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 What Does Backbiting (Ghaybah) Mean?

What does backbiting mean? What are the types of backbiting? In which situations are we considered to be backbiting?

Answer:

Backbiting is to talk against someone who is not there, to gossip about someone behind his back, to say something that a person would not like when he was not there.
Backbiting is “to mention someone’s name in a way they would not like”.
One day Rasulullah (pbuh) asked his friends (sahabah):
“Do you know what ghaybah is?” His friends said:
“The prophet of Allah (pbuh) knows better” and Rasulullah (pbuh) continued:
“To talk about your brother in front of others in a way that he would not like if he heard.” One of his friends asked:
“What if the things I say about my brother are true?” and Rasulullah (pbuh) explained:
“If what you say is true, you will (just) be backbiting. But if you are saying false things about your brother you will not just be backbiting, you will also be slandering.”
(Ebu Davud, Tirmizi, Muslim)
Someone asked our beloved Prophet (pbuh):
“Oh The Prophet of Allah (pbuh), what is ghaybah?” He (pbuh) answered:
“To mention your brother in a way that he would not like.”
(Ebu Davud, Tirmizi)

The types of backbiting:

Backbiting can happen in different ways:

To talk about physical flaws of person

Mentioning a person’s flaws in a way that this person would not like such as “He is blind, bold, short, tall, ugly, crippled, cross-eyed… etc” is backbiting. For example, when two people get married if the relatives of the groom say “The groom is handsome but the bride is ugly.” Or the relatives of the bride say “The groom is short or he is not good enough for the bride.” These kinds of speeches are considered as backbiting.

To mention flaws about a person’s clothes

Saying things in a way that he would not like such as “His pants are short, her skirt is long, her dress is old, his jacket is dirty… etc” is backbiting.

To mention flaws about worldly affairs

Saying things that would make a person unhappy if he heard such as “He is impolite, he eats a lot, sleeps a lot, his family is never at home, his house is not clean… etc” is backbiting.

To mention flaws about a person’s morals

Saying things that would offend a person if he heard such as “He is bad-mannered, weak, powerless, coward, selfish, quick tempered… etc” is backbiting.

To mention flaws about a person’s background

Saying things that would offend a person such as “His mother is a servant, his father is garbage collector, doorman, farmer or shoe shiner… etc” is backbiting.

To mention flaws about a person’s religious affairs

Saying things that would bother a person such as “He is a sinner, liar, crook, cruel, does not obey his parents, lazy about prayer, cannot even recite Al-Fatiha properly, does not care about halal or haram.” (Forty Hadiths Collection)

Backbiting is not only by talking

Saying by the tongue is haram because you are talking about a person’s flaws and attributes you do not like therefore mentioning it secretly is like mentioning it openly. So actions are like words in this respect. Signs, blinking your eye, writing, motions, curling your lip, hints, any facial expressions, any words that make your intentions clear is like saying it clearly. So they are all backbiting and haram.
The mother of the believers Aisha’s following words fall into this category:
“A woman came to our house. After she left I made a sign with my hand in order to point at her shortness.”
Upon this The Prophet (pbuh) told me:
“You backbited about that woman.”

Whoever listens to backbiting is like the one who backbites

Whoever listens to backbiting is one of the backbiters.” (Taberani) Kaynak: http://askaquestionto.us - What Does Backbiting (Ghaybah) Mean?

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