"Social dignity is like the air that living things breathe. When one loses esteem in the eyes of others, it is like he is being strangled, like the air he breathes is being taken away from him. It shouldn't be surprising then that we find so many hadiths which consider the sin of attacking someone's social honor to be worse than fornication. That's because fornication is done in private, and it is relatively easy for the individual to come back to the straight path with sincere regret and repentance. Reflect on the prophetic statement that God will forgive the one who commits fornication, but He will not forgive the one who backbites until he is forgiven by the one he slandered!"
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