Our minds are usually directed to other than Allah; distracted towards this world or too obsessed with our self-centred desires. All the teachings of Islam: iiman, 'amal & ihsan - is towards consistent awareness of Allah.
To develop this, one must engage much in true remembrance of Allah. Bear in mind the (6) six qualities necessary for Taqwa (consciousness of Allah) through having:
How often we have forgotten that as Muslims, a higher law rules over us for every occasion? Think of the many occasion when our considerations for our behaviour and actions in life, excluded that which Allah and His messenger had already stipulated.
Perhaps we may be ignorant of rules ( hukm ), so we must strive to learn, but ignorant or not, would this not reflect our disrespectful behaviour, lack of Adab towards Allah and His Messenger?
Inspite of the fact that our Prophet may not be physically present, yet Allah s.w.t. deems it necessary still, to record this to posterity. He was appointed by Allah to bear witness over his ummah , and we as Muslims must ask ourselves, how would our prophet s.a.w. rate our behaviour:
" Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not."
This brashness, often may be the way we speak to one another, but this is not good and does not assist us in gaining higher consciousness.
Raising our voices may even spoil our deeds, for it is usually being incited by self-conceit, arrogance which surfaces outward in our voice to ' drown ' the other party with our loudness, thereby we loose every opportunity to learn - if we are learning from a teacher; or we level down our superior (e.g. our parents, elders etc.) which tantamount to disobedience or even rebelliousness.
The Prophet s.a.w., as also Islamic scholars, would patiently overlook this in their students, out of concern for their reform ( islaH ) - most of the time having to endure such ill-mannered behaviour. But all is still not lost, for Allah s.w.t. continues with this assurance:
" but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Whether, in the first place, is it right or wrong to spread such news, or whether story true or lies, seemed unimportant - because we would have allowed the poison to affect our opinion of the person concerned.
How easily we give credence to it. We are quick to accuse, even though we may not be uttering it?
The honour we held for our brother/sister quickly dissipate, and every actions done by him/her is scrutinised as though to implicate or rather with a view to confirm what we had already concluded in our minds.
In fact we have already judged him/her unjustly.
We have sinned against him/her – and we don’t even realize it !
Alas for us who may inadvertently been exposed to these malicious tales , we must guard ourselves from believing in it, and we must not allow such unverified assertion to draw us into sinning against our brother/sister concerned.
Yet why do our nafs (desire or self) likes or is inclined to listen to such news concerning others? News of scandals and ' juicy ' gossips of an acquaintance is welcomed or even sought.
Perhaps we are merely pampering to our self-conceit which wants assurance of its superiority' over others; that feeling of " holier than thou! " attitude which gives us 'satisfaction'. Thus our pre-occupation with the alleged " faults " of others, makes us forget that we are the ones that is at fault, nay, clearly the ones who are guilty of sin.
In this day and age, with information technology advancing tremendously, and dissemination of news becoming easy, the moral question of - " is spreading negativity (even, if it is true) of a person to the general public, a sin or not? " is never asked by Muslims!
Those who are without religion may use press-freedom or 'public interest', as justification - but can a Muslim use this excuse? What does Islam has to say regarding this?
And those Muslims who are in journalism or imitating the journalistic culture with websites and blogs, should ask: " Are all the codes of modern journalism compatible with Islamic ethics? "
What kind of news about people can be disseminated, and how should it be presented as public knowledge, as education, without us falling foul to the strict Islamic rule for safeguarding personal honour & dignity of individuals?
Sinning against a person is indeed serious and may not be easily forgiven by Allah, unless the person concerned (who is being wronged) is willing to forgive. For Allah s.w.t. justice accords that the rights of those who are wronged to be upheld, before He forgives.
Also, do remember that Allah's forgiveness depends upon our repentance ( tawbah )-
And it does not constitute ( tawbah ) repentance, unless there is the feeling of remorse ( nadaam ) in those who have committed the sin.
