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An Employee should Refrain from Backbiting and Malicious Gossip

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I`m a secretary at one of the public universities. In my presence, many employees engage in a great deal of malicious gossip (Nameemah) and backbiting (Gheebah). I advise them to refrain from that, but they wouldn`t listen. When I tell the Dean about that, he reprimands them, so they become angry with me and stop talking to me. Do I incur sin for that or not?


Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.


Many employees of the private and public sectorare inflicted with this social evil. When every employee gets busy doing his job, he/she won`t have time to engage in malicious gossip or backbiting. In this regard, Al-Shafie said, "If you don`t busy yourself with right, it will busy you with wrong."


Moreover, a Muslim is commanded to change evil. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith."[Muslim]. Advising with wisdom and gentle exhortation is one form of changing evil. If this technique doesn`t work, you should ask your superiors to advise these employees or take the appropriate action in that regard.


We (Iftaa` Department) advise you not to engage with others in acts of gossip and backbiting. Rather, you should abstain from such people to avoid incurring sin. However, try to advise these employees with wisdom and gentle exhortation and expect your recompense from Almighty Allah for your righteousness.


In addition, you should abide by the teachings of Sharia, which dictate abstaining from mixing with male employees for other than work requirements. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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