Gossip as we all know is a report about other people typically involving details that are mostly unconfirmed or untrue.
Backbiting on the other hand is mentioning something about a person in his or her absence about what he or she hates.
A Muslim is not supposed to spread rumors, gossip or engage in backbiting.
Unfortunately, we all have engaged in this behavior at a point in our lives.
Allah mentioned in the holy Qur’an
WHY GOSSIP IS BAD FOR YOU
Gossiping regularly shows poor restraint and a lack of consideration for others’ feelings.
If we constantly air people’s dirty laundry to unrelated parties, we are subjecting them to humiliation and scorn.
Nothing good comes from gossip and backbiting. Most people that are being gossiped about are mostly eroded by their self-esteem. This can lead to mental health issues such as suicidal thoughts, eating disorder, isolation, depression and anxiety.
WHY DO PEOPLE GOSSIP?
Among the reasons why people gossip include, jealousy, intimidation by the person involved. People also gossip in order to maintain social order, to entertain themselves, to vent emotions, to bond with their close circle, and mostly to exchange information about others.
HOW CAN WE AVOID GOSSIP?
It is quiet easy and simple to stop engaging in gossip. If a person walks to you to start a conversation that requires you to speak or listen to gossip, politely tell him or her that you have absolutely no opinion about what they are about say.
This will push the person away and also avoid having such conversations with you in the future.
Gossiping or backbiting is like eating the flesh of your brother. A popular hadith reports that…
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: We were sitting with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when a man stood to leave, then another man spoke badly about him after he left. The Prophet said, “Pick your teeth.” The man said, “O Messenger of Allah, why should I pick my teeth when I have not eaten meat?” The Prophet said, “You have eaten the flesh of your brother.”source: al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr 9951
Hope this writeup will inspire someone to quit this habit.