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International Islamic university Islamabad

Topic:

Backbiting and its Destructions

Submitted To:

Sir Javed Raza

Submitted by:

Ali Hamza Reg no. 805-FMS/BBAIT/F11

Adil Aslam Reg no. 806-FMS/BBAIT/F11

Abdul Naeem Reg no. 804-FMS/BBAIT/F11

Rehman Hassan Reg no. 802-FMS/BBAIT/F11

Date: 25-09-2013
Table of Contents

What is Backbiting ..........................................................................................................................1


Types of Backbiting…………………………………………………….2

Symbols or Signs of backbiting…………………………......................3


Aspects of backbiting that might not be feel…………………………..4
How should the Backbiter be treated ………………………………….5
Causes and factors of backbiting……………………………………….6
Lying is another evil of the tongue……………………………………...7
Situations in which lying is allowed ……………………………………8
Geebah saying in Quran and Sunnah…………………………….......9
Saying about Geebah in Sahi bukhari and Muslim……………………10
Method of Avoidance from Geebaa…………………………………..11
Definition of Backbiting:

A backbiter is called Mughtaab. Gheebah 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, I
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 whom 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)
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.
Quran saying about Backbiting:

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)

http://quran.com/search?q=104%3A+1

And why did you not, when you heard it, say? “It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory
to God, this is a most serious slander”.

(Quran 24:16

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)

http://quran.com/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 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.

“Surely those who accuse chaste believing women, unaware (of the evil), are cursed in
this world and the Hereafter, and for them is a grievous chastisement.” Many people do
not appreciate the serious impact of the hurtfulness that the victims of backbiting,
gossiping, mocking and slandering are silently suffering.Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had also
fallen victim to such slanderers, who did their level-best to insult the Holy Prophet (pbuh),
so that he could no longer gain significant mileage in his valiant endeavors of spreading
Islam. He received two identical revelations at different times but at different locations;
“And if a false imputation from the devil afflict thee, seek refuge in Allah. Surely He is the
Hearing, the Knowing.” Ref: http://quran.com/41/36

All those involved in backbiting, gossiping, mocking and slandering must be spoken to by those
in authority with the view of protecting Islam and helping Islam grow to its full potential. The
ramification of this requirement is given in the Holy Qur‟an at 3:103, as “And from among you
there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. And these
are they who are successful.”

The foremost great sin for which Qur‟an and hadith have promised chastisement is back-biting.
As mentioned by Allah (SWT) in Qur‟an,

“Surely (as for) those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they
shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter.” (Surah an-Nūr 24: 19)

Shaitan (Satan) wants us to use our tongue to create conflict and hatred

Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best, for Satan does sow
dissensions among them, for Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (17:53) http://quran.com/17/53
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
(24: 15) http://quran.com/24/15

This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God. (2:2)

And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God,
this is a most serious slander" (Quran 24:16) http://quran.com/24/16
A commentary on one of the most destructive of major sins

„Allah does not prohibit you from being kind and equitable to those who have not fought you on
account of your religion, nor driven you from your homes. And Allah loves those who are
equitable.‟ [Qur‟an, 60:8] http://quran.com/60/8

„Allah does not prohibit you from being kind and equitable to those who have not fought you on
account of your religion, nor driven you from your homes. And Allah loves those who are
equitable.‟ [Qur‟an, 60:8] http://quran.com/60/8

Allah does not love the loud utterance of harsh/hurtful words, except by one who has been
wronged. And Allah is Seeing, Hearing.‟ [Qur‟an, 4:148] http://quran.com/4/148

„He does not utter a [single] word, except that there is, with him, [an angel] watching and
waiting [to record it].‟ [Qur‟an, 50:18] http://quran.com/50/18

„O you who believe! Devour not your wealth amongst yourselves by falsehood, except if it be by
trade, by mutual consent amongst yourselves.‟ [Qur‟an, 4:29] http://quran.com/4/29
, „We believe in it. Indeed, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed, we were, [even] before it,
Muslims‟. They will be given their reward twofold, because they persevered.‟ [Qur‟an, 28:52-54]
http://quran.com/28/52-54

"And, when they hear vain talk, they turn away from it." [Qur'an, 28:55] http://quran.com/28/55

"He does not utter a [single] word, except that there is, with him, [an angel] ready and waiting [to
record it]." Qur'an, [50:18] http://quran.com/50/18

