Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Backbiting & Gossip in Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful




"Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of God"
(The Quraan Chapter 24: Verse 15)







A backbiter is called Mughtaab. Gheebah (backbiting) is to talk about your brother/sister in such a manner that he/she would dislike it if told about it. Whether you talk about a physical defect, lineage, manners, conduct, faith or even his clothes, house or mode of transportation - all those constitute Gheebah.

With reference to a person's body, it could be stated that he is bald, short, tall, black, yellow, or giving any physical description the person does not like.
In regards to family tree, it could include stating that his father is a Bedouin, a garbage collector, cobbler, or anything that he may dislike. In regards to manners and conduct, it could include stating that he has bad manners, is stingy, arrogant, a coward, is weak-hearted, irresponsible or the like. In regards to his deeds associated with religion, it could include statements such as he is a thief, a liar, drunkard, treacherous, an oppressor, careless about Salah or Zakah, saying he doesn't perfect his Ruku' or Sujood, he is not careful about avoiding Najasah (impurities), isn't dutiful to his parents or he doesn't pay Zakah to the right persons, doesn't distribute Zakah correctly, or he doesn't guard his Sawm (fasting) from obscenity, backbiting, or talking ill about others.
In regards to his deeds associated with daily living, it could include statements such as he has no manners with people, he talks too much, he always sleeps even when it is not time to sleep, or he sits where he shouldn't. Gheebah statements about someone's clothing could include statements such as his sleeve is wide, his thobe (shirt) is long, or that his clothes are dirty.


The Prophet (pbuh) defined backbiting when he said: "Do you know what is meant by backbiting?" They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He said, "To say something about your brother which he dislikes." One asked, "Even if what I say is true about my brother?" He replied, "If such defects you say are true about him, then you have backbitten him, and if he doesn't have what you say, then you have committed slander against him." (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawood, and Tirmidhi)
Hence, it is not allowed to talk about somebody in his/her absence, even if what was narrated was true. If it was not true, then it would be a bigger sin and it is false accusation.

Talking about someone else's fault - even in the absence of that person - with the intention of saving someone from that person's harm or of getting someone's help in correcting these faults or of recording one's grievances with the authorities or of any other imaginable positive reason to discuss such faults, should not be considered as Gheebah.

It is important to note that to find other's faults or to talk sarcastically or to defame a person is called 'Lumz'. In the Qur'an, Allah states: "Do not defame one another." (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:11)

It means that when you find faults in others, they will turn around and find faults in you.

The beauty of this wording of the Qur'an is that it says that finding faults in others is like finding faults in you.

Just like Allah states: "Do not kill yourself." Hence, if you kill others, they will try to kill you. Allah also says in the Qur'an: "Woe to every slanderer and back-biter!" (Surah Al-Humazah, 104: 1)

Allah (SWT) made it clear that defaming another Muslim in his/her absence is like eating the flesh of one's dead brother (49:12), which obviously, everybody hates. Hence, it is the most dreadful sin. Note that if the person is present, he/she may have a chance to defend himself/herself, although everybody does not have the courage to defend themselves in these circumstances. If, however, he/she is defamed in his/her absence, the damage is deep and somewhat permanent.

The tongue alone does not do backbiting; it can also be done with the eyes, hands and other movements. For example, imitating somebody who is limping, in order to insult him/her.

Muhammad Rasool Allah (SAS) said: " Backbiting is a worse sin than adultery." It is further explained in a saying of the Prophet (SAS), narrated by Abu Sa'eed and Jubair in Bayhaqi: "Allah may forgive a person if he/she repents after committing adultery. However, Allah will not forgive the one who backbites, till his/her victim forgives him/her."

Abu Hurayra (RA) narrates that the Noble Prophet (SAS) said, “The killing of a Muslim by another unjustly, usurping others’ wealth or defaming other Muslims is totally forbidden (or Haram).” (Sahih Muslim)

Note that listening to backbiting is the same as backbiting somebody. It is better to walk away from such individuals.

Backbiting violates the rights of Allah and the rights of people simultaneously. Hence, it is necessary to ask for forgiveness from the victim first, since Allah will not forgive until the victim forgives. If the victim has died or is untraceable, then ransom has to be paid. Anas (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (SAS) said, “The ransom for backbiting is to pray to Allah for forgiveness by saying, “ O Allah! Forgive my sins and his too.”

Making Fun
Backbiting (Gheebah) can even be making fun of a person. The Prophet (SAS) vigorously opposed all aspects of backbiting even when it occurred in his own family. For example, once a woman visited Hadrat Aishah (RAa) and when the woman got up to leave, Hadrat Aishah Siddiqua (RAa) made a sign with her hand indicating to the Prophet (SAS) that the woman was short of stature. The Prophet (SAS) immediately chastised her, saying, "You have backbitten!" (Tirmidhi)

Imam Al- Nawawi, a great scholar, commented regarding the above Hadith saying, "This Hadith is paramount with regard to backbiting and I don't know anything more severe than this."

Nameemah (Tale carrying)
Nameemah is the use of speech by people against each other, wishing to cause corruption. ALLAH says in regard to this matter:

"...Neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it [so hate backbiting]" (Surah Hujurat, 49:12)

The Prophet (SAS) has clearly stated, "The gossip-monger will not enter paradise" (Bukhari, Muslim). Further, when the sin is injurious to others, Islam does not distinguish between a Muslim and a non-Muslim victim. The Muslim scholars generally consider backbiting of a non-Muslim unlawful. Defamation, therefore is a crime punishable by the courts in addition to being a matter of reckoning in the hereafter...

Guarding the Tongue
"And follow not that of which you have no knowledge. Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned." (17:36)

"Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created. He has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not." (96:1-5)

It is well known that whoever guards his/her tongue will make fewer mistakes. He will be in control of himself and avoid from falling into something wrong. The Prophet (pbuh) guaranteed Paradise for one who guards his/her mouth. He is reported to have said:

"Whoever gives me surety to safeguard what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I guarantee for him (entrance into) Paradise." [What is between one's jaws is the Lisan (tongue); and what is between the legs is the Farj (private parts)]."...Continue reading @ iloveallah.com

1 comment :

~~La ilaha il Allah~~

Thank you for the comment. I love reading them all. I'm really sorry if I can't reply to everyone but I do try my best. Hope you understand. Peace.

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