The black art of backbiting

Shaikhul-Islam, Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions some of the ways through which people back bite. In all reality, these tactics are designed to deceive Allah (the Exalted) and please His creation. However, the many that follow these methods are only deceiving their own selves.

  1. Under the pretense of being informative.
  2. By saying that, so and so is to be pitied, thereby showing superiority over one who is to be rejected.
  3. By mentioning the good quality of a person but tainting it by mentioning his evil qualities.
  4.  By saying that we should forget so and so and that we should pray for his forgiveness as well as ours, intending only to belittle the one that was mentioned.
  5. Upon hearing someone’s error, they (back biter) employ words like ‘had I prayed for so and so last night in my prayer, the news of their sin would not have reached my ears’, In order to superiority to the person.
  6. By belittling or being critical to the one who is praised in the company of others.
  7. Through humor, playfulness, and lightheartedness.
  8. In a manner of story, so that his story telling abilities might be appreciated.
  9. By showing amazement or surprise at other’s actions.
  10. With the pretense of sympathy for their actions and misfortunes.



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