Ask Our Children:

1. What is backbiting?

2. What should we do when someone backbites?

Now Tell Them The Story:

Saarah was a little girl. She had an elder sister, Aneesah. One day, Saarah said to her mother, “Mummy! Aneesah’s friend has a big mouth!”

Immediately, her mother stopped Saarah from saying another word and said to her, “Saarah! You have eaten the flesh of your Muslim sister!”

Saarah was surprised. She had come to tell her mother about Aneesah’s friends wrong, and now her mother was telling her that what she did was wrong! Saarah could just not understand.

Saarah’s mother explained to her, “Saarah! Would you like it if someone came to me and said something bad about you?” Saarah replied, “No!” So her mother continued, “Saarah! You said something about your Muslim sister while she wasn’t here. If she was here and she heard what you said, she wouldn’t have liked it. This is called backbiting, and it is a big sin, even if what you say is true. Remember! If what you say about the person is not true, then that is slandering. Slandering is an even bigger sin.”

Now Saarah understood that she was wrong. But there was still one thing that she couldn’t understand. She couldn’t understand why her sister, Aneesah, would sometimes say bad things about her friends. So Saarah asked her mother, “Tell me Mummy, is backbiting haraam only for me?” Her mother replied, “No Saarah! Backbiting is forbidden for everyone!” So Saarah said, “But Mummy, Aneesah backbites and says bad things about her friends to me.” Her mother said, “Saarah! Then you are also part of the sin, because listening to backbiting is also haraam.”

Saarah was now worried, so she asked her mother, “Mummy! What was I supposed to do when Aneesah said bad things about her friends?” Her mother replied, “Saarah! If she says bad things about anyone, you must stop her. If you cannot stop her, then you must go away so that you do not hear the backbiting.”

Saarah was now happy because she had learned how to save herself from the sin of backbiting. But, there was still one thing that she needed to know. She held her mother and whispered into her ear, “Mummy! I said something bad about my Muslim sister. Please tell me, how do I get forgiven?” Her mother replied, “Saarah! If she has to come to know that you spoke ill of her, all you need to do is go to her and ask her for forgiveness. Otherwise, it will suffice to sincerely repent and also make du‘aa for her.”

Saarah wasted no time. She went the next day and met Aneesah’s friend, hugged her and begged her for forgiveness.


1. Do not say anything bad about any person.

2. Do not listen to backbiting.

3. If you say anything bad about any person and they come to know about it, ask them to forgive you.

4. Forgive all those people who said bad things about you.