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How to Repent From Backbiting?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

One of my friend has hurt me. I told this to another friend. But then this friend told this to the friend who hurt me. Now I realise that I have slandered him and despite my apologies he won’t forgive me. I feel very bad.

What can I do?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Jazakum Allah for writing in. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

The general ruling in regards slander or backbiting is that one must make sincere repentance to Allah. As for informing the person slandered, then there is some difference of opinion as to whether it is obligatory to confess to them or not.

It would be permissible to follow the opinion that one does not have to inform the person of what was said, especially if it will result in bad feelings. [Al Majmu’, Al Hamidi ala Tuhfa]

However, if the person knows what was said, then one should apologise as the damage has already been done.

Given what you have mentioned, the person already knows what you said, and you also apologised many times to them. All that remains, if you haven’t already, is to pray two cycles of Salat al Tawba. The Prayer of Repentance, and then make sincere supplication for Allah to forgive you. Once done, then you have done all you can to make amends, so consider the matter closed and a lesson learnt.

If you want to do an additional act, you can give some charity as a way as atonement for the sin.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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