Guarding tongue is very important issue. Due to tongue many things are doomed. Because of time, I haven’t written on my own the following text. I have just gathered from two books. lmaam Ash-Shaafi’ee said: “When one desires to talk, then it is upon him to think before he speaks. If there is beneficial good in what he will say, then he should speak. And if he has doubt about that, then he must not speak until he clears that doubt (by making his speech good).”
Backbiting (Gheebah) is when you mention something about a person (in his absence), that he hates (to have mentioned), whether it is about his body, his religious characteristics, his worldly affairs, his self, his physical appearance, his character, his wealth, his child, his father, his wife, his servant, his slave, his turban, his attire, his manner of walking, his smile, his dissoluteness, his frowning, his cheerfulness or anything else related to the above. Likewise, it is the same whether you mention that about him with words, through writings, or whether you point or indicate him by gesturing with your eyes, hand or head.
As for the body, then it is when you say: “he is blind”, “he limps”, “he is bleary-eyed”, “he is bald”, “he is short”, “he is tall”, “he is black”, “he is yellow.”
As for his religious qualities, then it is when you say: “he is a sinner”, “he is a thief”, “he is a betrayer”, “he is an oppressor”, “he takes the prayer lightly”, “he is lenient with impurities”, “he does not behave well towards his parents”, “he does not pay the Zakaah duly”, and “he does not avoid backbiting.”
As for the worldly matters, then it is when you say: “he has poor manners”, “he is unmindful of people”, “he does not think that anyone has a right over him”, “he talks too much”, “he eats and sleeps too much”, “he sleeps at the wrong times”, “he sits in places he does not belong in.”
As for his character, then it is when you say: “he has bad manners”, “he is arrogant”, “he is quarrelsome”, “he is rash and hasty”, “he is tyrannical”, “he is feeble”, “he has a weak heart”, “he is irresponsible”, “he is dismal”, “he is dissolute”, etc.
As for the garment: “it has wide sleeves”, “it has short hems”, “what a filthy garment”, and so on.
The remaining categories can be deduced based upon what we have mentioned, considering that the source rule behind it is: “Mentioning some aspect about him that he hates to have mentioned.” lmaam Abu Haamid AI-Ghazaalee quoted the consensus of the Muslim scholars with regard to backbiting being: “One is mentioning something about other people (in their absence), which they hate to have mentioned.”
As for Gossiping (Nameemah), then it is when one conveys and carries the talk of people from one group of individuals to another with the intent of causing discord between the two of them.
These are the definitions of the two. As for their rulings, then they are forbidden according to the unanimous agreement of the Muslim scholars. The clear evidences in the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah indicate its prohibition.
Allah says: “O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” Surat Al-Hujuraat (49):12
Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:
“Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.” [Al-Humazah (104): 1]
Allah also says: “A slanderer going about with gossip.” [AI-Qalam (68): 11]
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
When a group is indulging in the discussion of people’s honour, a person may think that if s/he speaks out and tries to stop them, they will dislike him/her and exclude him/her. So s/he joins in with them, believing that this is how to be good company. However, we should remember the words of the Messenger of Allah (SAW): « Whoever seeks to earn the approval of the people by angering Allah, Allah will abandon him to the people.»
In this case, a person may say, “So-and-so is ignorant, he is not clever…” and so on. By doing this, s/he seeks to prove that s/he is better, and that s/he knows better. We should remind ourselves that what is with Allah is better and is eternal, and that this world is not even worth a gnat’s wing in the sight of Allah. See Suurat Al-Hujurat (49):11
A person may mention another in such a way as to make people laugh-some people even earn their living in this way. 13 But we have to remember the words of the Prophet(~): «
Narrated Mu’awiyah ibn Jaydah al-Qushayri:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Woe to him who tells things, speaking falsely, to make people laugh thereby. Woe to him! Woe to him!.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
It may happen that a person is praised in a gathering where s/ he is liked by the people, and a jealous person may hear this. The jealous one then insults the other, so that the latter may lose the status that s/he previously enjoyed.
The jealous person should remember that, because of his/her jealousy and insults, the person who is the object of his/her envy will be above him/her, not only in this world but on the Day of Resurrection.