Is It Considered Backbiting If I Use the Example of Others to Make a Point?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I want to get married to a person I like who is from an upper-middle-class family. We want to get married as soon as I finish my degree, and we are the same age. My mother knows that we like each other. But she wants a guy for me who has a very high income and high status in society. I don’t want a person with high status or a spoiled person for marriage. Now, I have to convince my mother of the person I want to marry. If I give her my brother’s or my aunt’s marriage as an example to convince her, by telling her that they had many problems during the marriage that were family related, or that not everyone is from a high-status family (neither family was satisfied with the arrangement) which really happened, will it be considered backbiting in Islam?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for valuing your suitor’s character and religion over his bank account. I pray that you can reach a compromise with your parents and that he be given a fair chance.


The Prophet’s advice (Allah bless him and give him peace) was the following:  “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty, or for her piety. Select the pious; may you be blessed!” [Bukhari & Muslim]

The same applies when choosing a man, and I urge you to remind your parents of this fact. They should meet him and get to know him so they see in him what you see and realize that high status and income are not everything. Be polite and respectful, and explain to them how important it is to you that he be given a fair chance.

Also, tell your parents that Allah Most High has told us in the Quran that he will enrich the pious who get married, “Marry off the singles among you, as well as the righteous of your bondmen and bondwomen. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty. For Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.” [Quran, 24:32]


When trying to convince your mother, don’t say a single negative thing about anyone. Bringing others down to prove your point is lowly, ineffective, and a poor way to argue. If you say that someone is not of high status or that someone is not rich, they might not like what is said about them, and it can constitute backbiting. Scholars and righteous Muslims avoid this kind of talk to uphold noble character. Instead, convince her with proofs from the Quran and Sunna and by examples from the family of our noble Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) who didn’t value wealth and status at all.

Please see more details here:


As is normally advised, for the most blessed outcome, pray istikhara, seeking Allah’s guidance on the matter. Be ready to submit to His will and to walk away or marry him. If Allah facilitates matters, know that it was meant to be, and if He does not, know that there is someone out there more suitable for you. The optimal situation is that you find someone that both you and your parents are excited about.

And remember this most important hadith if it doesn’t work out: Abu Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Most High but that Allah will replace it with something better for you.” [Musnad Ahmad]


Please see these links as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.