The Cure for this Disease
If someone, God forbid, has been guilty of this ugly act, he or she must purge
this vice and nourish the roots of sincerity, unity, and solidarity in his or her
heart by following these steps:
Meditate for a while about the effects of this sin in this world and in the
Hereafter. Reflect on the fearsome, frightful forms that will beset you in the
grave, in the Barzakh, and on the Day of Resurrection. Heed the words of
the Holy Prophet (s) and his household ('a) for their pearls of wisdom in this
regard will overwhelm you. Then weigh a quarter of an hour's pleasantries,
gossip, and satisfaction of the imaginative lust against thousands upon
thousands of years of adversity or eternal damnation in hell and everlasting
Consider this: even if you have enmity toward a person whom you backbite,
that animosity requires that you should not resort to backbiting. It is stated
in the traditions that the good deeds of the backbiter are transferred to the
book of deeds of the victim of his backbiting, and the victim's sins are
transferred to the record of the backbiter.
Repent and seek the forgiveness of the victim, if this is possible without any
chance of vicious consequences; otherwise, you must implore God's mercy
for the victim.
Gather all your strength to rid your soul of this sin at all cost, by making a
covenant with yourself to abstain from this abominable for a certain time.
Bring your tongue under control and be fully watchful of yourself,
steadfastly vigilant, calling yourself to account. God willing, it is hoped that
after some time you will find yourself reformed and free of its ill traces.
Gradually the burden of the task will ease, and you will feel a natural
disposition to dislike and detest it. At that point, you will come to possess
spiritual peace and delight in achieving freedom from this vice.
Backbiting often results from a weakness in the backbiter's own soul, such
as an inferiority complex. You should pry into your s