Is There A Way to Stop Backbiting?

05 April, 2017
Q Is there a way to help me stop backbiting?

Answer

Salam,

Thank you so much for this question.

AlhamduliAllah (all thanks and praise are due to Allah) who brought our attention to one of the major sins that we fall in easily so that we may fix it before it’s too late.

May He Who reminded us of this sin help us purify ourselves and our lives from it completely and replace it with that which is good, pure, and beneficial to our souls in this life and the Next.

Nothing happens without the will of Allah Almighty. And if He reminded us of this, then He wants to purify us because it is He who purifies:

{[…] And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing.} (Quran 24: 21)

In regards to backbiting, you have to remember a few things:

1- It’s a major sin

This act is considered by the scholars among the major sins and it could lead to punishment in the grave and punishment in the hereafter.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

During the Mi’raj (the Night of Ascension), I saw a group of people who were scratching their chests and faces with their copper nails. I asked, ‘Who are these people, O Jibril?’ Jibril replied: ‘These are the people who ate flesh of others (by backbiting) and trampled people’s honour.’ (Abu Dawud)

The Messenger of Allah passed by two graves and said:

They are being punished but they are not being punished for anything that was difficult to avoid. One of them used not to take care to avoid getting urine on his body or clothes, and the other used to walk about spreading gossip […] (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

2- It impacts our deeds on the Day of Judgment

We must remember that this act, on the Day of Judgment, may lead to us losing our good deeds, transferring them to the person whom we have backbitten: or it will lead to us having to take on the evil deeds of the person whom we have backbitten.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

He who has done a wrong affecting his brother’s honor or anything else, let him ask his forgiveness today before the time (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) when he will have neither a dinar nor a dirham. If he has done some good deeds, a portion equal to his wrong doings will be subtracted from them; but if he has no good deeds, he will be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he had wronged in the same proportion. (Al-Bukhari) [emphasis added]

3- Allah has forbidden it

We have to remember that Allah clearly forbade us from this act. He Almighty says:

{[… ] 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 repentance and Merciful.} (Quran 49: 12)

4- Words have weight

We must remember to never take our words lightly.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

A man utters a word pleasing to Allah without considering it of any significance for which Allah exalts his ranks (in Jannah); another one speaks a word displeasing to Allah without considering it of any importance, and for this reason he will sink down into Hell. (Al-Bukhari)

How to get rid of backbiting?

-Beg Allah sincerely to save you from this sin. Ask Him to enable you to control your tongue.

Remember, {You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help}, which we repeat 17 times a day in Surat Al Fatiha. So, do your part of asking Allah for Help as He commanded. This is the key to success as Allah is The Ultimate Helper. He will help you get rid of this habit.

-Whenever you feel tempted to say something bad against someone, remember that by doing that, you become worse than them and you fill your heart with sins and lose your good deeds.

It is one thing that someone has negative aspects, and another that we promote those bad things and talk about them. It shows that we are the ones who have major problems because we are spreading the flaws and wrongdoing.

It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Whoever covers (the sin of) a Muslim, Allah will cover him (his sin) in this world and in the Hereafter. (Sunan Ibn Majah)

So we should be eager to hide the faults of others, not expose them.

-You may be hurting someone who Allah loves. Allah says:

Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. (Bukhari)

Fear Allah and don’t harm His Slaves. No matter how much you dislike someone, they are Allah’s slaves. You may be harming yourself or preventing your rizq (provision) or covering yourself with unnecessary sadness as a result of this without you even knowing or paying attention … sins have consequences.

-The world doesn’t need any more negative opinions. What you can do instead is ask Allah to replace whatever bad things you don’t like about this person with something better.

Make dua (supplication) for them, ask Allah to give them guidance and light and love from Him so you may love them too. And you are the winner by doing that because:

1- Angels will make the same dua for you

2- you have turned the ugly feelings you have into worship and earned yourself rewards instead of sins.

-What to do if you have done backbiting already?

If you have done this, then you have to repent and ask Allah for forgiveness. If you know the person you’ve backbitten, then either go apologize, or if he/she doesn’t know you’ve backbitten him/her, then don’t tell him. But do good to him/her in the same place and with the same people you’ve backbitten him/her with.

Also ask Allah for forgiveness for him/her.

I hope this helps. Please keep in touch. 

Salam. 

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Backbiting In Islam

Backbiting: Causes and Remedy

Backbiting – Most Graphic Scene in the Qu’ran

About Dina Mohamed Basiony
Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.