Much has been written about the subject of Gheebah (backbiting). The Ulama and other scholars continue to condemn this contagious ailment that is rife among all walks of life. The ongoing condemnation of this scourge in society is exactly the reason why so much is spoken about it and why so much is written about this plague from time to time.
Backbiting is a very serious “sickness” and may lead to innumerable fitnãs (mischief). Common to many, is the breaking of family ties and friendship. Sadly, the breakdown of marriages has also become a dirty outcome of backbiting. Allah Ta’ala abhors this despicable and vile behaviour. Our beloved Nabi-e-Akram, Janab-e-Muhammad Mustapha (ﷺ) describes this shameful and evil acts in the strongest possible terms: “ … backbiting is akin to one eating the flesh of his dead brother…”
One shudders to hear of the consequences of the severe punishment that awaits a ‘back-biter’ in the hereafter.
From among the many narrations on the subject of ‘backbiting’ is the one reported by Asma bint Yazeed (RA). She reports that she heard Nabi (Salallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) saying :
“That person who dispels (i.e. whatever is spoken of his brother), and upholds his honour, then Allah (Jalla Shaanuhu) declares the fire of Jahannam free from him”.
This hadith discusses another vital dimension to this epidemic. One should not only give a deaf ear to whatever is said about a person in his/her absence, but should also dispel the thought from his/her mind and protect the honour and dignity of his/her absent brother/sister. Allah Ta’ala loves this person and indemnifies him/her from the fire of hell.