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Backbiting and Ungratefulness

New lecture, reader(s)!

Listen Here: “Backbiting and Ungratefulness” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

I love Shaykh Zulfiqar’s talks, he delivers them with such passion, love, and empathy that only a dead heart would dislike them. I’m sorry to those who do not speak Urdu because there’s no way I do justice to the meaning of his talks in my translations. Aside from the spiritual meaning, it’s also interesting to hear his criticisms of the Pakistani culture. Hearing these I’m usually glad to be living in America (this doesn’t mean I don’t love Pakistan!) where there are less social constraints and an entire sub culture of people who pride themselves on not caring what others think. It’s usually the preoccupation with what others think that creates bad character within us. This sort of thinking is why we like to put ourselves above others, Shaykh Zulfiqar explained in this talk how we like to hear our compliments and not those of others.

He often referred to the infamous mother-in-law and daughter-in-law feud that exists in Pakistani culture and around the world, as a d-i-l the woman claims her m-i-l is evil and when she becomes a m-i-l, her d-i-l is evil (the beauty of Urdu is that I can say these relationships in one word rather than three.) This indignant ungratefulness to the people around you lends itself easily to backbiting, and whoever isn’t appreciative and grateful to the people isn’t thankful to Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ either.

The people of  Prophet Musa عليه السلام asked him, “How do we know if Allah is disconcerted or content with us?” Prophet Musa عليه السلام was told by Allah to tell his people, “Look into your own hearts, if you are content with me, I am content with you, if you have complaints against me, I have complaints against you.” Look at our hearts, we are always dissatisfied with our circumstances, we always wonder and complain why we didn’t get this or that. If you are happy even when Allah gives you little, then Allah will be happy with you on the Day of Judgement when you present Him with few good deeds (Amazing!).

On that day, the people we spoke ill of will get a chance to take whatever they want from our nam-e-amal (list of our deeds). And the poorest of people on that day won’t be those who did no good in the world, but those who earned many virtues and lost them all because they didn’t respect people and couldn’t control their tongues.

May Allah help us to develop our character and may we always be grateful to Him, in times of both hardship and happiness. Ameen.

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