Somebody comes from behind, and, with a closed fist, gives this person a thump on his back. This person ignores the thump, carries on with what he is doing and does not even glance back to see who hit him. He has no takabbur, haqíqatan (in realty).

Take somebody else. He is also similarly, thumped on his back. He responds by turning round and, with a stern expression on his face, he angrily rebukes the person who hit him. This reaction betrays him. His humble attitude in front of others was mere social politeness.

This reaction of his shows that the absence of takabbur was only apparent and not real – súratan, not haqíqatan. Why did he not maintain his composure? At the time that he was thumped, his true colours showed. Why did he flare up? Why did the expression on his face show displeasure? Why did anger show and unbecoming expressions issue from his lips? Why did he not recognise the opposite party and the occasion? Did he not see that it was his principal, his superior? Did he not recognise that his position demanded that he speak politely? His angry reaction betrays the fact that all the akhláqe-razílah (evil traits) have not been completely removed.

Another example: Somebody has personal problems. Now, for one to go around trying to get details of his problems from others and then spread these items of gossip, shows that one is still lacking. One has not yet developed that ta’alluqm’Alláh (connection with Allah) in one’s heart that is the desired state – even though in one’s záhir (appearance) one may have a beard, wear a kurtah and izár. He may even be a háfiz or an ’álim!

These are simple illustrations to show up takabbur and ghíbat. What is noteworthy about ghíbat is that the backbiter is continually committing sins all the time that he is involved in ghíbat. Compare his situation with that person committing an act of ziná: his sin lasts for the duration of the act only. Also, the evil act of ziná is condemned by all. Quite rightly so, but what about ghíbat because ghíbat is worse that ziná?

The Qur’án Sharíf is quite emphatic: ؕ Do not spy on one another and do not back bite. (S.49.12) Knowing full well the gravity of the sin of ghíbat, yet you are still involved in it?

So, firstly, those internal, obstructive factors have to be cleared up. This is to be done in the correct and proper manner – not in terms of social politeness, but in the proper Sharí’ah sense. The next step is to assimilate the akhláqe-hamídah. With the akhláqe-razílah removed, the personality will now shine forth and emit grace and elegance, beauty and adornment. If this method is NOT followed, the result is an odd mixture of the akhláqerazílah and akhláqe-hamídah. Saddled with contradictory qualities, how can there be grace and elegance? There can be no adornment. The whole situation is faulty.

Let me ask a question: When is ’itar applied? The obvious answer is that ’itar is applied when one’s clothes have been washed and cleaned, when the dust and dirt have been removed and the sweaty smell has been cleared. When one’s clothes come back neatly ironed and pressed, then only is ’itar applied. Now do you understand? Similarly, the bátin has to be cleansed. How? By an abundance of istighfár which has many facets (to be detailed later). With the bátin cleansed, now is the occasion for Durúd Sharíf – now will the Durúd Sharíf show its full effect.

From “For Friends – Book 1”