Backbiting in Islam is a serious sin, and unfortunately, many Muslims consider it normal in their daily conversations. Gossiping about someone behind their back, especially things they wouldn’t like to hear, is called backbiting. Prophet Muhammad SAW defines backbiting as talking bad about someone when they’re not around.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Do you know what backbiting is?” The Companions said: “Allah and His Messenger know better.” There upon, 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.”


Don’t spend countless hours discussing others’ flaws when they’re not around. It’s more than just idle chatter; Backbiting in Islam has real repercussions. Especially during Ramadan, the month of blessings. Let’s make a pact to lift each other up, not tear each other down.

two muslim women sat at table whispering


Consequences of backbiting in Islam

Gossiping, for some can become so commonplace it begins to become the norm and what may seem like a small act, can create deep rifts among us, tearing the fabric of our Muslim community apart. The impact goes beyond just relationships; it affects the moral fabric of society at large.

Imagine this; when you speak ill of someone behind their back, it’s as if you’re handing over your hard-earned virtues to them. Yes, backbiting in Islam does that – it shifts your good deeds to those you’ve wronged. Especially in the sacred month of Ramadan, a time for forgiveness and good companionship, let’s guard our deeds. Avoid getting caught in needless chatter.

“A backbiter will not enter Paradise.” [Muslim].

This hadith is a clear indication of how seriously Islam takes the act of speaking ill of others behind their back,

The Messenger of Allah SAW 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]

Have you been backbiting?  Be careful, you’re not just sharing a bit of gossip; you’re tearing down someone’s trust and respect. It might seem casual, but it’s a serious breach, weakening the very bond Islam holds dear.

Backbiting in Islam is no minor issue. Imagine being the one everyone’s gossiping about, it can mess you up both mentally and physically.

In the end, backbiting will breed stress, and sickness, and shatter friendships. It causes stress, makes people sick, and ruins friendships. It creates negativity, holding us all back from thriving. So, make it a pact to cut it out. Let’s all try to be better and ditch the backbiting, especially in the month of Ramadan.

How do we stop ourselves from gossiping?

There are many ways to stop yourself from the habit of backbiting in Islam. 

  • Guarding your tongue The key is watching what we say. Allah loves people who speak kindly. That makes sense, right? Before you say something about someone else, think about what you’re saying and how it might affect them. 

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱجْتَنِبُوا۟ كَثِيرًۭا مِّنَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِثْمٌۭ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا۟ وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًۭا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ تَوَّابٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ ١٢

O  believers! Avoid many suspicions, for indeed, some suspicions are sinful. And do not spy, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of their dead brother? You would despise that!1 And fear Allah. Surely Allah is the Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful. 49:12

  • Change the Subject – If a conversation starts to veer into gossip, steer it towards a more positive or neutral topic.
  • Focus on Positives – Make it a habit to talk about the good things people are doing instead of dwelling on the negative.
  • Mind Your Own Business – Remind yourself that other people’s lives are their own to manage. Focus on improving yourself instead.
  • Empathy – Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel if someone were gossiping about you?
  • Set Boundaries – Politely but firmly let friends and colleagues know you’re not comfortable discussing others behind their backs.
  • Avoid Gossip Triggers – Identify and steer clear of situations or groups where gossip is common.
  • Reflect on Your Motives – Consider why you feel the urge to gossip. Are you bored? Jealous? Reflecting can help you address the root cause.
  • Practice Silence – Sometimes, saying nothing is the best option. Silence can be powerful in stopping gossip in its tracks.
  • Encourage Direct Communication – If there is an issue, help resolve any misunderstanding between those involved instead of talking behind someone’s back.
  • Lead by Example – Others are more likely to follow suit if they see you avoiding gossip.
  • Seek Positive Company – Surround yourself with people who value constructive and uplifting conversations that build each other up.

Are You Done Backbiting In Islam 

So, as you can see, backbiting in Islam is a serious sin.  It severs friendships and distances us from Allah’s Mercy. Get ready for Ramadan the perfect opportunity to reflect, repent, and reform our habits. By guarding our tongues, and seeking positive company, we can avoid the pitfalls of backbiting.

Strive to uplift each other with kindness and respect. Let this Ramadan be a turning point, where we commit to leaving backbiting behind embracing a future of unity and mutual respect, and practising the virtues taught by Islam. 

Actively seek forgiveness from Allah through repentance (Tawbah) for any past instances of backbiting, with a sincere intention not to return to such behaviour.

How do you tackle backbiting, especially in Ramadan? Share your tips in the comments below. Let’s learn from each other!

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