“Woe to every slanderer and backbiter who has gathered wealth and counted it. He thinks that his wealth will make him last forever! Nay! Verily, he will be thrown into the crushing fire. And what will make you know what the crushing fire is? The fire of Allah, kindled, which leaps up over the hearts. Verily, it shall be closed upon them in pillars stretched forth (i.e. they will be punished in the fire with pillars.)” (Al-Humazah 104:1-9)
Surat Al-Humazah describes the worst condition of Hell and its enormity. It presents a lowly character who thrives on slandering (Humazah) and backbiting (Lumazah) others. Allah (swt) warns him of the worst possible destruction because this person was a fault picker. He slandered others, impacting their self-esteem negatively.
The word ‘Humazah’ has its roots in a sharp nail that is used to poke a horse to make it gallop. And it is the devil’s deed to keep poking man with evil thoughts until he acts upon it. It means to be a gossip monger and a scorner in the absence of the victim.
The word ‘Lumazah’ means to taunt and belittle on the face. According to Ibn Abbas (rtam), the action crushes the worth of the other. It could be a gesture, a chuckle, an insult, a subliminal remark, or a direct hit at someone.
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