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In order to fulfil the essential factors of being a good muslim, every servant of Allah must posses the trait of good manners. Akhlaq is an arabic term that refers to the practise of virtue, morality and manners based upon Islamic concepts. Our Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) justifies the significance of good mannerism in the following hadith “Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reminded that:
"The most beloved of Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners." (Al-Bukhari)”.
This signifies that those that contain a good characteristic, will be the one most loved by their lord. One simply cannot be a perfect muslim, even if they are committed to their prayers, fasting, giving A man came to the Prophet PBUH and said “O Messenger of Allah PBUH, there is a lady who is known for performing a lot of prayers, fasting and charity however she harms her neighbors by her tongue , so the Messenger said “She is in hell fire” [Muslim]. Ahklaq falls in between several worship categories also, such as: salah, fasting, hajj and zakat. Allah (swt) has addressed his servants will become ultimate winners, if they humble themselves during prayer and avoiding sinful talks. "The believers must (eventually) win through, Those who humble themselves in their prayers, Who avoid vain talk." [Holy Quran, 23:1-3].
Backbiting is the act of talking about others in their absence, despite it being good or bad. It is narrated by Abu Hurayrah that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said "Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He then said, “It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike.” Someone asked him, “But what if what I say is true?” The Messenger of Allah said, “If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him."[Muslim]. In Islam Allah (swt) has declared backbiting of being a sin. The Almighty emphasises in the Holy Quran by stating “O’ you, who believe! Shun much suspicion for verily some suspicion is a crime. Would any of you like to eat of the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it. And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful.” [Holy Quran 49:12]. Our Lord indicates to the followers of Islam, that the price of backbiting is equivalent to eating the flesh of his dead brother.
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Allah is the Most Knowledgable, and he has a reason for all the prohibitions, for the better of us. The two wisdoms behind the prohibition of backbiting include:
To prevent any sort of tensions between people. Islam is a religion of peace, and if there is conflict and hatred amongst muslims, there would be a contradiction.
To stop people from possessing such bad habits in this world, which has no worth whatsoever.
How to improve you character and stop backbiting?
Have that mentality that world will end, and during it we will need to aim to perfect ourselves as much as we can in order to avoid hell-fire. Therefore, follow the footsteps of our noble Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and practise what he preached as to do and stay away from what is forbidden.
Surround yourself with people that don't practise such sinful acts, and will motivate you to avoid such as well.
Make a commitment with the people surrounding you, that you will tell each other when ever you realise the conversation is leading in backbiting or lowering your manners.
To improve your manners, continuously practise your basic manners like 'please' and 'thankyou'. Also, assist others with opening the door, passing them something etc.
For a better character, choose what you so wisely, therefore think before you say.