Backbiting

Aug 2014
1,374
Blue Planet
#1
I didn't know under which forum title I have to post this thread so excuse me if it is not the right place.

the question is about backbiting as it is clear from the title. I want to know what kind of talks (in Baha'i view) would be considered as backbiting? now it may look a clear and simple and even funny question but it is not. it happened today that a group of people gathered together were talking about all the cruel things two other people had done to them in the past. it looked to me backbiting because those talks were creating a bad effect and a very bad feeling, moreover they were only pointing the cruelty of that two absent people.when the group were told that they were backbiting, they get angry and said that it is not backbiting because the cruelty of those two absent people is clear to all. but is it not backbiting really?
I also want to know are there only some special conditions upon which we are allowed to tell people of the wrong things they do?
 
Sep 2010
4,522
Earth
#2
I didn't know under which forum title I have to post this thread so excuse me if it is not the right place.

the question is about backbiting as it is clear from the title. I want to know what kind of talks (in Baha'i view) would be considered as backbiting? now it may look a clear and simple and even funny question but it is not. it happened today that a group of people gathered together were talking about all the cruel things two other people had done to them in the past. it looked to me backbiting because those talks were creating a bad effect and a very bad feeling, moreover they were only pointing the cruelty of that two absent people.when the group were told that they were backbiting, they get angry and said that it is not backbiting because the cruelty of those two absent people is clear to all. but is it not backbiting really?
I also want to know are there only some special conditions upon which we are allowed to tell people of the wrong things they do?
Dear Maryamr - It is backbiting to identify people and talk about them in way that hints of no good.

If one needs to tell a story of suffering one does not have to identify the source.

I think it is OK to point out to people that the conversation has turned to backbiting. At least they know you no longer wish to talk that way about others. This talk extinguishes the Light of our Souls and has long term effects.

Another way is excuse oneself from the talk, or rapidly change the subject.

I have used all 3, they have all worked :eek:

The Master is the key to understanding this subject.

God bless and regards Tony
 
Aug 2014
1,374
Blue Planet
#3
thank you so much dear brother, Tony :)
now if the person/people who are the object of backbiting, are not good people, and if everyone knows that they are not good people, to gather somewhere and to talk about the wrongs of the absent people have done to each person is backbiting as well?
 
Oct 2014
1,797
Stockholm
#4
thank you so much dear brother, Tony :)
now if the person/people who are the object of backbiting, are not good people, and if everyone knows that they are not good people, to gather somewhere and to talk about the wrongs of the absent people have done to each person is backbiting as well?
Remember the story when a Bahá'í made a remarkable effort to spread the Faith in the United States. He was a bit too fond of women, though, and cheated on his wife. 'Abdu'l-Bahá told his wife.

Best

from

gnat
 
Oct 2014
1,797
Stockholm
#5
And if it really was cruelty, I'd say that one could take the opposite view: by not mentioning those people's cruelty, others, unknowingly, might be exposed to new cruelty.

gnat
 
Aug 2014
1,374
Blue Planet
#6
And if it really was cruelty, I'd say that one could take the opposite view: by not mentioning those people's cruelty, others, unknowingly, might be exposed to new cruelty.

gnat
yes gnat. I agree with the example you've brought. in Islam also it is said that when one reveals a secret about a person in order for others not to be fooled by that person then it is not backbiting. but the case I mentioned is a little different. in my example everyone knew that those absent people are not very good or kind people and no one would be fooled by them. yet the act of talking of their errors, only is to (in some senses) share the pain of the heart!
 
Aug 2015
380
Europe
#7
now if the person/people who are the object of backbiting, are not good people, and if everyone knows that they are not good people, to gather somewhere and to talk about the wrongs of the absent people have done to each person is backbiting as well?
"Everyone knows that they are not good people"??

What a recipe for starting a lynch mob.



Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
Romans 12:19
 
Aug 2015
380
Europe
#8
Remember the story when a Bahá'í made a remarkable effort to spread the Faith in the United States. He was a bit too fond of women, though, and cheated on his wife. 'Abdu'l-Bahá told his wife.
As if she hadn't already known that her husband was cheating on her.