Hadith:

1) Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet peace be upon him said: When I was taken up to
heaven I passed by people who had nails of copper and were scratching their faces and their
breasts. I said: Who are these people, Gabriel? He replied: They are those who were given to
back biting and who aspersed people's honour.
Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Hadith 4860

2) The most important part of the body is the heart as has been mentioned by our noble
Prophet Muhammed - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - in his saying, “Indeed there is a piece of
flesh in your body that, if it be sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it be corrupt then
the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart.” - Sahih al-Bukhari [1/49] & Sahih al-
Muslim [1599]
3) The heart is the place where Allah scans, as the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam - says, “Allah does not look at your bodies nor your faces but he scans your heart and
actions.” - Sahih al-Muslim [4/6221]

Guarding your tongue from all Haaram

4) The Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Guard your tongue, stay in
your homes and weep over your sins.” - Related by Ibn Mubarak in az-Zuhd (no.134), Musnad
Ahmed bin Hambal (5/259), Sunan at-Tirmidhi (2531) and authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-
Saheehah (no.890)

5) Abu Moosa al-Asharee - radiAllahu' anhu - said, “O Messenger of Allah, which of the
Muslims are better?” The Messenger of Allah said, “Those who do not harm the Muslims with
their tongues and hands.” - Saheeh al-Bukhari (1/10) and Saheeh al-Muslim (1/64)

6) Sahl ibn Sa‟ad - radiAllahu' anhu - reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever
guards what is between his jaws and legs. I shall guarantee him paradise.” - Saheeh al-Bukhari
(8/481).

7) And “The world and all that it contains is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allah
and what supports it,and a scholar and a student.” - Sunan Ibn Majah (no.4112) and and
authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Saheehul-Jaami‟ (no.3414)

8) Abu Hurairah - radiAllahu' anhu - reports on the authority of the Prophet - SallAllahu
'alaihi wa sallam - that, “From the good Islaam of a man, is that he leaves that which does not
benefit him.” - Musnad Ahmed bin Hambal (4/132), Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Majah, al-
Baihaqi in Shu‟ab al-Imaan

9) Imaam Ahmad - rahimahullaah - mentioned in his Musnad on the authority of Anas


radiAllahu „anhu who relates that the Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said‟ The eemaan
of Allah‟s servant will not be upright until his heart is upright and his heart will not be upright
until his tongue is upright.” - Also mentioned in al-Mundhiri (3/234) and al-Iraqee in al-Ihya
(8/1539)

10) The Messenger of Allah once asked his Companions, “Do you know what is backbiting?”
They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”. He - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “To
mention about your brother that which he hates.” They said, “If that we see about our brother is
true?” He - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “If there is in him what you say about him then
that is backbiting, and if you say of him that which is not true then you have slandered him.” -
Saheeh al-Muslim (4/6265), Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4856) and al-Muwatta (56/10)

11) The Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - vigorously opposed all aspects of backbiting,
even when it appeared in his own family. For example, once a woman visited Aaisha -
radiAllahu' anha - and when the woman got up to leave, Aaisha made a sign with her hand
indicating to the Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - that the woman was short of stature.
The Prophet immediately chastised her, saying “You have backbitten!” and in another narration,
“You have said a saying that if mixed with the sea it would change its color.” - Mentioned in Ibn
Jareer in Tafseer al-Qur'aan al-Adheem, vol.4, p.328 (30) and Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4857)

12) The Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “The Gossip-monger will
not enter paradise.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari (8/82), Saheeh al-Muslim (1/187) and Musnad Ahmed
bin Hambal]

13) The Messenger - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - passed by two graves and said, “They are
being punished. As regards one of them then he used to go around gossip-mongering and as
regards the other then he was not careful while urinating.” - Saheeh al-Bukhari (1/215) and
Saheeh al-Muslim (1/575)

14) On the authority of Saeed ibn Zayid that the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa
sallam - said, “Indeed the lowest form of usury is to prolong the speech about the honor of a
Muslim without justice.” - Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4858)

15) The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a great reward to refrain from
backbiting, as the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Whoever protects
the honor of his brother in his absence, Allah will protect his face from the Fire on the Day of
Judgment.” - Sunan at-Tirmidhi and and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan at-
Tirmidhi (2/1575)

16) "O assembly of those who have believed with their tongues, but into whose hearts faith
has not yet reached! Do not backbite the Muslims, nor seek out their secrets! For, whoever seeks
out the faults of his brother, Allah will seek out his secrets. And, whoever has his secrets sought
out by Allah, Allah will disgrace him, even [if he hides] in the depths of his house. [Abu Dawud
in al-Adab, 4/271, #4880]

17) 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).”(SahihMuslim)

18) The Prophet (SAS) during his Me‟raj journey saw some people who had nails made of
red copper. They were tearing apart their faces and chests with these nails. The Noble Prophet
asked the Angel Jibrail (AS) about them, He said, “They are being punished because they used to
eat people‟s flesh in their lives, i.e. used to backbite and defame others.

