One of the greatest and most dangerous and in the meantime most popular corruptions of tongue is slander. Slander indicates mentioning hidden weak points and faults of the others so that if they hear, they will be disturbed. These points are either concerned with religious, moral, spiritual and social aspects, or with corporeal aspects, including face, body’s limbs, corporal powers, and actions and behaviours, or his attachments, such as wife, child, and or his clothing, house, etc.
Motive for Slander: There are several motives for slander:
1- Malice and revenge: as there is no easier and simpler way than slander and damaging a person’s reputation and character for extinguishing flames of spite and revenge, blazing in the heart of some people.
2. Envy: as the envious person always wishes for end of blessings of the envied one, when he cannot achieve his purpose, for compensating it, he tries to damage the envied person’s reputation and credit through slander and revealing his weak points, and relieves the fire of his envy in this way.
3. Acquitting oneself from a committed sin: in other words one tries to simplify or justify his action through mentioning the faults of others.
4. Mockery and deride: of course mockery and deriding others has several motives, and after rooting of its factors in man’s entity, one of the ways of realization of this goal is slander.
5. Recreation and amusement: there are a lot of people who engage in mentioning weak points and faults of the others only for recreation and amusement or warming circles and meetings, because no other sin is sweeter than slander for people.
It should be also noted that people not only enjoy recreation and amusement, but also enjoy causing others to laugh.
6. Excitation of curiosity instinct: this instinct which is one of the most powerful man’s instincts, invites man to urge others for slander and revealing weak points of different individuals, and perhaps the sweetness of slander for some people originates from the false satiation of this instinct. Such people enjoy knowing mysteries and faults of others and are curious about them, and therefore make the others to slander more eagerly and enthusiastically.
Of course, taking into account these factors can be an effective help to us for treatment of slander and identifying its senses. It should be also notified that in most cases, these factors do not show off themselves simply and naturally in man’s existence because his conscience and mental personality does not allow it. So they change its appearance and slander about people in the form of compassion or forbid of wrong and or giving lesson to others, and suppose that they have done a sacred action, while the main motive is one of the above factors, and man’s spirit changes its appearance for deceiving conscience and escaping its stress and torment, and on the contrary, it is proved that such slander is more dangerous than its other types and treating it, is more difficult.
HOLY QURAN about Slander: Holy Qur’an has considered slander as an inhuman action, and has introduced it as eating flesh of a dead brother. Obviously, anthropophagy in such a way is the most repulsive action which may be done by a person, and this interpretation is exclusively mentioned for this sin. Of course, the reason of this assimilation is clear. Because in Islam’s view, a Muslim brother’s reputation and prestige is respectable as his blood. And there is no doubt that slander lowers the reputation of a Muslim brother, and damages his honour. It is noteworthy that in Holy Qur’an suspicion, spying, and slander are respectively forbidden where it says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَحِيمٌ
O ye who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Ye abhor that (so abhor the other)! And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful. (49:12). And this interpretation may indicate that first a man is involved in suspicion, and suspicion leads him to spying, and spying too ends in revealing hidden faults of individuals and this is the source of slander.
(The author is a Lecturer at Sopore Law College. Views are his own)