* * *

When a man turns his face to God he finds sunshine everywhere. All men are his brothers. Let not conventionality cause you to seem cold and unsympathetic when you meet strange people from other countries. Do not look at them as though you suspected them of being evil-doers, thieves and boors. You think it necessary to be very careful, not to expose yourselves to the risk of making acquaintance with such, possibly, undesirable people.
I ask you not to think only of yourselves. Be kind to the strangers, whether come they from Turkey, Japan, Persia, Russia, China or any other country in the world.
Help to make them feel at home; find out where they are staying, ask if you may render them any service; try to make their lives a little happier.
In this way, even if, sometimes, what you at first suspected should be true, still go out of your way to be kind to them—this kindness will help them to become better.
After all, why should any foreign people be treated as strangers?
Let those who meet you know, without your proclaiming the fact, that you are indeed a Bahá’í. 16
Put into practice the Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, that of kindness to all nations. Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.

Bahá'í Reference Library - Paris Talks, Pages 15-17

* * *

It is my dearest hope that you may all become a blessing to others, that you may give sight to the spiritually blind, hearing to the spiritually deaf and life to those who are dead in sin.
May you help those sunk in materiality to realize their Divine son-ship, and encourage them to arise and be worthy of their birthright; so that by your endeavour the world of humanity may become the Kingdom of God and of His elect.

Bahá'í Reference Library - Paris Talks, Pages 99-101

* * *

You belong to the world of purity, and are not content to live the life of the animal, spending your days in eating, drinking, and sleeping. You are indeed men! Your thoughts and ambitions are set to acquire human perfection. You live to do good and to bring happiness 113 to others. Your greatest longing is to comfort those who mourn, to strengthen the weak, and to be the cause of hope to the despairing soul. Day and night your thoughts are turned to the Kingdom, and your hearts are full of the Love of God.
Thus you know neither opposition, dislike, nor hatred, for every living creature is dear to you and the good of each is sought.

Bahá'í Reference Library - Paris Talks, Pages 112-114

* * *

All religions teach that we should love one another; that we should seek out our own shortcomings before we presume to condemn the faults of others, that we must not consider ourselves superior to our neighbours! We must be careful not to exalt ourselves lest we be humiliated.
Who are we that we should judge? How shall we know who, in the sight of God, is the most upright man? God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts! How many men who have seemed saint-like to their friends have fallen into the greatest humiliation. Think of Judas Iscariot; he began well, but remember his end! On the other hand, Paul, the Apostle, was in his early life an enemy of Christ, whilst later he became His most faithful servant. How then can we flatter ourselves and despise others?

Let us therefore be humble, without prejudices, 148 preferring others’ good to our own! Let us never say, ‘I am a believer but he is an infidel’, ‘I am near to God, whilst he is an outcast’. We can never know what will be the final judgment! Therefore let us help all who are in need of any kind of assistance.

Bahá'í Reference Library - Paris Talks, Pages 146-151

* * *

God alone ordereth all things and is all-powerful. Why then does He send trials to His servants?
The trials of man are of two kinds. (a) The consequences of his own actions. If a man eats too much, he ruins his digestion; if he takes poison he becomes 50 ill or dies. If a person gambles he will lose his money; if he drinks too much he will lose his equilibrium. All these sufferings are caused by the man himself, it is quite clear therefore that certain sorrows are the result of our own deeds. (b) Other sufferings there are, which come upon the Faithful of God. Consider the great sorrows endured by Christ and by His apostles!
Those who suffer most, attain to the greatest perfection.
Those who declare a wish to suffer much for Christ’s sake must prove their sincerity; those who proclaim their longing to make great sacrifices can only prove their truth by their deeds. Job proved the fidelity of his love for God by being faithful through his great adversity, as well as during the prosperity of his life. The apostles of Christ who steadfastly bore all their trials and sufferings—did they not prove their faithfulness? Was not their endurance the best proof?
These griefs are now ended.
Caiaphas lived a comfortable and happy life while Peter’s life was full of sorrow and trial; which of these two is the more enviable? Assuredly we should choose the present state of Peter, for he possesses immortal life whilst Caiaphas has won eternal shame. The trials of Peter tested his fidelity. Tests are benefits from God, for which we should thank Him. Grief and sorrow do not come to us by chance, they are sent to us by the Divine Mercy for our own perfecting.
While a man is happy he may forget his God; but when grief comes and sorrows overwhelm him, then 51 will he remember his Father who is in Heaven, and who is able to deliver him from his humiliations.
Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit.
The labourer cuts up the earth with his plough, and from that earth comes the rich and plentiful harvest. The more a man is chastened, the greater is the harvest of spiritual virtues shown forth by him. A soldier is no good General until he has been in the front of the fiercest battle and has received the deepest wounds.
The prayer of the prophets of God has always been, and still is: Oh God, I long to lay down my life in the path to Thee! I desire to shed my blood for Thee, and to make the supreme sacrifice.

