Q: My question is that if someone backbites someone, then he wants to repent from this sin, then he’ll have to ask forgiveness from that particular person for his towba to be accepted, because it is from huqooqul ibaad. But on the other hand to cause azia harm to a muslim brother is a sin also. So when he asks forgiveness from that particular person who he backbited, then he will be harmed by the fact that he did not know that he made gheebat of him before but now he knows so will be hurt by this news, as it happened to me a few days ago that a friend of mine who i used to have husne zan with he came to me asking forgiveness because he had made gheebat of me so I was hurt by this news. Even though I tell him not to tell me if he makes gheebat of me and that I have forgiven him for all that and what you may do in the future he still comes every second day asking forgiveness for his backbiting just because someone told him that its the only way to make towba. So is it the right way and isn’t he making a bigger mistake by causing harm to me every second day by this amal?
A: If he does not yet know that you have made gheebat of him then you can just ask him for a general maaf.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)