Is Talking Badly About Someone in a Group Chat Considered Backbiting?

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question

There is a group chat in which person A is being negatively spoken about. Person A is also part of the group chat; however, person A does not like what the other members are doing. Moreover, person A is spoken about when he is not actively engaging in the conversations. Is this considered backbiting or haram?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Backbiting is to mention anything Islamically negative about your Muslim brother or sister that they would not like behind their backs without a valid legal excuse to do so. It is unlawful and sinful. If done in front of the person and they do not approve or like it, it is still unlawful, regardless of whether it is backbiting or not, because it is insulting them. [Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din]

Mentioning someone in a group chat by something they dislike and disapprove of, whether in their presence or not, would be sinful and should be stopped by anyone present to prevent further wrong.

Allah Most High says, “O you believe… do not backbite each other. Would any of you want to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Rather, he would detest that! And have consciousness of Allah; indeed Allah is Oft-Relenting (to repentance) and Most Merciful.” [Quran, 49:12]

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.