Should I Seek Forgiveness for Backbiting If It Will Worsen Relations?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I slandered my relatives because of the constant comparison and want to apologize. However, my parents are telling me not to contact them & to make dua, as they may never speak to us again. They are quite sensitive. Should I listen to my parents or tell them what I said & apologize?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for wanting to rectify your actions, and may He accept your repentance.


The first step after backbiting or slandering someone is to seek Allah’s forgiveness, and as a further step, to pinpoint what causes one to slander and try to eliminate those triggers from one’s life. One may also pray Salat al-Tawba. I am sure that Allah will accept your sincere repentance.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “One who repents from sin is like someone without sin.” [Ibn Maja]

Prayer of Repentance: Salat al-Tawba

Those Wronged

It is not obligatory to apologize to someone you slandered if they don’t know about it and if it would worsen relationships. In this case, your parents are correct. You can give some charity on their behalf or give them a good turn. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up an evil deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.” [Tirmidhi]

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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.