When is Backbiting Allowed?

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Farhan Abdul Azeez

Channel: Farhan Abdul Azeez

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When is backbiting allowed? A Muslim Institute presents q&a with forehand abdulazeez. This is a common question that gets asked and a common scenario that we deal with, especially at workplace or when people are together, maybe over lunch, the conversation starts turning towards people and co workers, other things that happen and we start talking about people. So a question comes, when is backbiting allowed? Now, as a physician in the medical field, this is a very serious issue when it comes to patients and their privacy, right, there's cause severe consequences if you were to violate somebody's protected medical information, if I were to speak to another, you know, staff member or

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family member, even without the patient's permission about something that they would not want mentioned, it could cost me my job. And if it continues to be a problem, it can actually cost me my license. So this is very serious and worldly consequences. And islamically, we have a similar parallel, when can we talk about someone? And when can we not? First of all, we have to define what is backbiting. It's mentioning something about your brother or sister that they would not want to be mentioned, whether it's true or not, if they didn't want it to be mentioned that would be considered backbiting. So when are we allowed to mention something right? There may be scenarios that we we

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have to and so there's a scholar who mentioned the six scenarios and we're allowed to in a beautiful line of poetry. He kind of combined it all together, he said, and they said bellybutton feasts, etc. And there are six scenarios where backbiting, were speaking, mentioning a fault of someone is not considered backbiting. The first thing he says Motovun limine somebody who has been oppressed. So if you have to go to a judge, or a police officer, for example, to tell them what happened to you, somebody you know, broke into your home, and you know who the person is, that's not considered backbiting, because you're right had been taking, you're trying to get it back, you're going to

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someone of authority to help you. Then he says, one more How did anything, say someone is known by a certain quality. And this might be a relevant example, for those who follow basketball. There's a basketball star named Anthony Davis, and his nickname is a unibrow. Right? Because he has an eyebrow that's connected. Now generally, people consider that to be something that they could you know, they insult people for that they have a one one connected eyebrow, so it can be considered an insult for him. However, he doesn't consider it an insult. He actually identifies by he copyrighted that nickname, right? So if you're trying to mention a characteristic of someone to identify the person,

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without any intention of insulting them, say for example, you have a friend named Abdullah Abdullah, he, when he speaks, he stutters. So you say, hey, my friend, Abdullah, in your Yahoo talking to says, I don't know who that is. And you say, Oh, you know, he lives in this city. And he's like, I still don't know what that is. Well, he comes to this special that sort of on his own, you know, the guy who actually has a little stutter in his speech. Oh, that Abdullah. So if the intention isn't to insult or criticize him, then that also be allowed, then he says, The third thing when we'll have the ad, and you're warning someone, you're cautioning someone about somebody else. So let's say for

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example, somebody asks you, hey, this brother in the community has proposed to my daughter, and do you know anything about him? Is he a good, you know, match for my daughter, and you know that there are certain things that you should tell the person to prevent his daughter from falling into harm, then absolutely you can you can tell the person about it. Similarly, if a business deal or transaction, or something along those lines, where maybe potential preventing harm from happening. So you're cautioning someone you're advising them. He goes on to say in the in the poetry, he says in the three more scenarios, he says, When moja hit, when would you hit a fist bump? Somebody who

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openly sins, right, somebody, for example, there's a guy who's selling alcohol and at a store, right, that's an open sin, he's publicly doing it, then mentioning that sin is not forbidden. However, we don't take it overboard and say, you know, go into other things about the person's character, if that's not, you know, in the in the in relationship to what we're talking about. And then the fifth scenario where, where it is allowed to mention something

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that the person may not like, is a scenario where you're seeking a farewell almost stepped in, like, for example, somebody had a problem with her husband, he did X, Y and Z to her. And so she needs to go to the chef to find out what's the ruling, and he may, she has to mention something that would not be

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putting her husband in a good light that is allowed. And the last thing he says is woman thought about IANA trophy, is it moon caddy, and someone who's seeking help and removing a harm. So it could be a scenario for example, you know, just a very, maybe extreme case. But let's say somebody is trying to attack you. So you run into the metal, you run to the store and you say, hey, this person's chasing me versus threatening to harm me. You're saying something bad about them, but it's allowed, or for example, maybe another scenario, you know, somebody who's struggling with drugs, right, and you don't know how to advise the person. So you go to a professional, a social worker,

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whoever it is a therapist who can maybe help counsel the person, get him the resources, he needs to get off his addiction to drugs that would be allowed in this scenario where you're trying to prevent harm. So those are the six scenarios where you are allowed to backbite we'll be covering this and much more in my upcoming class, titled faith and honor, we're looking at the tuxedo soda gerat and going through

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Whole suit are trying to anchor our faith in the face of winds of change that may affect our morality, our ethics, our belief, and we're going to cover all of that and try and, you know, anchor our faith so that we are strong to face these challenges. I hope to see you all there.