Backbiting is a major sin in Islam and it consists of many kinds of talk, some of which includes: talking about someone in a manner they would dislike, mocking someone, making fun of someone, picking on a person’s faults, and the list goes on. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) says in “Woe to every scorner and mocker” (Quran, 104:1) and then Allah (swt) explains the awful punishment awaiting someone who does this. The punishment itself should be enough of a deterrent for us not to engage is such a grievous sin. Yet if you see yourself engaging in this sin and you know it is wrong, here are some ways that may prevent you from doing so.
1. Practice staying silent. Keeping your mouth shut when you are bored, or when something has upset you will allow you to not say what you will later regret. Silence will allow you to deeply think about how you are feeling and whether what will come out of your mouth will be considered a sin. Allow yourself to sleep on it and the time will make you see that what you want to say is not really worth saying and that it will be consider a sin.
2. Avoid situations where you KNOW you will backbite. Figure out when it is that you backbite the most. Is it when you attend weddings or big family events? Is it when you are around certain people? Is it when you are upset or hurt? When you figure out when you backbite the most you can either avoid these situations completely such as bad company or you can prepare yourself in advance to hold your tongue such as at events or when you are hurt.
3. Do something with your time. Sometimes vain talk and backbiting can be a result of not having anything better to do. Hence the person who has a plan for the day and sets goals for him/herself will not fall into backbiting because he/she has much better things on the agenda. Being productive towards goals that you set for yourself whether at work school or in the home will allow you to not only feel good and confident but it will allow you to prevent yourself from this sin. For more on how to use time wisely please read this.
Keep a journal and record your result and keep doing this until you have gotten this sin completely out of your life. You may even fail a couple of time but do NOT give up, for that is exactly what the shaytan wants you to do. Once you do win you will be a much happier person and Allah (swt) will give you tawfeeq to draw closer to Him. Your tongue is a naimah (blessing) of Allah (swt) so don’t use it in His disobedience. The tongue that recites the Qur’an should not utter filth.
May Allah (swt) give us the ability to use our tongue in a manner that is pleasing to Him and may we be amongst those quoted in the following Hadith: “Let whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day either speak good or be silent.”