Posted By Veiled Muslimah on/at 2/24/2006 09:27:00 PM

Assalam Alaykum,

Gheebah {Backbiting} has become so common in our society that at times we don't even realise there is Gheebah going on. We're so used to it. As Muslims, we should always remind ourselves about Gheebah, and not committing it. Also we should be alert if our friends or family do it in any way.

Islamically Gheebah is a sin. It disunites the people, family or friends, and it causes hate and enmity, severes family ties and spoils relations of affection among other things. Gheebah is described as eating the dead flesh of our brother and i know that none of us would want to do such a gruesome or sick act. So imagine, whenever we commit Gheebah, that's what we're doing.

"... and neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the dead flesh of his brother? You would hate it. " {Quran, 49:12}

The Muslim Ummah should keep away from Gheebah at all costs. We should train our children to avoid Gheebah since they are little, so they stay away from it. And eventually that will lead people to respect them more and keep Allah s.w.t happy. Instead of speaking badly about others, we should use our tongues in a better way. We should recite the Qu'ran, try to speak when its only necessary, forbid evil and help in spreading the message of Allah s.w.t. That will be better for us in this life and the here-after.

Here is how Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) described Gheebah as:

"Do you know what Gheebah is?

The said, "Allah and his messenger know best."

He said: "Your mentioning your brother with what he hates."

It was asked, "What is that which i say is (really) in my brother?

He said, "If he (really) has in him what you say, you will be committing Gheebah against him, and if what you say is not really in him, you will be slandering him. "

So Gheebah means to talk about someone, or mention someone when the person is not present and talk about that person with somethat that he would hate, if he were present. Gheebah is forbidden according to the Ijmaa (consensus) of Muslim scholars and Islamically, it's considered a major sin.

Also Aisa radia allah anhu narrated,

"I said to the Prophet, 'It suffices you regarding Safiyyah that is such and such-meaning short".'

He said, "You have uttered a word that it was mixed with the water of the sea, it would spoil it. ''

{Sahih Abu Dawood}

People should also know that the one who listens to backbiting is the same as the one who backbites.

An-Nawawee said,

"Know that whoever hears Gheebah being committed against another Muslim is required to reject it and chastise whoever is saying it. If one cannot chastise that person with words, he should forbid him with his hand. If he is unable to forbid the Gheebah with his hand or tongue, the he is required to leave that audience. If one hears Gheebah being committed against his teacher, or other who have a right on him or those who are honorable and righteous, he is required to implement what we mentioned above even more vigorously. " {Al Athkaar: 294}

I don't think anyone would want to commit such act, but how many times do we sit between a gathering or speak to someone, and Gheebah is done? At weddings, at partys, at houses. And sometimes we forget ourselves and agree with them or encourage them.

The Messenger of Allah s.w.t said,

"He who defends the honor of his brother in his absence, will have a right on Allah that he frees him from the Fire. " (Sahih: recorded by Ahmad. Can be looked at Sahih Al Jaami, no 6240)

Some of the reasons for Gheebah:

  • Hatred and Dislike for other. The person talks about the person he hates or mentions his flaws in order to satisfy the hatred he feels for that person. Or to encourage others that he/she is right and the other person is the one who is wrong. One should always make sure about what they hear before making assumptions or judging others unless they have full proof.
  • Envy. The backbiter is probably envious of the wealth, knowledge or a possesion the other person owns, and backbites about it. Also if its some who is loved and respected by society, the backbiter will backbite about it remove the affection or respect one has for this person.
  • Agreeing with your friends and family when they commit Gheebah. (So now you commit it too) . Supporting them.

Infact, the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) has said that someone who backbites, has an awful stench.

Jaabir radiallau anh narrated: We were with the Prophet Muhammah sallah alayhi wasalam when an awful odor rose. He (p.b.u.h) said, 'Do you know what this odor is? It is the odor of those who commit Gheebah against the believers. '

{Hasan: Recorded by Ahmed}

Muhammad (p.b.u.h) also said that backbiters will be tormented in the grave. Subhanallah, but we should always abstain from Gheebah. How many times do we commit it unconciously?

"... these two are only being tormented because of Gheebah and not being cautious about urine. "

{Sahih: Al Targheeb wat-Tarheeb}

He (p.b.u.h) also said, "One of you will not attain Faith, until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.''

Therefore the faith of people who commit Gheebah is in-complete because if one loved for his brother or sister what he loved from him/herself, he/she would not commit Gheebah.

Cures for Gheebah:

  • One should repent from Gheebah. He should fear Allah s.w.t and always remember that it is equal to eating the dead flesh of your brother. Allah s.w.t will expose his wrath and anger on someone who commits Gheebah. A person should always remember that Allah s.w.t is watching him/her.
  • One should know that when you commit Gheebah, your good deeds are tranferred to the person you've backbiten about on the day of Resurruction, and on that day, you need all of your good deeds to get to Jannah.
  • The person who backbites should look into the problem and reason of why he backbited about the person in the first place. Because, looking at the root of the problem is the first step.
  • A person should look at his faults and shortcomings before pointing out the flaws of others because we all have our mistakes and should better ourselves first. We should guard our tongue and speak only good.

Gheebah which is allowed: (Taken from An-Nawawee's book al-athkaar)

1) Complaining of Injustice. If your oppressed or injuctice is being done to you, you can speak out against your oppressor and ask for help, in this case it isn't considered Gheebah.

2)Seeking help in changing an evil and returning evils to that which is correct.

3) Seeking a Fatwaa (religious ruling): When a person says to a an Imam or muftee and asks for a fatwaa about something which has been done by family or friends. In that case, he/she has to speak about them.

4) Warning Muslims agains evil: Warning your fellow brothers and sisters in Islam against evil that he/she might be doing.

5)The person who openly does a sin or commits innovation- it is okay to talk about them as long as one should not mention anything else.

6) Making it know whom one is refferring: The nicknames that people are known by in a manner that does nor imply degradation or disrespect.

Even though these are allowed, the intention should be purely to please Allah and one should abstain from specifying who the person is. And this should only be done to make the society better or to help someone else.

Resisting in Gheebah is one of the best type of Jihads. So we get reward for it Alhamdulilah.

The Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) said:

'The best type of JIhad is for one to struggle against his own self and its desire.' {Sahih Al Jaami, no 1099 and As-sahihah, no 1486}

He also said,

'The Mujaahid is he who performs Jihaad against his own self for the sake of Allah. ' {Sahih al jaami, no 6679}

So in conclusion, we should abstain from Gheebah, be better Muslims and stop people from committing Gheebah. If we are truthful and sincere we should do good and forbid wrong.

Inshallah we will all abstain from Gheebah.


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Musings, Articles and Ramblings of a Muslim Woman which range from a variety of different subjects.

Location: Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
The believers are only those who, when Allâh is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'ân) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).
Surat Al-Anfal - Verse 2
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