How to avoid Backbiting?
Most of the time, we get dragged into gossip, or conversations that lead to gossip. It’s important to know how to get ourselves out of this situation, or what to do in such situations.
- Avoid People Who Backbite
- “Bad company corrupts good character” It is so important to befriend people who have similar morals and values as yourself.
- Change the Bad to Good
- Instead of talking badly about someone, try to say something positive about the individual.
- The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever defends his brother’s honour, Allah will protect his face from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection” (Tirmidhi).
- Avoid Places of Backbiting
- At university, work, and even online, certain meeting places are used for backbiting. If you tend to get involved in backbiting in these locations, stop being there.
- Stop Asking Leading Questions
- Avoid the use of questions that can lead to backbiting.
- For example: “Have you seen so-and-so lately?” will most likely lead to “Did you hear that so-and-so…”.
- It’s None Of Your Business
- Oftentimes we get involved in conversations that are of no concern to us, we’re merely involved to kill time.
- It can be very difficult but saying something along the lines of, “It doesn’t concern us”, or anything that will stop the discussion from continuing with more backbiting, is a great way to end the gossip.
- Change The Topic
- Sometimes the best thing to do is find something else to talk about.
- If someone’s talking about someone, bring it to something along the lines of:
- Students: “How are your classes/exams going?”
- Work: “Are you working tomorrow? When does your shift end today?”
- Stay Silent
- Sometimes the best thing to do when you’re unsure of whether you’re backbiting or not is to remain silent. When someone is not present in the conversation, don’t talk about them.
Hadiths regarding the harms of backbiting
“Sometimes one may utter a word without thinking whether it is right or wrong and because of that he may slip down in the Fire as far away as the East is from the West.”
(Hadith No. 837 Narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira(r.a.) Sahih Bukhari Book 81, Chapter 23)
A man said, “Messenger of Allah (peace of blessing of God be upon him), such and such a woman has a reputation for engaging to a great extent in prayer, fasting and almsgiving but she annoys her neighbours with her tongue.” He replied, “She will go to Hell.” He said, “Messenger of Allah (peace of blessing of God be upon him), such and such a woman has a reputation for engaging to a small extent in fasting, almsgiving and prayer, but she gives pieces of curd as Sadaqah and does not annoy her neighbours with her tongue.” He replied, “She will go to Paradise.” (Narrated by Abu Hurayrah Ahmad and Bayhaqi, in Shu’ab al-Iman, transmitted it. (Mishkat))
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The gravest sin is going to lengths in talking unjustly against a Muslim’s honour, and it is a major sin to abuse twice for abusing once. (Abu Dawood, Book 36, Number 4859)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.” (Abu Dawood, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 83)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: ”Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “God and His Messenger know best.” He then said, “It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike.” Someone asked him, “But what if what I say is true?” The Messenger of God said, “If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him.” (Muslim)