And, the more difficult is the condition mentioned previously that, it (our ' tawbah ' ) must be accompanied with the earnest efforts towards seeking forgiveness and making correction or adequate reparation ( kifaarat ) towards those whom we have wronged.
Tale-bearing is often a characteristic of those inclined to iniquity ( faasiq ) precisely because the very act of spreading unsubstantiated rumours affecting the reputations of other persons itself, is a spiritual offence - albeit a grave & serious one.
Such person spreading malicious tales does not have any qualms to harm others, yet they do not dare to confront directly those whom they harbour ill-will.
Indeed, their interest is actually not to seek any clarification, but to condemn base on their malice towards the other.
They cowardly ' oppresses ' using this diabolical ' tale-bearing ' that can 'whisper into the hearts ' of other people, as described by Allah: " From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper)― (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind― Among Jinns and among Men."
If we encounter such tale-bearers, we should hold to doubting them unless it be with unequivocal & substantiated proof; and thus we must not allow any of what they convey concerning other people to be disseminated.
Advice them against committing injustice - to others and more so to themselves. This should stop with us.
Yet, many of us even became the very channel for many unverified news about others to spread!
Especially today in the virtual internet world, where such 'forward- ings ' seems so easy on a mere click of the ‘mouse’.
Those guilty of such despicable act should stop and seek reparation, if not they are actually indulging, constantly and repeatedly in this sin of ‘ defamation ' (a calumny and oppression) from the time they put it up for others to access.
They are in fact slandering (using internet) continuously without having to even speak. They are in fact chalking up sins, at a tremendous pace daily - nay, each time whenever there are people reading their postings, irrespective of whether the people reading it harbour negative thoughts on the person being maligned or not.
If others were to do the same to us, cast a slur upon our reputations, we would not have liked it, yet, why aren't we careful when our own indulgence affects the reputations of our other brothers/sisters?
Remember the ruling ( hukm ) against those who slander against the honour of another brother/sister is indeed considered a grave oppression - a “ defamation " - against them.
And they would have a strong claim against those who wronged them, by turning to Allah, seeking justice from He Who receives the supplication of any who has been oppressed whenever they call out to Him seeking Divine intervention, with no barrier (direct).
“ ... but Allah has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wickedness and rebellion: such indeed are those who walk in righteousness― ”
We ought to know better that as Muslims, we have the perfect example of our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. He would never act based on unverified assertions, nor would he be inclined to people's opinion but he would always seek the inspirations and guidance of Allah s.w.t. :
" And know that among you is Allah's Messenger: were he, in many matters, to follow your (wishes), ye would certainly suffer"
Such was the nature of Muhammad s.a.w. and were the nature of his close companions r.a. whose life he moulded. These pure souls were instilled by the Grace of Allah with that characteristics mentioned here as: "... but Allah has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wickedness and rebellion: such indeed are those who walk in righteousness―"
 They see Faith ( iiman ) as something most dear and valuable; a bestowal from Allah to them. They were very careful in striving to preserve this. They indulge constantly in seeking forgiveness of Allah s.w.t. seeking to remove any stain or blemishes upon their Faith ( iiman ).Thus, any act or deeds which compromise this would be rejected outright.
 Not only that, Faith ( iiman ) is adorned in their hearts. If the '' Qalb "(mind/heart) is the centre from which radiates all our actions, then from such people will manifest everything which such Faith ( iiman ) represents. They exude every goodness.
 When their hearts is filled with Faith ( iiman ), then it definitely will react against any other values contrary to Faith ( iiman ). It resent and is hateful towards " Kufr " ( denial of Truth ); " Fusuq " ( iniquities or sinful things ) and “ isw-yaan " ( rebellion against goodness ).
Such were the people whom Allah s.w.t, referred to as the Rightly Guided ( RAA-SYIDUUN ) - May Allah make us to be like them too - AAMIN