7 Reasons Why People Backbite
1) Satisfying Anger: This is done by backbiting the person who kindles his anger. Every time the person makes him angry, he subsides it by backbiting about the person. Through this (the backbiting), he feels he is getting even with the other person. The cure for this is the advice of Rasulullah (SAW) when a man came to him and said advise me: “ Do not become angry.”
2) Wanting to Make or Keep Friends: In order to maintain friendship with others, a person indulges in backbiting. As he is afraid of losing their friendship, he does not reprimand them when they backbite, but indulges in it with them. To cure this he must remember the saying of Rasulullah (SAW): “Whoever seeks the pleasure of men by displeasing Allah, Allah will abandon him to the people.” (Tirmidhi)
3) Playing Around, Joking and Making Fun of Others: This could involve mockery and sarcasm. It is enough to remind those indulging in this practice of what Allah, the Most High said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَومٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَى أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاء مِّن نِّسَاء عَسَى أَن يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُنَّ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ بِئْسَ الاِسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
“O you who have believed, neither should men mock other men, it may be that these are better than they; nor should women mock other women, it may be that these are better than they. Do not taunt one another among yourselves, nor call one another by nicknames. It is an evil thing to be called by a bad name after faith. Those who fail to avoid this are wrongdoers..” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:11)
It could very well be that Allah loves them and does not love us.
4) Anger for the Sake of Allah: A person may become angry because of a sin committed by another person, and so he talks about it mentioning that person’s name instead of concealing it. Sufyan ibn al-Husayn narrates: “I was sitting with Iyaas ibn Mu’awiyah when a man walked by and I said ill of that man. “Keep Quiet!” Iyaas said to me. Have you fought the Romans? I said no. He asked, have you fought the Turk? I said no. He then said, The Romans were saved from you and likewise the Turk were saved from you. But your own Muslim brother was not saved! Sufyan said, After that I never backbitten about anyone.”
5) Having Too Much Spare Time : This can cause a person to fall into backbiting, because it is easy for an idle mind to become busy with men, and their faults. To correct this, a person must spend his time in acts of obedience to Allah, worship, seeking knowledge, and teaching others etc.
6) Conceit and Lack Of Awareness Of One’s Faults: People should think about their own faults and try to correct themselves and feel ashamed to criticize others when they have many faults themselves. It was said to Rabee ibn Khaytham: “We never see you finding fault in others.” He replied: “I am not satisfied with myself enough to dedicate my time to finding faults in others.” Uqbah ibn Aamir narrates: I said: “O Rasulullah! What is salvation?” Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Hold your tongue! Your house should suffice you! And cry over your (own) faults.” (Tirmidhi)
Shaikh Al-Qarni narrates in one of his lectures: “Abu Bakr once disputed with another companion about a tree. During the dispute Abu Bakr said something that he rather would not have said. He did not curse, he did not attack someone’s honor, he did not poke a fault in anyone, and all he said was something that may have hurt the companion’s feelings. Immediately, Abu Bakr ordered him:” Say it back to me!” The companion said: “I shall not say it back.” “Say it back to me,” said Abu Bakr: “Or I shall complain to the Messenger of Allah.” The companion refused to say it back and went on his way. Abu Bakr went to Rasulullah (SAW) and told what had happened and what he said. Rasulullah (SAW) called that companion and asked him: “Did Abu Bakr say so and so to you?” He said: “Yes.” Rasulullah (SAW) asked: “What did you reply?” He said: “I did not reply it back to him.” Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Good, do not reply it back to him (do not hurt Abu Bakr). Rather say, May Allah forgive you O Abu Bakr.” The Companion turned to Abu Bakr and said: “May Allah forgive you O Abu Bakr! May Allah forgive you O Abu Bakr.” Abu Bakr turned and cried as he walked away.” How can we revive this air of mercy and love and brotherhood that the companions lived? Rasulullah (SAW) showed us in the following ways: “Having Imaan in Allah and doing acts of goodness.” Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمْ الرَّحْمَنُ وُدًّا
“Indeed the Most Compassionate Lord will soon create enduring love for those who believe and do righteous works..” (Surah Maryam 19:96)
Spreading Salam to those whom you know and those whom you do not know. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates Rasulullah (SAW) said: “You shall not enter Jannah until you believe, and you shall not believe until you love one another. Shall I not guide you to something that if you do it you shall love one another? Spread Salam amongst yourselves.” (Muslim) Abdallah ibn Amr (RA) says a man came to Rasulullah (SAW) and asked him: “Which Islam is the best?” Rasulullah (SAW) said: “To feed the hungry and to give Salam to those you know and those you don’t know.”(Al-Bukhari)
7) Giving gifts to your brothers and sisters: Suffice is the statement of Rasulullah (SAW) “Give Gifts and you shall love one another.” narrated by Imam Bukhari Telling your brother or sister that you love them for the sake of Allah
This is one of the ways to solidify the brotherhood/sisterhood when your brother or sister knows that you love them. These days’ people are loved for the clothes they wear, so they buy more expensive clothes. Others are loved for the cars they drive, so they buy newer models. But how many are loved for the sake of Allah, and what kind of effect would that have?
Conclusion: If you cannot say good things about a person, keep quiet.