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Allowable backbiting and ways to repent from unforgivable sins


Allowable backbiting and ways to repent from unforgivable sins

MuslimCreed - Basically, backbiting is a major sin and Muslims are advised not to do it. However, backbiting is not always prohibited. When it is seen that talking bad about other people is beneficial, it is permissible to disclose it to the public.

Gibah seems to be an act that is difficult to avoid, especially for women. Talking about other people's bad things when gathering often becomes a habit. Many do not realize that backbiting is a major sin.

By definition, gibah is talking about someone's ugliness. If there is no bad thing, it is no longer classified as backbiting, but falls into the category of slander. That's why, even if it really happened, the facts of badness in other people should be kept tightly closed. The prohibition of doing backbiting is stated in the word of Allah SWT in Surah Al-Hujurat verse 12

Gibah is talking about a matter about another person, which that person definitely doesn't like if it is discussed, whether it's true or not. The act of giving up is like eating another person's carcass. Imagine how bad this deed was. In an authentic hadith, the Prophet SAW said that he saw on the night of Isra', a people who had copper nails. They scratched their faces and chests with it.

Nowadays, gossip can occur in various forms, for example through infotainment shows on television, to gossip accounts on social media. For this reason, both MUI and NU forbid Infotainment because they are considered part of gossip.

Every Muslim must be careful of backbiting and advise each other to leave it in order to obey Allah and His Messenger. Fellow Muslims are also required to cover the disgrace of their brothers. Because backbiting is one of the causes of hatred, enmity, and division in society.

How to Repent from the Sin of Gibah

After realizing that backbiting is a major sin, it is obligatory for every Muslim to repent. Quoted from Muslim.or.id Gibah is a sin related to the rights of Allah. So that the perpetrators are required to repent and istighfar, also regret and are determined not to do it again.

It is also related to human rights. So that to abort this sin, there are further conditions that must be met, so that his repentance is accepted and becomes perfect. Regarding this additional requirement, there are two different opinions from the scholars.

1. It is enough to ask for forgiveness for the person who has been given a gift

The first opinion says that a person who has cheated on his brother is enough to ask for forgiveness for the person he has cheated on.

The wisdom of this request for forgiveness for the person who was cheated on is, as a form of ransom to cover the injustice he has done to the person who was cheated on. So there is no need to preach the gift to ask for halal to the person who is giving it.

This opinion is held by Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah, his students Ibnul Qayyim, Ibn Muflih, as-Safarini and others. Even Ibn Muflih quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah that this opinion is the opinion of the majority of scholars.

They support this opinion for three reasons:

Telling the gift to the person who was given the gift will have a negative impact (mafsadah) that cannot be denied, which will increase the hurt feelings. Because a reproach that is done without the knowledge of the person who is being blamed is more painful than a reproach that is done with the knowledge of the person who is being blamed. He thought the person who had been close to him and around him, turned out to have torn his honor under the blanket.

Preaching backbiting to the person who was given backbiting will cause enmity. Because the human soul is often unable to be objective and fair in dealing with things like this.

Preaching gibah to the person who was gifted will destroy the affection between the two of them. What happened was that the friendship was getting further away.

2. There Must Be An Effort To Apologize

The second opinion states, asking for forgiveness is not enough. However, there must be an attempt to apologize or halal to the person who is granted, so that his repentance is accepted by Allah.

And for those who have been given a gift, it is better to forgive their brother who asks for halal because they have gossiped about him. So that he will get the reward of forgiving the mistakes of others and the pleasure of Allah towards those who are forgiving.

This opinion is held by Abu Hanifah, Shafi'i, Malik and a narration from Imam Ahmad (when discussing the issue of qadzaf (false accusations); whether it is required to tell the accusation to the person who has been accused, in order to ask for halalness, or does it need to be told).

The scholars who strengthen (raise) this opinion are al-Ghazali, Qurtubi, Imam Nawawi and other scholars who agree with them.

Allegiance is Permissible Although the legal origin of backbiting is haram, there are certain conditions when backbiting is permissible. If you talk bad about other people and it's in the public interest, you can talk about it with other people. What types of gifts are allowed? The NU Online page details it as follows:

1. Trial in Court When conducting a trial in front of a judge, it is permissible to tell of a bad or criminal act that has been committed by a person.

2. Reporting to the Police When someone wants to report a violation of the law to the police, it is permissible to report the violation, with a view to changing the crime. 3. Asking for a Fatwa or Direction from an Alim Ulama When requesting a fatwa from a mufti or a direction from an ulama, a person is allowed to tell the problem, including exposing the bad things, if necessary to provide an overview to the mufti or alim ulama.

4. Public Warning In this condition, usually someone's badness is listed on the DPO (People's Search List) paper. The person who commits a crime, before being caught, is mentioned as bad so that the public can avoid the evil behavior of the individual concerned. This is also done by the narrators of hadith when mentioning the badness of other narrators to prevent the spread of false hadiths.

5. Giving Up Public Crimes If someone has openly committed sins and bad things, for example by uploading photos or videos of getting drunk on social media, hanging out freely with the opposite sex, and has been shown in public, and so on. So, in that situation, a person is allowed to mention the badness of the person concerned, according to the sins and evils that he shows openly.

6. As a marker, not ridicule A person is also allowed to mention other people's shortcomings, such as physical deficiencies or bad titles as a marker. For example, when in a place there are many people with the name Agus, it is permissible to call him as Agus, who is short, Agus who is blind, Agus who is mute, and so on. However, keep in mind, mentioning that is not with the intention of making fun of or mocking him, but as a marker and differentiator from other people. 

It would also be nice, the marker has been approved by the person concerned (consent) and does not offend him. Actually, what makes backbiting illegal and permissible is how we use and interpret information about other people, rather than the content of the information itself. In addition, the six types of gibah mubah above are also not allowed if they are done excessively. Even talking about other people's ugliness, in a permissible context, has a proportion limit so that it doesn't spill over everywhere and exceed its limits.

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