Bahá'í Reference Library - Paris Talks, Pages 49-51

* * *



Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things ye would not desire for yourselves.

http://www.bahai.org/library/author...gs-bahaullah/gleanings-writings-bahaullah.pdf
 
Aug 2014
1,374
Blue Planet
#9
"Everyone knows that they are not good people"??

What a recipe for starting a lynch mob.



Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
Romans 12:19
right, yes, I agree with you. I didn't mean to say that we are permitted to do the backbiting if we think someone is not a good person and after all who are we to judge. it was only what I heard from that group of people who were talking. and also thank you for the good quotes on Gnat's post :)
 
Aug 2015
380
Europe
#10
/.../
It was a pig walking on his hind legs.

Yes, it was Squealer. A little awkwardly, as though not quite used to supporting his considerable bulk in that position, but with perfect balance, he was strolling across the yard. And a moment later, out from the door of the farmhouse came a long file of pigs, all walking on their hind legs. Some did it better than others, one or two were even a trifle unsteady and looked as though they would have liked the support of a stick, but every one of them made his way right round the yard successfully. And finally there was a tremendous baying of dogs and a shrill crowing from the black cockerel, and out came Napoleon himself, majestically upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gambolling round him.
He carried a whip in his trotter.

There was a deadly silence. Amazed, terrified, huddling together, the animals watched the long line of pigs march slowly round the yard. It was as though the world had turned upside-down. Then there came a moment when the first shock had worn off and when, in spite of everything — in spite of their terror of the dogs, and of the habit, developed through long years, of never complaining, never criticising, no matter what happened — they might have uttered some word of protest. But just at that moment, as though at a signal, all the sheep burst out into a tremendous bleating of —
‘Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better!’

It went on for five minutes without stopping. And by the time the sheep had quieted down, the chance to utter any protest had passed, for the pigs had marched back into the farmhouse.

Benjamin felt a nose nuzzling at his shoulder. He looked round. It was Clover. Her old eyes looked dimmer than ever. Without saying anything, she tugged gently at his mane and led him round to the end of the big barn, where the Seven Commandments were written. For a minute or two they stood gazing at the tatted wall with its white lettering.

‘My sight is failing,’ she said finally. ‘Even when I was young I could not have read what was written there. But it appears to me that that wall looks different. Are the Seven Commandments the same as they used to be, Benjamin?’

For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran:
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

After that it did not seem strange when next day the pigs who were supervising the work of the farm all carried whips in their trotters. It did not seem strange to learn that the pigs had bought themselves a wireless set, were arranging to install a telephone, and had taken out subscriptions to John Bull, TitBits, and the Daily Mirror. It did not seem strange when Napoleon was seen strolling in the farmhouse garden with a pipe in his mouth — no, not even when the pigs took Mr. Jones's clothes out of the wardrobes and put them on, Napoleon himself appearing in a black coat, ratcatcher breeches, and leather leggings, while his favourite sow appeared in the watered silk dress which Mrs. Jones had been used to wear on Sundays.

/.../
George Orwell's Animal Farm
 

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