Saturday, June 6, 2009

Refining Utterance (17-18)

What if the things being said about others are true—is it still backbiting?

17) "Even if what is said against another person be true, the mentioning of his faults to others still comes under the category of backbiting, and is forbidden."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, February 11, 1925)

18) "You ask in your letter for guidance on the implications of the prohibition on backbiting and more specifically whether, in moments of anger or depression, the believer is permitted to turn to his friends to unburden his soul and discuss his problem in human relations. Normally, it is possible to describe the situation surrounding a problem and seek help and advice in resolving it, without necessarily mentioning names. The individual believer should seek to do this, whether he is consulting a friend, Baha'i or non-Baha'i, or whether the friend is consulting him. Abdu'l-Baha does not permit adverse criticism of individuals by name in discussion among the friends, even if the one criticizing believes that he is doing so to protect the interests of the Cause."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, September 23, 1975)

[See also #39.]

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