Geebah or backbiting.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Alsalam Alaykom Wa Rahmat Allah

My question is regarding "غيبة" or talking bad about a muslim when he is not present. Through my reading of the Quran, i`ve noticed that this applied for muslims only.

Question: Is it also prohibited to talk bad about the people of the book or Athiests behind their backs?


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Geebah or backbiting

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chatper 49 Surah Hujuraat verse 12:

12      O ye who believe!  Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs.  Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay ye would abhor it...but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful.


Sahih Muslim HadithHadith 6265      Narrated byAbuHurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: ‘Do you know what is backbiting?’  They (the Companions) said: ‘Allah and His Messenger (saws) know best.  Thereupon he (the Prophet (saws)) said: ‘Backbiting implies your talking about your brother (behind his back) in a manner which he does not like.’  It was said to him: ‘What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of?’  He (saws) said: ‘If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbited him, and if that is not in him it is a slander (a punishable offence in Shariah Law in the life of this world, and also in the Hereafer)!.’


Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4862  Narrated by AbuBarzah al-Aslami

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house!’


Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4860  Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘When I was taken up to heaven I passed by people who had nails of copper and were scratching their faces and their breasts.’  I asked: ‘Who are these people, O Jibrael?’  He replied: ‘They are those who were given to back biting and who aspersed people's honour.’


Every evil which has been forbidden and prohibited  by Allah and His Messenger (saws) in Islam, without exception, is applicable against both, the believers and the non-believers alike!  If one steals from a believer or a disbeliever, if one cheats a believer or a disbeliever, if one slanders a believer or a disbeliever, if one injures a believer or a disbeliever, if one kills a believer or a disbeliever…..there is absolutely no difference in the punishment accorded to the evil-doer in Shariah Law!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 75 Surah Ale-Imraan verses 75-76:

75      Among the People of the Book are some who if entrusted with a hoard of gold will (readily) pay it back; others who if entrusted with a single silver coin will not repay it unless thou constantly stood demanding it because they say "There is no account on us (to act aright) with these ‘ummis’ (pagans)."  But they tell a lie against Allah and (well) they know it.

76      Nay!  Those that keep their pledge and act aright, verily Allah loves those who act aright.


Unlike the self-invented laws of some amongst the ‘People of the Book’ who claim that they are excused from any evil they commit against those who disbelieve in what they believe, Islam guides its followers that an evil is categorically forbidden, prohibited and punishable, regardless if that evil is done against a believer or a disbeliever.


Thus regardless of whether one backbites a believer or a disbeliever….the offence and the crime of that person is exactly the same in the Sight of Shariah Law and in the Sight of Allah Subhanah.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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