What is Gheebah (Backbiting)?

Gheebah (backbiting, gossip) means that a person mentions the faults of his Muslim brother in his absence, which he would not like if he heard about it, when there is no need to mention them.

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وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ “أتدرون ما الغيبة‏؟‏” قالوا‏:‏ الله ورسوله أعلم قال‏:‏ ‏”‏ذكرك أخاك بما يكره‏”‏ قيل‏:‏ أفرأيت إن كان في أخي ما أقول‏؟‏ قال‏:‏ ‏”‏إن كان فيه ما تقول، فقد اغتبته، وإن لم يكن فيه ما تقول فقد بهته”‏.‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Do you know what is backbiting?” The Companions said: “Allah and His Messenger know better.” Thereupon he said, “Backbiting is talking about your (Muslim) brother in a manner which he dislikes.” It was said to him: “What if my (Muslim) brother is as I say.” He said, “If he is actually as you say, then that is backbiting; but if that is not in him, that is slandering.”
[Muslim].

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.
[Surat Al-Ĥujurāt 49:6]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful..
[Surat Al-Ĥujurāt 49:12]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم قَالَ: “مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاَللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاَللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ جَارَهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاَللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ ضَيْفَهُ”.
[رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ]
، [وَمُسْلِمٌ]

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent; and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour; and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest.
[Al-Bukhari] [Muslim]

وعن أنس رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ “لما عُرج بي مررت بقوم لهم أظفار من نُحاس يخمشون وجوههم وصدورهم، فقلت‏:‏ من هؤلاء يا جبريل‏؟‏ قال‏:‏ هؤلاء الذين يأكلون لحوم الناس، ويقعون في أعراضهم‏!‏”‏.‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه أبو داود‏.‏‏)‏‏)‏

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “During the Mi’raj (the Night of Ascension), I saw a group of people who were scratching their chests and faces with their copper nails. I asked, ‘Who are these people, O Jibril?’ Jibril replied: ‘These are the people who ate flesh of others (by backbiting) and trampled people’s honour.”‘
[Abu Dawud] (Saheeh by Sheikh Albani)

عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ رَدَّ عَنْ عِرْضِ أَخِيهِ رَدَّ اللَّهُ عَنْ وَجْهِهِ النَّارَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ أَسْمَاءَ بِنْتِ يَزِيدَ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ ‏

Abu Ad-Darda narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Whoever protects his brother’s honor, Allah protects his face from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.”
[at-Tirmidhi] (Saheeh by Sheikh Albani)