19) 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."
20) One time, the Messenger of Allah pointed towards two graves and said to his
companions that both of these people are being punished in their graves. One of them
used to backbite people and the other was not careful about spilling drops of urine of his
clothes and body whilst urinating.

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 (BBUH)
vigorously opposed all aspects of backbiting even when it occurred in his own family.
For example,

“Once a woman visited Hazrat Aishah (R.A) 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."

Types of Gheebah:
Gheebah has different forms and may take all kinds of means. The worst type
of Gheebah is the one that combines gossip and riyaa'. An example would be when some person
is mentioned and a man would say: "Al-hamdu lillah that He didn't try us, we would have been
tempted to enter the doors of the sultan, or that we don't demean ourselves in seeking the ruins of
this world." Or one may say, "I seek refuge with Allah from shamelessness. I ask Allah to protect
me from such." The intention here is to criticize the other person and it is done in the form of a
Du'a (supplication).
One may also praise another person but the intent is to criticize, such as saying: "How good
such-and-such person is, he never had a shortcoming in his worship but now he is being lazy. He
was tried with something everyone of us is tried with, which is lack of patience." One would
criticize oneself but his/her intention is to criticize others by doing this. At the same time he
praises himself by showing that he is righteous since he criticizes himself. In this case, he is
Mughtaab, Muraa'ee and praising himself. He combines three shameful deeds and because of his
ignorance he thinks that he is a righteous person who would not make Gheebah.

Another form of Gheebah is that one criticizes another person, but the people don't pay attention
to what has been said. So he says, "Subhaan Allah. How amazing!..." so the people may listen to
him and know what he is saying. Or he may say, "I was hurt to hear about our friend and how he
was humiliated. I ask Allah to relieve him." He is actually lying about his concern regarding the
friend, in his pretense of making Du'a. If he meant to pray for him, he would have prayed for him
“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better
than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do
not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name
of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the
wrongdoers.
Quran surat al Hijraat,ayat#12

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin.
And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when
dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of
repentanceandMerciful.
Types of backbiting:

1-Complaining. It is permissible for the one who has been wronged to complain to the ruler or
judge and others who have the authority or ability to settle the score with the one who wronged
him.

2-Seeking help to change evil and bring the sinner back to the right path, so he may say to the
one who he hopes is able to do something: "So and so is doing such and such; tell him not to do
it."

3-Seeking advice or a fatwa, by saying to the mufti, "So and so/my father/my brother has
wronged me by doing such and such, does he have the right to do that? How can I solve this
problem and ward off his harm from me?"

4- Warning the Muslims of someone's evil, such as highlighting the weakness of some reporters
or witnesses or authors. That also includes seeing someone buying faulty goods, or someone
keeping company with one who is a thief or adulterer, or giving a female relative of his to such a
man in marriage, and the like. You should tell them about that by way of sincere advice, not with
the aim of causing harm and spreading mischief.

5- If a person openly commits evil or follows bid'ah, such as drinking alcohol and seizing
people's wealth unlawfully, it is permissible to speak of what he is doing openly, but it is not
permissible to speak against him any other way, unless it is for another reason.

6- For identification, if someone is known by a nickname such as the dim-sighted one, or the
blind man or the one-eyed or the lame one, it is permissible to identify him as such, but it is
haraam to mention that by way of belittling him, and if it is possible to identify him in some
other way, that is better.

