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Prohibition of Namemah

Namemah , is one of the bad characters, and is a dangerous disease. If it spreads among us it will destroy and corrupt our deen and our worldly life. Therefore, it is very important to talk about it, and understand its dangers, to warn ourselves and others. It is also important to know how to treat and cure it. We should also know how to deal with it.

What is the definition of Namemah?

Namemah an Arabic term for which there is no exact English equivalent, is reporting what people say to others, in the way of making corruption and division among them.

What is the ruling of Namemah?

With the consensus of all the Muslim scholars, namemah is prohibited. Some of these scholars say it is one of the major sins because of its dangerous results like division and hatred among the community, in the place of unity and love. It may also cause a big fitnah, that destroys all. Though many people still think it is minor, the prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) said clearly in an authentic hadith, "It is a major sin."

Warning from Namemah!

Allah (S.W.T.) forbid his Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) and every Muslim until the day of judgment in surat Al-Qalam, (Verse 10 & 11), what can be translated as, "And Do not obey everyone who swears much, and is considered worthless. A slanderer, going about with calumnies (namemah). Imam Ibn-Katheer, said in his interpretation to this verse, "He is the one who goes between the people, transferring namemah that causes trouble and problems between them. This situation is the shaver, which shaves the deen."

The Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.), warned us in an authentic hadith, reported by Imam Abu-Doud, Ibn-Hiban, and At-Tirmithi, "Be aware of situations of dispute and animosity between the people. In reality, this situation is a shaver, I do not say it will shave the hair, but it will shave the entire dean." In this hadith, the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) clearly explained how bad this situation is, because it will shave the entire dean of the people who are involved in this dispute and hatred. This situation may lead the people to do many prohibited things like lying, backbiting, gossiping, bad intentions, spying on the people, hatred, animosity, envy, and more.

If we know that the situation of dispute and animosity is the result of namemah, calumny and one of its fruits, then we understand why the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) made a strong statement of prohibition of it. Some of these sayings of the Prophet are, what is reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, "A person who practices namemah will not enter paradise." In another hadith also reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, that the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) once while passing by to graves, remarked, "The inmates of these two graves are being tortured not for any serious sin (in the eyes of the people), but in fact they are major sins. One of them used to practice namemah and the other did not clean himself properly from his urine after urinating." In another hadith reported by Imam Ahmad, and Ibn Majah, that the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) said, "Should I tell you who is the worst among of you? Those who practice namemah, causing problems between people who love each other, and accusing the innocent person."

How do we cure Namemah?

First of all, we should fear Allah (S.W.T.) and realize the magnitude of the sin and damaging results of namemah. We should also always remember the saying of Allah (S.W.T.) in surat Qaaf, (Verse 18), what can be translated as, "Not a word does he utter, but there is a watcher by him, ready to record it." We should also remember the saying of Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.), reported by Imam Bukhari, "A person may carelessly say a word from which Allah hates, that could lead him to fall into the Hell fire."

What should a person do who hears Namemah?

Imam Ghazali answered this question in his book "Al-Ihya' ", saying, "Anyone who hears namemah, meaning someone telling him that this person, said bad things about you or he plan to do something against you, should do six things.

1. He should not believe him because he is practicing namemah. Such person is Fasiq, we should not accept his testimony.

2. He should stop him from namemah, and explain to him how bad this sin is and advise him not to practice it.

3. He should hate, for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.), this person whom practices namemah, because Allah hates such person.

4. He should not think badly about the brother, who was the subject of the namemah because Allah (S.W.T.) said in Surat Al-Hujurat, (Verse 12), what can be translated as, " O' you who believe, Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins."

5. He should not spy on his Muslim brother, because he wants to make sure of what he heard because Allah says, "Do not spy."

6. He should not accept for himself to practice namemah, which he forbid his brother from.

Imam Al-hasan Al-basri said, "You should know that who ever came to you to talk badly about another person now, will go to others to talk badly about you." As you don't like to be his victim tomorrow, you should not allow other Muslims to be his victim today. Deal with other people like you would like to be dealt with.

Finally, dear brothers and sisters in Islam, after we learned about namemah as a major sin and its bad results, which could destroy the community, we should avoid practicing it. In the same time we should not allow others to practice it among us, even if they claim they have good intentions in their heart

(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh )