A couple of days ago, I was walking through the neighborhood when I came across several women outside their homes wearing very short shorts and very low neckline mid rib sleeveless tops. I couldn`t help myself but look at them with much disgust.
I could have just kept this to myself, but I told a friend about the things I saw. The conversation, which took about half an hour, was only backbiting and slandering non Muslim women who dress immodestly. The discussion made ourselves feel superior and far more morally upright over them as we Muslim women wear hijab.
Yesterday, I went on Facebook and found some relatives and friends liking my pre shahada photos; There were shameful photos of myself wearing skimpy dresses with low necklines at some mixed gatherings that served alcohol and played loud party music. I knew that I have already locked them from viewing, but for some weird reason the settings changed. I think it is Allah`s way of shaking me to reality: I indulged in backbiting by speaking ill of others and slinging mud upon them and forgot about my own imperfections.
O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (Quran 49:11)
I am not superior over these women after all as I committed slander and backbiting against them. Backbiting, slander, lies, and gossip only go against the true spirit of Islam. I made a big mistake. May Allah forgive me.
This experience reminded me that as a Muslim, I should treat people, regardless of class, cultural and religious backgrounds, with sincerity and responsibility. I also have responsibility in protecting their honor and privacy. Islam is a religion that promotes love, peace, and compassion not just among Muslims but with the whole of humanity.