Islam Prohibits Backbiting

Backbiting and slandering are shame and disgrace. Their perpetrator is detested and he shall not have a noble death. Islam detests backbiting and has given strict guidelines that forbid a Muslim from committing the act of backbiting. The lines below discuss the way Quran and hadith detest backbiting and regard it as a curse. And the worst of all sins are those that are greatest in harm and danger to humanity. Among the destructive major sins are backbiting and slandering. Allah says:

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

 

“Indeed, those who like that (should) spread the immorality among those who believe, for them (is) a punishment painful in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows, while you (do) not know.” (Surah An-Nur, 24:19)

 

Seek to make excuses for others. If a person does something that you think is wrong in some way, try to look at the situation from another person’s point of view. If we do this, we are less likely to dwell on the negative and seek to talk about it with others. Making fun of someone also comes in backbiting. Allah says:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

 

“O you who believe! If comes to you a wicked person with information, investigate, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then you become, over what you have done, regretful.” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:6)

 

Backbiting is so widespread among people that it has become an issue of people’s meetings and an avenue for expressing their anger, misgivings and jealousy. Those who indulge in backbiting are hiding their imperfections and harming others. They are oblivious of the fact that they are only harming themselves. Allah says:

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

 

“Indeed, those who like that (should) spread the immorality among those who believe, for them (is) a punishment painful in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows, while you (do) not know.” (Surah An-Nur 24:19)

 

These two sins are forbidden by Allah because they show enmity, evils and discord among people and lead to destruction. They cause hostilities between people of the same household and between neighbours and relatives. They can decrease in good deeds and increase in evil ones and lead to dishonour and ignominy.

 

How should a person behave towards a Backbiting:

  1. Allah has punishment for those who backbiting
  2. Avoid spreading false rumours and backbiting 
  3. Avoid places and people prone to backbiting
  4. A good Muslim does not dwell on backbiting
  5. Allah gives the motivation to stay far from it
  6. Allah condemns the act of backbiting
  7. Allah is always watching us
  8. Avoid People who Backbite
  9. Backbiting is a toxic phenomenon
  10. Avoid people who talk about others
  11. Backbiting represents a wrong person
  12. Backbiting pushes away from Allah’s mercy
  13. Backbiting festers negativity, jealousy, and envy
  14. Backbiting pushes away from blessings as well
  15. One must feel regret and repent from the sins of backbiting

Thus, any false rumour spread behind the back of a person is what people consider backbiting and if talking bad behind the back of someone is justified, it is considered a normal thing. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) opposed backbiting even when it appears in His family. Backbiting is the foremost sin mentioned in Holy Quran and Hadith.

 

Below we will discuss how to avoid Backbiting (Gheebah):

  • Most important thing is to repent to Allah Almighty for all mistakes
  • Knows everything beyond our limited understanding and vision
  • We should also recognize that no one is perfect
  • We should recognize that Allah Almighty sees
  • We all are lacking in some manner
  • Always speak well otherwise keep quiet
  • Seeks forgiveness for the person whom you hurt
  • Try to avoid spying as it fuels the trading of secrets
  • Misinformation which ultimately creates a climate of mistrust
  • If you hear rumour or gossip about someone keep it on your own
  • Remind others not to gossip if they do so then walk away from there

Backbiting (gheebah) means mentioning something about a person (in his absence), that he hates (to have mentioned), whether it is about: His body, his religious characteristics, his worldly affairs, his self, his physical appearance, his character, his wealth, his child, his father, his wife, his manner of walking, his smile, it is the same whether you mention that about him with words, through writings, or whether you point or indicate him by gesturing with your eyes, hand or head. Allah says:

 

الَّذِينَ يَلْمِزُونَ الْمُطَّوِّعِينَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي الصَّدَقَاتِ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ إِلَّا جُهْدَهُمْ فَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنْهُمْ سَخِرَ اللَّهُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

 

“Those who criticize the ones who give willingly of the believers concerning the charities, and those who not find except their effort, so they ridicule them, Allah will ridicule them, and for them (is) a punishment painful.” (Surah At-Taubah 9:79)

 

People think that backbiting is something, which a person does behind the back of another person which is meant to produce ill for the person that is not present. A Muslim needs to understand that backbiting is backbiting and a Muslim has no right to speak badly behind the back of another Muslim whether it is justified or not.

 

Eating Flesh of Dead:

The greatest warning that a Muslim can infer about backbiting is in the ayah of the Quran, where Allah says:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

 

“O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and We made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, (the) most noble of you near Allah (is the) most righteous of you Indeed, Allah (is) All-Knower, All-Aware.” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13)

 

Gheebah or Backbiting is basically to talk about your Muslim fellow in such a manner that he/she would dislike it if told about it. Recognize that Allah sees and knows all things, while our understanding and view is limited. Speak well or keep quiet.

 

Allah Almighty likes this action in Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says:

  • “If they hear gossip, they walk away.” (Quran, 28:55)
  • “Not they will hear therein vain talk and not sinful (speech).” (Quran, 56:25)
  • “Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter.” (Surah Al-Humaza, 1)
  • “Do not concern yourself with things about which you do not know. Verily, your hearing, sight, and heart — all of them will be called to account.” (Qur’an 17:36)
  • “… Nor backbite one another; would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it.” (Qur’an 49:12)

A Muslim is important to realize the graveness of the act of backbiting. When the honour of a person is attacked, it is quite natural that a person responds to it in the same manner which results in disunity and hatred among the members of a community. Allah says:

 

وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَلْمِزُكَ فِي الصَّدَقَاتِ فَإِنْ أُعْطُوا مِنْهَا رَضُوا وَإِن لَّمْ يُعْطَوْا مِنْهَا إِذَا هُمْ يَسْخَطُونَ

 

“And among them (is he) who criticizes you concerning the charities. Then if they are given from it, they are pleased; but if not they are given from it, then they (are) enraged.” (Surah At-Taubah 9:58 )

 

A Muslim must refrain from backbiting another Muslim, no matter how justified it seems. It is not acceptable for a Muslim to spread rumours, or engage in backbiting of another person. Muslims are warned about the sins of the tongue in which backbiting comes first. Whoever guards his tongue will surely make fewer mistakes. In the Holy Quran, Allah says:

 

وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا

 

“And (do) not pursue what not you have of it any knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart all those will be [about it] questioned.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:36)

 

Islam teaches us and emphasized on to give respect to other Muslims honour. One of the major sins is a Muslim utters a word how he describes his Muslim brother in a negative way it could be explicitly or implicitly. Remind others not to gossip, and if they don’t listen, walk away. Allah praised such action in the Quran: Allah says:

 

وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَلْمِزُكَ فِي الصَّدَقَاتِ فَإِنْ أُعْطُوا مِنْهَا رَضُوا وَإِن لَّمْ يُعْطَوْا مِنْهَا إِذَا هُمْ يَسْخَطُونَ

 

“And among them (is he) who criticizes you concerning the charities. Then if they are given from it, they are pleased; but if not they are given from it, then they (are) enraged.” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:12)

 

Backbiting (gheebah) is prohibited in Islam and is considered a major sin. Gheebah has severe punishment in Islam. Muslim should be clear of the fact that backbiting is not something that should be taken casually, rather, in addition to the social vice as it is, it also brings punishment in the world Hereafter as well, ergo, a Muslim is to refrain from it and consider it a social as well as ethical evil and discourage people who perform it.

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