is better - and you may note, how someone, who is at odds from you because of enmity, will become a close friend!”
It is a law of Nature that negative and positive, good and evil can never be equal. If we treat the evil with another evil, there can never be any positive development; it will only complicate the situation. So we need to evolve a habit of responding every negative with a positive approach and solution.
Next in the verse we are here dealing with, the GOD ALMIGHTY instructs the believers:
“….and do not spy upon one another…”
We are strictly forbidden from interfering or peeping into the personal life of other people, from spying over, and to reveal the matter they want to keep secret, or to bring forth the unknown weaknesses of one’s character. Our LORD does not want us to look out for the shortcomings and defects or physical debility of other people. Similarly we are instructed to avoid suspicion as much as possible. For most kinds of suspicions are baseless and so they must be avoided. Spying or inquiring too curiously into other people’s affairs is futile. And suspicion almost amounts to sin.
Our LORD likes those who try to cover up the personal weaknesses of HIS creatures. And so we should make the best possible efforts to ward off such tendencies, which often result from idle gossips
The Prophet of ALLAH (s.a.w.s) also taught us to abstain from such ignoble practices.
The Prophet of ALLAH said: “Avoid false suspicion, it is a very bad habit. And avoid tracing each other, don’t spy on each other, don’t look out for faults and defects of people, do no envy each other, don’t have feelings of grudge, hatred, enmity and malice. Keep meeting each other, be like brothers living in harmony as you all are bondmen of ALLAH.”
We can prove ourselves profitable for the society if we give a positive direction to the negative tendencies embedded in human nature. Disregarding the immediate gains, if we aim to achieve the targets of everlasting benefits we need to overcome these undesirable traits. This can prove to be the master key for the Ultimate success. If we remain conscious enough to see that these undesirable tendencies do not creep in our character, and we do not hurt anyone by our tongue or action, it will make us an amiable and charming persona, loved by one and all. People will respond to us as iron moves toward magnet. And our society will get benefited by our presence.
In the next part of the Verse GOD ALMIGHTY declares
“…….and neither allow yourselves to speak ill of one another behind your backs……”
It is indeed a sin to say ill of some one when the person is not present. It is a common habit of people to pass certain remarks in the absence of a person only to malign his character. Back-biting is treated by our Creator not only a heinous crime but also smack of malice. Ideally speaking it is better to refrain from hurting people’s feelings when they are present. But it is indeed worse when we say the things true or false in their absence. The severity of this sin can be gauged from the verse that compare back-biting with the eating of dead brother’s flesh. One who maintains a good moral character must realize the despicable aspect of this tendency. We find a tradition in the famous Book of Ahadees ‘Maota’ by Imam Malik which reads:
A person asked the Prophet of ALLAH: “What is back-biting?” The Prophet (s.a.w.s) said: “When you pass comments on a person, if he himself could listen it, will feel bad of it.” The person asked: O Messenger of ALLAH, even if I speak the right?” The Prophet replied: “Yes, even if your remark is right. And if that defect is not in him, it will amount to a bigger sin, as it will be as calumny, blame or false accusation!”
It is obligatory on us, that once we come to know of the commandments of the GOD ALMIGHTY and the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w.s), we should make sincere efforts to remove even these seemingly small habits. Moreover, we should remain watchful of our own shortcomings, as no man is perfect in this world. We should always make introspection of ourselves and try to overcome our defects that come to our notice. If some one makes us realize our drawbacks then, instead of being annoyed, we should thankfully acknowledge his gesture and check our self. If he is true in his observation, we need to reform our attitude, if however we do not find those traits as pointed out by our companion, we should still be grateful to GOD ALMIGHTY for not really having those tendencies. If we concentrate all our energy to develop our own self, we would have little time for looking at the faults of other people. We need to seek, in every moment of our life, the forgiveness of our LORD. True repentance washes out the sins of the past. Our LORD has promised in Chapter 4/31.
“If you avoid the great sins which you have been enjoined to shun, WE shall efface your (minor) bad deeds, and shall cause you to enter an abode of glory.”
These moral standards can only be reached by exercising highest patience and self-restraint. We must evaluate our own self right now. The lures of this world often make man forget that the life hereafter is an imminent reality. Let us stop and think, for a moment, what we have been doing. We must seek forgiveness of our CREATOR and let it a true repentance. Molding our character in line with the divine verses, obtaining lessons from it, we should remain careful about the dos and don’ts as instructed by our LORD. We need to check our habits, and reform our attitudes. We should make efforts on personal level right from this very moment. May Our LORD save us from all forms of sin and impiety
Thank you very much, GOD Bless you all.