If You Struggle With Gossip, Then Read This
Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon mankind numerous gifts. Gifts that we don’t stop to think about and how important they are. One such gift is the ability to speak. The tongue is an amanah (trust) on us from Allah. We should, therefore, guard and use it wisely. The Quran and Hadith points out in several places that the best use of the tongue is the remembrance of Allah.
Despite all of the faith boosting sayings from Quran and Hadith, we are humans at the end of the day and we make mistakes. A grave sin that is plaguing the Muslim Ummah is gossip. Indeed, it is a destructive major sin from which we are supposed to safeguard ourselves. Gossip can definitely be a tool to sow enmity and create discord among communities.
It is no doubt that a backbiter and a slander monger has a petrifying end. Allah forbid these acts in His Book when He says,
“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not 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 Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful” (Al-Hujuraat 49: 12).
The above verse is a clear indication that Allah strongly dislikes gossiping and backbiting. The magnitude of dislike can be measured when Allah likens gossiping to eating the flesh of one’s dead brother. If deeply reflected upon, this one verse alone can keep us away from vain talk.
The sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) further confirms the negative view of gossip in Islam:
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do you know what gheebah (backbiting) is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Saying something about your brother that he dislikes.” It was said, “What if what I say about my brother is true?” He said, “If what you say is true then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him.” [Sahih Muslim]
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah 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.” [Sahih al-Bukhaari, Muslim]
- Praise the person who is being talked about.
- If an opinion is asked about the person being gossiped about, explain calmly that it’s none of your business.
- Imagine the same gossip circulating about you. This way you will feel the pain of being a topic of gossip conversations.
- Try to change or divert the topic.
- If everything else fails, leave the gathering.