Types of Permissible Gheebah:

Gheebah is permissible for a sound religious purpose that cannot be achieved except by using it.
These permissible types of Gheebah are as follows:
1. Complaint because of an injustice, such as complaining to a ruler, judge or others in
authority. A person may say in this case: "I was treated unjustly by so-and-so in such and such
matter."
2. Seeking help to change a Munkar (wrong deed) and to correct the wrongdoers. A person
may say: "A person does such and such, so stop him." His intention should be to check the
Munkar. If this is not the case, then the statement is Haraam.
3. Seeking a Fatwa. A person may state to the Imam, Mufti or Shaikh, "My father, brother or so-
and-so has treated me unfairly. Is that act permissible? And how do I get out of this situation?
How do I obtain my rights?" This way of seeking a Fatwa is permissible. However, it is safer and
more preferable to say whatever would be said about a non-specific person as doing such and
such, as anonymously as possible.
4. Warning Muslims against evil and advising them. This could include criticism of
untrustworthy narrators or witnesses. This is permissible by Ijmaa', rather it is mandatory and the
benefit is very clear. Such as consulting in the matters of marriage or a business partnership. In
this case, the person consulted should not hide anything about the concerned person. He should
mention the faulty qualities only with the intention of benefiting the consultant.
5. Mentioning the person who indulges in Haraam or Bid'ah openly. This would include
mentioning those who openly drink Khamr or those in positions of authority doing wrong. It is
permissible to mention the sin of such a person. However, it is prohibited to mention the person
with a different sin unless there is a reason that makes it permissible to do so for that sin.
6. Identifying a person. If a person is known by a descriptive nickname, such as Al-A'mash
(squint-eyed), Al-A'raj (one who walks with a limp), or Al-Asamm (deaf), then it is permissible
to use these names for identification purposes. But it is not permitted to use these names if the
intention is to insult the person. If it is possible to identify such person by using another
descriptive name, then it is better and preferable.

(http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?299323-Backbiting-%28Gheebah%29-and-its-
Expiation-please-read-Useful-for-everyone!!)

The Motives for Gheebah:


There may be numerous reasons to motivate one to make Gheebah. The following examples are
among these reasons:

1. Lack of fear of Allah. Whoever feels the greatness of Allah and acknowledges that
Allah is watching all his deeds and utterances, he would avoid anything that may
displease Allah.

2. Getting things off one's chest. A person may do something to upset another. Every
time the aggrieved person feels angry about it, he alleviates the anxiety by making
Gheebah about the other person.

3. Joining a group of friends. When a group is engaged in a loose talk aimed at


slandering others, a person may think that if he speaks out and tries to stop them they
may dislike him and exclude him. So, he joins them in talking ill about others, assuring
that this is the only way to be acceptable to them.

4. Seeking to raise one's own status by putting down others. A person may say: "So-
and-so person is ignorant, he is not smart." The intention is to praise oneself and show
that he has more knowledge than the other person.

5. Envy and jealousy. Some person may be praised by people who like him. A jealous
person may hear them and make Gheebah of the other person, criticizing and insulting
him, so that the people may think differently about the person they have just praised.
The Bad Consequences of the Tongue

The Heart:
The most important part of the body is the heart as has been mentioned by our noble Prophet
Muhammed - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - in his saying, “Indeed there is a piece of flesh in
your body that, if it be sound, then the whole body will be sound and if it be corrupt then the
whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart.” - Sahih al-Bukhari [1/49] & Sahih al-Muslim
[1599]

The heart is thus the port where all actions stem, whether good or evil. If the heart is good then
the actions will be good and if the heart is corrupt then the actions will be bad. The heart is the
place where Allah scans, as the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - says, “Allah
does not look at your bodies nor your faces but he scans your heart and actions.” - Sahih al-
Muslim [4/6221]

As for the heart, Allah has commanded us to love Him and His Messenger, to love the righteous
people, to love that which Allah loves and to hate all which Allah hates. The tongue acts
accordingly, because.... the tongue expresses what is in the heart.

The Tongue Expresses what is in the Heart:

If a person is good, it reflects in their saying. Allah has made it very easy for the tongue to move,
and it is not difficult to realize that a person‟s tongue moves much more as if compared to the
limbs. So if a person is not careful about what he says, even a single saying of his can invalidate
his actions. It is for this reason that the whole body warns the tongue saying, “Fear Allah
concerning us, for we are (dependant) upon you. If you are upright then we will be upright and if
you are corrupt then we will be corrupt.” - Sunan at-Tirmidhi (1912), Mishkaat (4838) and
Riyaadh as-Saleheen (2/1521)

And at the same time, the tongue is a great blessing from Allah. If we look at the animals, who
are unable to speak, we realize the importance of this great tool of communication.

