Social relations

What is the Islamic judgement of gossiping about others?

Question: If Zayd gossips about others, what should be done? State and be rewarded.

Questioner: Hafiz Ayas Mahbub Bhusawal, Khandesh in India
 
Answer: Gossip is forbidden [haram], but allowed in exceptional places such as gossiping about a transgressor’s transgression [fasiq]. It says in the hadith,
 
لا غِيبَةَ لِفَاسِقٍ
Gossiping about a transgressor [fasiqis not gossip.1
 
And mentioning the evils of a deviant group [badmazhab] is very necessary. It says in the hadith,
 
اترعوون عن ذکرالفاجر متي يعرفه الناس اذکروا الفاجر بمافيه يحذره الناس
Are you afraid to name the evildoers? When will people then recognize them? So whatever mistakes and evil there are in the evildoers, state them so people refrain from them.2
 
Indeed, the one whose gossip is not allowed is a grave sinner. It says in the hadith,
 
الْغِيبَةَ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الزِّنَا
Gossip is worse than fornication [zina].3
 
He must be made to understand, to repent, if he does not abide, he should be let loose. And Allah knows best.
 
al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
7-Ramadan-1339 || ≈ 15-May-1921
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 24, p. 357, #128
Click for more fatawa’s of Ala Hazrat
  1. al-Maqasid  al-Hasanah fi al-Ahadith al-Musytahirah  ala al-Alsinah: #1312 by Imam al-Sakhawi
  2. Tarikh al-Baghdad: 1/382. Nawadir al-Usul: p. 213
  3. Mishkat al-Masabih: p. 415. Shu’b al-Iman: #6741, #6742, 5/306
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