Fatwa ID: 02154
Answered by Ustadha Umm Abdullah
Asalamu alaikum scholar. Today I had a meeting with one of my teachers in university and we spoke about some of the struggles I am facing in the university due to my beliefs. Within this conversation I told him that my presence in this university is not my choice 100 % but I am here because of my parents, otherwise I would have applied in Saudi Arabia. Then this teacher started talking about Saudi Arabia saying that is not that good country since Saudi Arabia has a very bad treatment with other countries. I remained silent since in any moment he mention a particular name such as the king of Saudi Arabia or the prince or such and such, so I applied the ruling that talking about a group in general is not gheebah, so I let him talk and I was listening to him. Was this permissible? Please note sheikh, that I am not aware if the information that this person said about Saudi Arabia was correct or not.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Backbiting means to speak ill of a person behind his back, which if he was to hear would hurt his feelings, even if what was said about him was the truth. If what was said about him was not the truth, then it is slander.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan:
وَلَا يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ
“And never backbite each other. Does any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother, which you so detest” [Surah Al-Hujraat: 12]
Saying hurtful things to a person’s face is unkind and hurtful. At the least, he can defend himself. However, uttering harmful things behind a person’s back does not even allow him to say anything in his defence. [Ma’ariful Qur’aan: v8/p139]
From the aforementioned discussion, it can be understood that it is not correct to speak ill of the Kings and Princes of Saudi Arabia as it will come under the ruling of backbiting. Furthermore, listening to others backbite is not permissible, you should remind those around you about the evils of it. If they do not stop, you should move away from such a gathering.
Only Allah Ta’ala knows best
Ustadha Umm Abdullah
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham