My name is gossip. I am your worst enemy. I am the cancer of your Thawaab and your good deeds. I have no respect for justice. I maim the innocent without killing them. I disfigure reputations for life. I break hearts and ruin happiness. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. No one should feel safe from my clutches. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society..
All my victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me, because I have no name or face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try the more elusive I become. I am nobody’s friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never quite the same.
I topple governments, wreck marriages, destroy partnerships and demolish old friendships. I ruin careers, cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. I set brother against brother, husband against wife. I gain great satisfaction when they tear one another apart. O, how I celebrate when human beings tongues spi venom and poison! Even my name hisses. I am called gossip. I make headlines and am the talk of the town.
I am an expert at camouflaging myself. Have you not heard how holy people sound before they quote me:
“I don’t want to run him down, but…”
“I know we must not speak badly of him, but…”
“I could be wrong, but…”
A last word of advice, before you repeat a story, ask yourself, “Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary?”
If not, don’t say it.
Allah Ta’aala says, “And do not gossip about one another. Does anyone of you love to eat the flesh of his brother; you dislike it.”
Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Gheebat is worse than Zina” (Mishkaat)