Backbiting and Slandering - Situations in which Backbiting is Permissible
Posted by: "Mohammed Usman" email@example.com usmankkkk
Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:55 pm
B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m
As Salaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barkaatuh
Backbiting & Slandering:
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful" [al-Hujuraat 49:12]
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
"Do you know what gheebah (backbiting) is?"
They said, "Allaah and His Messenger know best."
He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "Saying something about your brother that he dislikes."
It was said, "What if what I say about my brother is true?"
He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,
"If what you say is true then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him."
Narrated by Muslim, 2589
It was narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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 to walk about spreading malicious gossip (nameemah), and the other used not to take precautions to avoid getting urine on himself when he urinated."
Then he called for a green branch, which he split in two and planted a piece on each grave, and said, "May their torment be reduced so long as these do not dry out."
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 213; Muslim, 292
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
"Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his honour or anything else, let him seek his forgiveness today, before there will be no dinar and no dirham, and if he has any good deeds to his credit they will be taken from him in a manner commensurate with the wrong he did,and if he has no good deeds, then some of his counterpart' s bad deeds will be taken and added to his burden."
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2317.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
Whoever wrongs a person by slandering him, backbiting about him or insulting him, then repents, Allaah will accept his repentance, but if the one who was wronged finds out about that, he has the right to settle the score.
But if he slandered him or backbit about him and the person did not hear of that, then there are two views according to the scholars, both of which were narrated from Ahmad, the more correct of which is that he should not tell him that he spoke against him in his absence.
It was said that he should rather speak well of him in his absence just as he spoke badly of him in his absence, as al-Hasan al-Basri said: The expiation for gheebah is to pray for forgiveness for the person about whom you backbit.Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 3/291
Situations in which Backbiting is Permissible
From Imaam an-Nawawi's Riyaad-us-saaliheen p519
Gheebah (backbiting) is permissible for a sound religious purpose that cannot be achieved except by using it.
These permissible types of Gheebah are as follows:
1. Complaint because of an injustice, such as complaining to a ruler, judge or others in authority.
A person may say in this case:
"I was treated unjustly by so-and-so in such and such matter."
2. Seeking help to change a Munkar (wrong deed) and to correct the wrongdoers.
A person may say:
"A person does such and such, so stop him." His intention should be to check the Munkar. If this is not the case, then the statement is Haraam.
3. Seeking a Fatwa.
A person may state to the Imam, Mufti or Shaikh,
"My father, brother or so-and-so has treated me unfairly. Is that act permissible? And how do I get out of this situation? How do I obtain my rights?"
This way of seeking a Fatwa is permissible. However, it is safer and more preferable to say whatever would be said about a non-specific person as doing such and such, as anonymously as possible.
4. Warning Muslims against evil and advising them.
This could include criticism of untrustworthy narrators or witnesses. This is permissible by Ijmaa', rather it is mandatory and the benefit is very clear.
Such as consulting in the matters of marriage or a business partnership. In this case, the person consulted should not hide anything about the concerned person. He should mention the faulty qualities only with the intention of benefiting the consultant.
5. Mentioning the person who indulges in Haraam or Bid'ah openly.
This would include mentioning those who openly drink Khamr or those in positions of authority doing wrong.
It is permissible to mention the sin of such a person. However, it is prohibited to mention the person with a different sin unless there is a reason that makes it permissible to do so for that sin.
6.Identifying a person.
If a person is known by a descriptive nickname, such as Al-A'mash (squint-eyed) , Al-A'raj (one who walks with a limp), or Al-Asamm (deaf), then it is permissible to use these names for identification purposes.
But it is not permitted to use these names if the intention is to insult the person. If it is possible to identify such person by using another descriptive name, then it is better and preferable.
May Almighty Allah guide all of us to the Right Path and give all of us the courage to accept the Truth in the light of Qur'an and Sunnah and to reject all things which are in contradiction to the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. (Ameen! )
Alahumma infa`ni bima `allamtani wa `allamni ma yanfa`uni!
OH ALLAH! Make useful for me what You taught me and teach me knowledge that will be useful to me!
Aameen, Ya Rabb-ul-Aalameen!
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