The gratitude that we should show for this great blessing should include, using it for the
obedience to Allah, for reading the Qur'aan, for seeking Knowledge, to enjoin good and
forbidding evil. The prohibitions of the tongue are that you do not lie, abuse, use foul language,
backbite and slander.

Allah says in the begining of Soorah al-Mumineen, “Indeed successful are the Believers, those
who in their prayer have Khushoo‟ (fear of Allah) and those who refrain from vain talk.” [Soorah
Mumineen : 1-3]
Here Allah mentions that refraining from vain talk is a sign of the successful believers. Allah
also mentions refraining from vain talk after he mentions al-Khushoo‟. This is because too much
talk makes the heart hard. It is not possible to reach the level of Khushoo‟ (fear of Allah) unless
one refrains from vain talk.
Imaam an-Nawawee - rahimahullah - mentions “Know it is incumbent upon all to guard their
tongues from most speech, except a word that has some benefit in it....” - Kitaabul-Adhkaar

And for those who take heed there is a constant reminder in the verse, “Not a word is said except
that there is a watcher by him ready to record it.” - [Soorah Qaf (50):18]

The Messenger of Allah, Muhammed - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Whoever believes in
Allah and the Last Day should speak good or keep silent.”
Imaam ash-Shafiee - rahimahullah - said. “If you wish to speak then it is upon you to think
before you speak. If you think there is good in it then speak and if not then do not speak.”

The earlier mentioned Qur'aanic verses, Hadeeth (sayings) of our noble Prophet and advices by
the scholars of Islaam are a guide for those searching for salvation against vain talk. So before
we talk, should we not ask ourselves....

? Will this saying of mine please Allah?

? Will this saying of mine bring me closer to Allah?

? Does this saying earn with it obedience to Allah?

If yes, then speak, otherwise one should keep quiet.

Guarding your tongue from all Haraam:

The Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Guard your tongue, stay in your
homes and weep over your sins.” - Related by Ibn Mubarak in az-Zuhd (no.134), Musnad
Ahmed bin Hambal (5/259), Sunan at-Tirmidhi (2531) and authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-
Saheehah (no.890)

Also the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Most of the sins of the
children of Aadam are from the tongue.” - At-Tabaraanee (3/87/1-2). Authenticated by al-
Haafidh al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb (4/8)

Narrated by Mughira bin Shu‟ba - radiAllahu' anhu - : The Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam
- said,
“Allah has forbidden for you:(1) to be undutiful to your mothers, (2) to bury your daughters
alive, (3) not to pay the rights of the poor and others (i.e. charity) and (4) to beg of men. And
Allah has hated for you: (1) Qil and Qal (sinful and useless talk, like backbiting or that one talks
too much about others), (2) to ask too many questions (in disputed religious matters, etc.), (3) to
waste your wealth (by extravagance with lack of wisdom and thinking).” - Sahih al-Bukhari
[3:591]

Abu Moosa al-Asharee - radiAllahu' anhu - said, “O Messenger of Allah, which of the Muslims
are better?” The Messenger of Allah said, “Those who do not harm the Muslims with their
tongues and hands.” - Saheeh al-Bukhari (1/10) and Saheeh al-Muslim (1/64)

Sahl ibn Sa‟ad - radiAllahu' anhu - reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever guards
what is between his jaws and legs. I shall guarantee him paradise.” - Saheeh al-Bukhari (8/481).

When the Companion of the Prophet, Mu‟adh ibn Jabal - radiAllahu' anhu - asked the Prophet -
SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - about that which would entitle him to enter Paradise and save him
from the hell-fire, he - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - mentioned the pillars of Islam and informed
Mu‟adh of the importance of the night prayers and of Jihaad. He - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam -
then said, “Should I not inform you of the sheet anchor of all this?”, and then took hold of his
tongue and said, “Exercise restraint on it.”. Mu‟adh - radiAllahu' anhu - enquired, “O Messenger
of Allah, will we be held responsible for what we say with it?” Thereupon, the Messenger of
Allah said, “Mu‟adh, will anything else besides (irresponsible) talk cause the people to be thrown
in the Hell-Fire upon their faces?” - Sunan at-Tirmidhi and Riyaadh as-Saaliheen (2/1522)

