A man came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informing him of two women who were fasting and were about to die of thirst. Initially Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) ignored him but when he came for a second time Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) called for the women. When they came, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) ordered one of them to vomit in a bowl that was brought. She vomited flesh, blood and pus that filled half the bowl. Then he ordered the second one to vomit as well, and she vomited the same that had now filled the entire bowl. Thereafter Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “These two women observed fast from that which is normally permissible (i.e. food and drink) but have broken their fast on that which is always impermissible. They sat eating the flesh of people (i.e. backbiting).” (Musnad Ahmad #23653)

While we keep away from food and drink which are normally permissible, it is imperative that we abstain from all types of sins which are permanently haraam. Backbiting does not only take place verbally. It also occurs via writing and texting. Let us make this Ramadhaan a social-network-free Ramadhaan in order to save ourselves from gossiping and backbiting. Furthermore we learn from this hadeeth that the one who engages in sin experiences difficulty in his fast.