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Back biting political public figures

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Is it allowed to do the Ghibat (Backbiting) of political leaders considering that they are public property?


One day we were discussing political situation of our country and were talking about all the short comings of our politicians and about the corruption they did. Mr. X pointed out that this is Ghibat and we should avoid it. However other friends said that talking about the evils done by the political leaders does not come under the definition of Ghibat as they are our Political leaders and we have to discuss their actions. Further, if we do not discuss these issues then how will people know about their mistakes and wrong doings. They also argued that if this is Ghibat then the newspapers are doing Ghibat every day. Further,

they also said that if no one talks about the corruption of these political leaders

then how will the general public know about these issues. Since all there points look

valid so I will request you to address this issue as it is a common practice to discuss

politicians and talk about their good and bad contributions towards their 


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Back biting political public figures

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Sahih Muslim Hadith 6265 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: Do you know what is backbiting? They (the Companions) said: Allah and His Messenger (saws) know best. Thereupon he (the Prophet (saws)) said: Backbiting implies your talking about your brother (behind his back) in a manner which he does not like. It was said to him: What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of? He (saws) said: If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbited him, and if that is not in him it is a slander.


The Messenger of Allah (saws) described back-biting as speaking evil of someone behind their backs in a manner which if said in front of the person he would disapprove.


But if one says something about a persons short-comings, without fear that the person he is speaking about finds out about his statements, or if one states the evils of another with the intention to save others from the evil of the person, etc., it would not be considered back-biting.


Sahih Muslim Hadith 79 Narrated by AbuSa'id al-Khudri

I heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue; and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (at least abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.


For example, if there is a trader who committed fraud with someone, and that person speaks to others about the fraudulent trader to save the others from the traders evil practices, there is absolutely no harm and it would not be considered back-biting.


Similarly, if one gives witness to a Judge in a Court or to the Police about the evil of someone, it would not be considered back-biting. Or if someone asks about the character and deeds of a person one is seeking in marriage, and the person declares the suitors shortcomings without any exaggeration, it would not be considered back-biting of the suitor.


In the same context, political or public leaders have a responsibility of accountability to the people who chose them to office, and the actions the leaders take might effect the well-being of the society at large; thus if someone discusses their shortcomings in the running of the affairs of the nation in person or in public, it would not be considered gheebah or back-biting in the sight of Shariah.


The newspapers obviously can never be accused of back-biting, for they declare openly for all to read, including the person who they claim performed the deeds! Back-biting is something whereby a person relates the short-comings of another behind his back in a manner whereby he does not have the courage or will to disclose or confront the person.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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