The Worst of All Evil Acts
Imam Ja'ffar as-Sadiq (as) has reported from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.):
In the olden days, one of the prophets (as) was instructed to do 5 things on the following day. He was told: "Eat the thing, which you see first; Bury the thing, which you see next; Preserve the third; Do not disappoint and deprive the fourth and run away from the fifth".
On the following day, the Prophet (as) set out. The first thing he saw was a huge mountain. He began to wonder, 'how am I going to eat this huge mountain?' Since it was the command of Allah (SWT), the Prophet (as) went towards it. With every step, he noticed that the mountain got smaller and smaller until it became the size of a morsel. He swallowed it and found it to be extremely sweet. As he moved forward from there, he saw a golden plate. He immediately took it and buried it. As he was departing from the place, he saw that the earth threw out the golden plate from its womb. The Prophet (as) thought, "I was instructed to bury it, which I did. Now if the earth has thrown it out, I have nothing to do with it". He (as) carried on. Suddenly he observed that an eagle was pursuing a pigeon. The pigeon came to the Prophet (as) and begged for protection. The Prophet (as) hid it in his sleeve. The eagle came to the Prophet (as) and complained that it was hungry and it would only be fair for him to release the pigeon. The Prophet (as) cut flesh of his own body and gave it to the eagle. The eagle was satisfied and flew away. Then the Prophet (as) came across a dead corpse from which foul smell was emanating. He remembered the instruction to run away from it so he ran away.
After this, the Prophet (as) asked Allah (SWT) for the wisdom of these 5 things. He was informed the mountain represents Anger. When a person wants to control his anger, it is as hard as swallowing a mountain. But if one suppresses it for the pleasure of Allah (SWT), then the outcome of it will be extremely sweet. The golden plate represents a pure and selfless deed. If you do anything purely for Allah (SWT), keep it a secret and God will make it apparent. The pigeon represents admonition. Whoever advises you, take it and preserve it. Do not be bossy and say: 'who are you to advice me?" The eagle hunter represents a beggar. Never turn away, disappoint and deprive someone who comes begging to you. And the dead corpse, from which, he was told to run away is Al-Gheebah 'backbiting'. One must run away from it the way he runs away from dead corpses that emanates foul smell.(Tafseer of Surah al-Hujuraat by Ayatullah Dastghayb)
In his last sermon delivered during Hujjatul-Widaa', the Holy Prophet (saww) said to the Muslims: "Indeed Allah has prohibited Gheebah (in the same way) as He has prohibited confiscation of wealth (of others) and bloodshed". (Sharh Ibn Abil-Hadeed)
Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (A.S.) has said: "The worst of all evil acts is to backbite about good people". (Ghurar al-Hikam)