Definition of backbiting

Fatwa ID: 02597

Answered by: Maulana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia

Question

Have I committed the sin of gheebat if I ask my sister "why mum is angry?" and I know that it's because of person X and then my sister says "person X was rude which caused Mum to be angry. I'm a little confused as to when a sin is gheebat and it'd be nice if you could elaborate on when it is NOT gheebat.

Answer

Allah SWT has mentioned in the Qura’an:

أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُم أَن يَأكُلَ لَحمَ أَخيهِ مَيتًا فَكَرِهتُموهُ ۚوَلا تَجَسَّسوا وَلا يَغتَب بَعضُكُم بَعضًا

وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ

إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوّابٌ رَحيمٌ

And do not spy or backbite one another. Will any of you loveto eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it. And be wary of Allah;indeed Allah is all clement, all merciful. (Hujurat 49, V12)

Its been written in the books of Tafseer about a hadith in regards to the above verse.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah () said, "Do you know what is backbiting?" The Companions said: "Allah and His Messenger know better." Thereupon he said, "Backbiting is talking about your (Muslim) brother in a manner which he dislikes." It was said to him: "What if my (Muslim) brother is as I say." He said, "If he is actually as you say, then that is backbiting; but if that is not in him, that is slandering."[Muslim].

So from the above hadith and verse we come to know the definition of backbiting and also slandering.

In regards to your query, your situation and scenario doesn’t fall under the category of backbiting, Insha’Allah.

If we have backbitten about someone, its mentioned in Tafseer Ibn Kathir:

“The majority of the scholars have mentioned that repentance for the committing the sin of backbiting is that one refrains from backbiting by having a firm intention of not to do it again and ask Allah to be forgiven and also to forgive the person who we have backbitten” (Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Surah Hujurat)

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Maulana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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