Backbiting is prohibited in Islam
Not only is backbiting is prohibited but to listen to gossips has also been condemned in Islam. It is necessary to avoid being in conformity with the backbiters or listening to them, for the listener of backbiting is regarded as partner in the sin. It can be achieved by denying backbiting verbally, changing the subject into another innocent one, leave the session of backbiting, or, in the least, deny backbiting in heart, so as to be saved from the partnership of that sin.
Imam Sadjad (A.S) has said, "The right of ears is to abstain from listening to Al-Gheebah (Backbiting) and to abstain from listening what has been forbidden to listen". (Bihar al-Anwaar).
A wise man said: “Try your best to avoid introducing yourself to the backbiter, because the greatest share of harm is burdened by the closest to him.”
In the same manner, it is important to honor the dignity of the believer who is backbitten.
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Paradise is unquestionably the share of him who defends the honor of his believing brother.”
A man came to Imam Sadjad (A.S) and in a foolish gesture of sympathy, told him that: "O son of the Prophet! In such and such gathering, such and such person has backbite you". Imam (A.S), who at that time was engrossed in 'Ibadah in the corner of his house was not impressed by this. He (A.S) addressed the man and said, "Firstly, you are dishonest to that man. A person spoke badly about me in my absence. You have no right to tell it to me and expose what he hid when he considered you honest and trustworthy. Secondly, you did not observe my respect by telling me a thing, which I did not need". Then the Holy Imam (A.S) added, "Did you not know that slanderers are dogs of hell? Tell that man we will all die, our place will be the grave and the promise of Judgment Day has been given to us and Almighty God is the arbitrator between us". (Li-aalil-Akhbaar)
It is worth mentioning, here, that the illegality of backbiting does not include the deviants and apostates.
Ethical Role-Models By: Sayyid Mahdi as-Sadr
The Definition of a Greater Sin
Greater Sin from viewpoint of the traditions (Part 1)
Greater Sin from viewpoint of the traditions (Part 2)
Greater Sin from viewpoint of the traditions (Part 3)
“And be thankful to Me and to thy parents”