How to Lower Your Gaze & Avoid Backbiting

21 February, 2017
Q Salam. I'm 21 years old girl from Malaysia. I'm so thankful for your work! May Allah reward you all. I am in Malaysia due to my studies. My elder brother is also here but in another city. I have 2 problems. First, I'm struggling with backbiting. I know it's a big sin. What could I do to avoid backbiting others? Usually, I don’t backbite but I listen to others backbiting. My other problem is with lowering my gaze while I'm at home. I can't stop watching filthy things. I try to avoid it, but I go back again and again. This was something that I never did at home as I wasn't alone there, although I thought of doing it. Please help.



Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam sister,

Ameen to your du’aa’. Yes, these are two things that we need to avoid to please Allah (swt) and prevent us falling into even more sinful activities. The fact that you are asking for assistance in overcoming these matters is a good sign and shows that you have the intention to change these behaviors to better yourself, and this is very commendable. It also shows that you are more likely to do what you can to help yourself to overcome these difficulties. May Allah (swt) make it easy.

Firstly, regarding backbiting. There are a number of things you can do help you to avoid backbiting, or even listening to backbiting. Keep in mind that Allah (swt) always watches you and fear of Allah’s (swt) punishment for engaging in behaviors that are not accepted in Islam. This fear should motivate you to walk away where you cannot listen anymore.


If it is that you are in a group that are having such a conversation, you could simply make an excuse to leave the conversation. At the very least you can remain silent and say nothing and not join in the conversation or you could repel the evil talk about the person with comments about the person’s good qualities. If you feel comfortable enough with these people, you might even warn them that what they are doing is not acceptable and that you won’t even be in a situation where others are backbiting in your presence.

Regarding lowering your gaze whilst at home, there are few simple solutions to avoid such behavior. Firstly, again, keep in mind that Allah (swt) watches every move of yours and will not be looking favorably on this kind of behavior. Keep Allah (swt) in remembrance with everything you do, even eating and drinking. Say bismillah before everything you do and ask yourself if you are doing it for the sake of Allah (swt). This will assist you in keeping Him in mind more frequently.

Likewise, increasing your acts of worship will do the same. Furthermore, you can engage yourself in more meaningful activities that will keep you distracted from even having any time or desire to watch filthy things. Go out and do something with friends, or go for a walk even if it’s on your own, or stay at home and study, or read the Qur’an and increase your knowledge in Islam. These all will keep you so busy that you either won’t think to watch filthy things or you simply won’t have the time.

In both situations, don’t forget to sincerely ask for Allah’s (swt) forgiveness. It is clear that you feel bad about what you are doing. The next best thing to do after trying to fix your ways is to seek Allah’s (swt) forgiveness and do all you can to avoid these sins. Do not feel helpless about it because Allah (swt) loves to forgive.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to break free from these negative behaviors and replace them with behaviors that He (swt) will be pleased with.



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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (