In fact we’re fairly sure 90% of people reading this won’t be able to do this. Hopefully we’re wrong. And Allah knows best.
Backbiting is a MAJOR sin and every single person reading this message has probably at some point in their life backbitten someone, so firstly let’s quickly address the definition of backbiting from the greatest source we have.
Abu Dharr once asked the Prophet Muhammad (saw): O Messenger of Allah, what is gheebah? He replied: It is to mention about your brother that which he detests. Abu Dharr said: O Messenger of Allah, what if that which is mentioned of him should actually be in him? He replied: Know that when you mention that which is in him, you have committed his gheebah, and when you mention that which is not in him, then you have slandered him. Even listening to backbiting is a sin
Prophet Muhammad (saw) once said to Imam Ali: O Ali! When someone hears the backbiting of his Muslim brother committed in his presence, yet he does not rally to his assistance despite being capable of doing so, God shall humiliate him in the world and in the Hereafter
So now we’ve addressed the definition let us add a few more important points.
Did you know backbiting is more of a sin than adultery. You know why? When you commit adultery you can ask Allah for forgiveness and Allah can forgive you but when you backbite someone Allah cannot forgive you unless the person you spoke ill of forgives you first.
The Prophet (saw) once gave counsel to Abu Dharr, saying: O Abu Dharr! Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is graver than adultery. Abu Dharr (r) said: Why is that so, O Messenger of Allah? He (s) replied: That is because when a man commits adultery and then repents to God, God accepts his repentance. However, backbiting is not forgiven until forgiven by its victim.
So what shall we do? The choice is actually simple but very difficult. It’s a real battle of confronting our ego and pride and showing humility.
We need to start asking people for forgiveness. We need to approach people with humility, whether it’s a phone call, a text message, an email but ideally should be a direct communication between you and the person you want to approach. Yes it’s difficult but not impossible. Ask for their forgiveness and when they forgive you, you’ll feel lighter, more relieved. If you think this is beyond you, you’re wrong. You can do it.
Imagine the alternative? You’re now standing in front of Allah and your account is about to begin. You look to your right and you feel happy looking at all your good deeds. Suddenly your good deeds start vanishing and you’re panicking. The good deeds are going to all the people you have backbitten against, your father, brother, sister, mother, wife, friend, cousin, work colleague.
So start now, have a plan. Speak to 1 person a week and ask for their forgiveness. Maybe they will also ask for your forgiveness. You may look small in their eyes but you’ll look BIG in Allah’s
You can do it.
Here is a template message you can send people asking for their forgiveness. Feel free to copy and paste the below into an email, a BBM, an SMS, or a whatsapp message. We hope this helps you make that first step: