Is Backbiting About Fictional Characters Unlawful?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


In the past, I used to watch videos where people would discuss the “best character in a show,” initially suggesting one character and then changing their opinion. Is this considered backbiting since they are implying that the initial choice is not the best or not good? At that time, I was unaware that listening to backbiting was a sin, and I was uncertain if I recognized any issue with those videos. Am I considered sinful in this regard? It’s important to note that all the characters discussed in these videos are fictional.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah protect our tongues from sin and guide us to what pleases Him. Thank you for your question.

The described scenario is not considered backbiting (ghiba), and Allah knows best.

What Is Backbiting (Ghiba)?

Backbiting (ghiba) means speaking about a Muslim in his absence and saying things he would not like to have spread around or mentioned.

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Do you know what backbiting (ghiba) is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Saying something about your brother that he dislikes.” It was said, “What if what I say about my brother is true?” He said, “If what you say is true, then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him.”  [Muslim]

Fictional Character “Backbiting”

Discussing fictional characters and changing opinions about them does not constitute backbiting, as these characters are not real individuals.

However, it’s commendable that you are mindful of avoiding sinful actions. In the future, if you come across content that raises concerns, exercise caution and seek knowledge to uphold Islamic principles.

Remember, when in doubt, do without.

Al-Nu‘man Ibn Bashir (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The lawful is clear, and the unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know.

Thus, he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself regarding his religion and his honor, and he who falls into doubtful matters will fall into the unlawful as the shepherd who pastures near a sanctuary, all but grazing therein.

Verily, every king has a sanctum, and the sanctum of Allah is His prohibitions. Verily, in the body is a piece of flesh which, if sound, the entire body is sound, and if corrupt, the entire body is corrupt. Indeed, it is the heart.” [Agreed Upon – Bukhari & Muslim]

May Allah guide and bless you.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.