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What about gossip?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

If we have gossiped about someone, must we ask for their forgiveness? is it all right to gossip about celebrities? what are the cases when we can point out something bad that someone did to others that they would not normally like?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

1. If word of your gossiping reached them, then one must seek their forgiveness, unless this would be expected to worsen matters, in which case it would be sufficient to make dua for them. [Khadimi/Barkawi, al-Bariqa fi Sharh al-Tariqa]

2. It is haram to gossip about celebrities. Even talking about their open sins would not normally be permitted, because talking of sin is itself sin, unless there is a clear Shariah-countenanced reason that cannot otherwise be fulfilled.

3. Gossiping follows the fiqh of backbiting and tale-bearing, which are among the most serious of sins: avoid these three at all costs. (See attached answer(s).)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“Backbiting is to mention about your brother that which they dislike.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, and others]

Imam al-Barkawi said in his masterpiece on the operationalization of taqwa, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya,

“Backbiting is to mention the negative points of a specific individual who is known to those being addressed, or to indicate these points or make them known by the hand or any other limbs.”

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say the good or remain silent.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And he said (peace and blessings be upon him),

“Whoever is silent is saved.” [Tirmidhi and others]

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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