Most of the people who will enter the fire, will do so due to their tongues
So a Muslim must beware and learn to imprison the tongue from vain talk, for the Messenger of
Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Every saying of the children of Aadam is cursed,
expept for the enjoining good and forbidding the evil or for the remembrance of Allah.” - Sunan
at-Tirmidhi

And “The world and all that it contains is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allah and what
supports it,and a scholar and a student.” - Sunan Ibn Majah (no.4112) and and authenticated by
Sheikh al-Albani in Saheehul-Jaami‟ (no.3414)

Abu Hurairah - radiAllahu' anhu - reports on the authority of the Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa
sallam - that, “From the good Islaam of a man, is that he leaves that which does not benefit him.”
- Musnad Ahmed bin Hambal (4/132), Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Majah, al-Baihaqi in
Shu‟ab al-Imaan

Imaam Ahmad - rahimahullaah - mentioned in his Musnad on the authority of Anas radiAllahu
„anhu who relates that the Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said‟ The eemaan of Allah‟s
servant will not be upright until his heart is upright and his heart will not be upright until his
tongue is upright.” - Also mentioned in al-Mundhiri (3/234) and al-Iraqee in al-Ihya (8/1539)
One saying ! ! Subhan Allah:

Abu Hurairah - radiAllahu' anhu - said that he heard the Messenger say, “Indeed a servant
(worshipper of Allah) may say a word which he doesn‟t realize and it will make him fall into the
fire further than the East and the West.”
Abu Hurairah - radiAllahu' anhu - also reported that the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam
said, “Indeed a servant may say a word from which Allah‟s pleasure is gained and the servant
does not realize it, Allah will raise him up levels. Indeed a servant may say a word from which
Allah‟s displeasure is gained and he does not realize it, Allah will put him in Jahanam due to it.”
- Saheeh al-Bukhari (8/485), Al-Muwatta (56/6) and in Saheehul-Jaami‟ of al-Albaani

Imaam Ahmed - rahimahullaah - along with at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasaai and Ibn Majah record a
Hadeeth on the authority of the Sahabee, Fujani - radiAllahu' anhu - who said, “O Messenger of
Allah tell me something that I may be firm upon?”. He - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - answered,
“Say, My Lord is Allah and then be upright concerning it.” He asked, “What is the thing that you
fear for most.” The Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - took hold of his tongue
and said, “This!”. - Musnad Ahmed bin Hambal, Sunan an-Nasaai, Sunan Ibn Majah and Sunan
at-Tirmidhi

Backbiting (Gheebah)

Allah says in the Qur'aan, “Do not backbite each other, would any of you wish to eat the flesh of
your dead brother, no rather you hate it!! [Soorah Hujarat :12]

The Messenger of Allah once asked his Companions, “Do you know what is backbiting?” They
said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”. He - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “To
mention about your brother that which he hates.” They said, “If that we see about our brother is
true?” He - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “If there is in him what you say about him then
that is backbiting, and if you say of him that which is not true then you have slandered him.” -
Saheeh al-Muslim (4/6265), Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4856) and al-Muwatta (56/10)

The Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - vigorously opposed all aspects of backbiting, even
when it appeared in his own family. For example, once a woman visited Aaisha - radiAllahu'
anha - and when the woman got up to leave, Aaisha made a sign with her hand indicating to the
Prophet - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - that the woman was short of stature. The Prophet
immediately chastised her, saying “You have backbitten!” and in another narration, “You have
said a saying that if mixed with the sea it would change its color.” - Mentioned in Ibn Jareer in
Tafseer al-Qur'aan al-Adheem, vol.4, p.328 (30) and Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4857)

Abu Bakra - radiAllahu' anhu - reports that the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam
- said, in his khutbah on the day of Nahr, “Indeed the blood, property and honor are sacred to
you, like the sacredness of this day („arafah), like the sacredness of this place, like the sacredness
of this month; Have I conveyed the message?” - Saheeh al-Bukhari (1/105) and Saheeh al-
Muslim (2/2803) and part of a lengthy narration
And by Allah he - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - has conveyed the message, so guard the right of
the Believers!

