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How Do I Repent from Gossiping About People?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How do we repent from gossiping about people and even calling someone sex worker ? The people gossiped about don’t know about it. Can this sin be forgiven without implementation of Hadd punishment? Is it enough to just ask Allah’s forgiveness as they don’t know about it?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Yes, it is possible to repent from this sin. Generally if telling the person you were backbiting about will make matters worse then the Ulema encouraged not telling that person. It would be wise to perform an act of worship, like giving charity, and donating the reward to the person one said things about.

Also, one of the gracious character traits Islam encourages is to conceal the faults of others. The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Whoever veils a Muslim Allah will veil him in this worlds and the next’ (Muslim). This is if one is certain that the individual in question has committed a sin, and he wants it to be kept private – as long as this doesn’t entail harm to another. If, however, one is not sure then it is from the manners of Islaim to not spy and to provide seventy excuses for the person. Allah said, ‘Believers, shun most suspicions: indeed, most suspicions are a great sin’ (49:12).

May Allah pardon our faults and veil us and all the Muslims in this world and the next.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.