What is the difference between Backbiting and Complaining?

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What is the difference between Backbiting and Complaining?

My friend was creating problem for me, I told other friends that he is doing so and so to me, Now the friend who created problem to me, is going and telling every one that I’m backbitting about him. Then I told other friends that I told what he is doing to me, it is just complaining. Since the brother who created problem to me is considered to be a bigshot in Tabligh Jamath and sometimes even people call him as Wali of Allah (swt). I tried to proof to others that he is doing harm to me. Even others came to know that he is doing harm to me. So he just turned that I”m backbitter. I told him many times, we will sit in presence of mutual tablighi friends and sort the issue. But his claim is we have to only sort the issues by two. 

So can you please explain how to sort issues between two muslims, they should go to a common elder or has to sort among themselves?

Then sometimes people write to you about what is happening in their life and what others do to them and seeking help , then is it also backbitting. Please explain in clear 


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

You refer to the person creating problems for you as your friend. It is not uncommon for friends to have misunderstandings.

In such a situation adopt the correct procedure to resolve the issue.

If the wrong procedure is adopted like talking to everyone else besides the person directly, that will not resolve the issue. In fact, it will lead to further misunderstandings and animosity. If you are unable to resolve the issue with your friend directly, you should engage mutual friends to help resolve the issue. 

You state that your friend is a senior person in Tableegh and people respect him. It is advisable to consider your friends respect for the benefit of Deen. If his name is tarnished, then this may have a negative impact on the work of Tableegh. If you address your dispute with him while safe guarding his respect, Allah will grant you respect. If Deen continues to benefit through him, you will have a share in his rewards.

We also advise that your friend should not hide behind the cloak of Tableegh and the fact that people refer to him as a wali. He should understand that he is not infallible. He should fear accountability in the court of Allah

Furthermore if he is influential in the work of Tableegh, he should endeavor to maintain his honor and dignity for the benefit of Deen. Accordingly, we advise that he should cooperate amicably to resolve the issue. In doing so, he will be making Ikraam of a fellow Muslim, the fourth point of the common sixth points of Dawah and Tabligh. He will also be fighting his Nafs in resolving the issue. Fighting one’s Nafs is the greatest sacrifice as is the general slogan of Dawah and Tableegh; “Qurbaani”

It should not be that one shouts the slogan of Qurbaani and he is seen as the one void of any Qurbaani. In the work of Dawah and Tableegh, the character of responsible people speak louder than words. People observe them closely and if their conduct is unbecoming, that will turn people away from joining the noble work of Dawah and Tableegh. Such sentiments are not uncommon in the general masses. It is therefore important for people engaged in Dawah and Tableegh to also focus on their personal Islah and reformation which is Fardh and also from among the missions of Rasulullah SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam. Making ones Islah will enhance one’s effort and Qurbaani in Dawah and Tableegh as well.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Imran Cyclewala

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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