Tale-Carrying (Nameema)

Allah says in the Qur'aan, “Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.” [Soorah Humaza:1]

The Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “The Gossip-monger will not enter
paradise.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari (8/82), Saheeh al-Muslim (1/187) and Musnad Ahmed bin
Hambal]

The Messenger - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - passed by two graves and said, “They are being
punished. As regards one of them then he used to go around gossip-mongering and as regards the
other then he was not careful while urinating.” - Saheeh al-Bukhari (1/215) and Saheeh al-
Muslim (1/575)

On the authority of Saeed ibn Zayid that the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam -
said, “Indeed the lowest form of usury is to prolong the speech about the honor of a Muslim
without justice.” - Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4858)

Overcoming the evil habit of backbiting

Firstly, as Imaam an-Nawawee - rahimahullaah - said that one should remember the punishment
of Allah. And remember that Allah is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. He is the One, aware
of ever saying, at every time. Then if one remembers this, then it is only natural that one will be
modest and shy in this aspect. We need to realize that when one of us is hurt, when something
wrong is said about the creation, then what about the Creator, who is the All-Seeing and All-
Hearing.

Secondly, we should reflect on the Qur'aanic verse, “Do not backbite each other, would any of
you wish to eat the flesh of your dead brother, no rather you hate it!!” [Soorah Hujarat :12]

And we surely hate even the thought of it.

Thirdly, fear that your own faults would be revealed, as the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu
'alaihi wa sallam - said,
“O you who believe with your tongues, yet eeman has not entered your hearts. Do not backbite
the Muslims, nor follow their faults. For he who follows others faults then Allah will declare
(disclose) his faults and he whom Allah reveals his faults, then Allah disgraces him in his own
house.” - Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4862) and and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Saheeh
Jaami‟ Sagheer
Fourthly, take the advice of the pious scholars of Islaam, among them ….
Umer ibn Khattab - radiAllahu' anhu - who said, “Be careful from remembering people for it is
an illness and be in the remembrance of Allah for it is a medicine.”

A man came to al-Hasan al-Basri - rahimahullaah - and said that, he heard that al-Hassan al-
Basri had backbitten him. Upon this he - rahimahullaah - said, “Who are you that I may give you
my rewards?”

Fifth, and the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a great reward to refrain from
backbiting, as the Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Whoever protects
the honor of his brother in his absence, Allah will protect his face from the Fire on the Day of
Judgment.” - Sunan at-Tirmidhi and and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan at-
Tirmidhi (2/1575)

Exceptions to Backbiting

There are few exceptions to backbiting, that the scholars have classified, among them …..
• Oppression: If one has been harmed or one‟s property has been unlawfully taken away by
another, and this person goes to the ruler or judge in order to seek justice, this is not backbiting.

• Changing the Munkar: If one finds a person involved in evil actions or innovations, and one is
unable to correct his Munkar. It is allowed to seek the help of a more knowledgeable person,
even if it mean defining the Munkar of the evil-doer or innovator.

• Seeking a Fatwa (religious verdict): For example, there is a dispute between a husband and his
wife, and if either of them seek the advice of a religious scholar, then this situation is exempt
from backbiting.

• Warning a Muslim from evil: For example, if a fellow Muslim is going to do a business with an
dishonest person or if a Muslim is unaware that the person to whom he is marrying his daughter
to, is an unreligious person; then to advice and guide him is exempt from backbiting.

• Advising against innovators and sinners: If a innovator is openly involved in spreading his
innovative beliefs or a sinner remorselessly declares his sin and is thus being a bad example for
others; then warning others against him is allowed. But if he commits a sin secretly and as such
harms just himself, to openly declare his sins is still strictly prohibitted.
REMEMBER!!

The Messenger of Allah - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - said, “Do not nurse a grudge (against a
Muslim) and do not outbid him for raising the price and do not nurse aversion (strong dislike) or
enmity and do not enter into a transaction when others have entered into that transaction and be
as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah. A Muslim is the brother of another, he neither betrays
(or deceives him), nor humiliates him, nor looks down upon him. Piety is here (and while saying
so) he pointed towards his chest three times. All things of a Muslims are inviolable for his
brother in faith, his blood, his wealth and his honor.” - Saheeh al-Muslim (4/6219), part of the
wording being that of Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4864)
He - SallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam - also said, “No (Muslim) man will desert a man who is a
Muslim in a place where his respect may be violated and his honor aspersed without Allah
deserting him in a place where he wishes help; and no (Muslim) man who will help a Muslim in
a place where is honor may be aspersed and his respect violated without Allah helping him in a
place where he wishes his help.” - Sunan Abu Dawood (3/4866) and and authenticated by Sheikh
al-Albani in Saheeh Jaami‟ Sagheer