Friday, March 18, 2011

Expiation for gossip


Expiation for gossip
With regard to expiation for gossip, is saying “Lord forgive me and the believing men and women and the Muslim men and women” sufficient to ask for forgiveness for the one I gossiped about, or must I pray for him by name?.

From Quran Blog 

And important note that we want to discuss and share with you its is about reading Quran and Reciting Holy Quran to understand it, Ramadan is the month when the beautiful the Holy Quran has been revealed.  A miracle by the creator of the worlds, Allah (SWT)  Should we not glorify him by reading the gift he has sent down for us and learn Arabic Quran by heart  to feel the power of it and learn is with translation to understand it and let our heart fill will tears of glory and wash away our sins  “Will they not meditate on the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts”, read Holy Quran, Surah Muhammad, Verse 24.

End from holy Quran reciter blog

Praise be to Allaah.

Gossip is a major sin, and undoubtedly all Muslims know this,
and they know the punishment that Allaah will inflict on the one who
gossips. The seriousness of this sin is due to two reasons: 

It has to do with people’s
rights, so it is more serious because it involves wrongdoing against

It is an easy sin that most
people commit, except those on whom Allaah has mercy. People usually regard
easy things as insignificant although they are serious before Allaah. 

With regard to expiation for gossiping, it is essential to
note a few important points: 

Firstly: In a number of fatwas on our site we have pointed
out that expiation for gossip includes praying for forgiveness for the one
you gossiped about, and making du’aa’ for him, and praising him in his
absence. We hope that the reader will look at these fatwas and read the
words of the scholars. See the answers to questions no.
and 65649

Secondly: Stating that praying for forgiveness is the
expiation for gossip does not mean that it is sufficient. The basic
principle is that sins cannot be erased except by sincere repentance which
is accompanied by giving up the sin, regretting it, resolving not to go back
to it and being sincere at heart in one’s dealings with the Creator, may He
be glorified. Then there is the hope if one repents in this manner, Allaah
will forgive him his sins and pardon his errors. 

With regard to people’s rights and transgressions against
people, they can only be expiated if the people affected pardon him and
forgive him. The evidence for that is in the Sunnah of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “Whoever has wronged
his brother with regard to his honour or something, let him ask him for
forgiveness before the time when there will be neither dinar nor
dirham, and if he has any good deeds it will be taken from him in
proportion to the wrong he did, and if he does not have any good deeds (hasanaat),
some of the other person's evil deeds (sayi’aat) will be taken and
given to him to bear.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2449). 

The command is to seek forgiveness for wrongdoing before
scores are settled among people on the Day of Reckoning, when scores will be
settled with hasanaat (good deeds) and sayi’aat (bad deeds), and true losses
will be borne by those who wronged people with regard to their wealth,
honour and blood. 

Thirdly: What the one who wants to free himself of the sin of
gossip must do is strive hard to seek forgiveness from the one whom he
gossiped about, and ask him to pardon him, and apologize to him with kind
and good words, and he should be as humble as he can in that, even if he has
to buy an extremely valuable gift or offer financial help. The scholars have
stated that all of that is permissible when it comes to restoring people’s

Because the scholars among the righteous salaf and fuqaha’
thought that seeking people’s forgiveness for gossip might lead – in some
cases – to greater evils such as grudges or breaking of ties, and people
might feel resentment and grudges to an extent that is known only to Allaah,
most of the scholars granted concessions allowing one not to seek
forgiveness (from the victim), and they hoped that it would be sufficient to
pray for forgiveness for the victim of gossip and say du’aa’ for him and
praise him in his absence. 

Other scholars were of the view that nothing could expiate
for gossip but the forgiveness of the one who was wronged. But the correct
view is that if the one who gossiped repents sincerely, he does not have to
tell the one about whom he gossiped about that, especially if he fears that
this would cause more trouble, as is usually the case. 

Praying for forgiveness for the one he gossiped about is an
exceptional case and is a case of necessity dictated by sharee’ah, where
warding off harm takes precedence over bringing benefits. 

From the above it may be understood that the one who regards
the sin of gossip as insignificant on the basis that praying for forgiveness
is sufficient to expiate this sin is incorrect. His thinking is wrong for
three reasons:  

He forgets that the basic
condition for repentance is regret, giving up the sin and sincerely
repenting to Allaah. This condition may not be truly met in the case of most

The basic principle in
expiation with regard to people’s rights is striving to seek their pardon.
If he thinks that telling the person about the gossip will lead to a greater
evil, then he may resort to praying for forgiveness for him in that case,
otherwise the basic principle is that he should seek pardon from the one
whom he wronged.

This shows you that if the
person who was gossiped about has heard about what another man has said
about him, then – in this case – it is essential to seek forgiveness from
him directly, so that the harm suffered by the victim will be undone and his
resentment may be dispelled. If he does not pardon or forgive, then there is
no option after that but to pray for forgiveness for him and say du’aa’ for


Then after all that, does the questioner think that praying
for forgiveness in general terms – “O Allaah, forgive the believing men and
women” – is sufficient to expiate for the sin of gossiping?! 

We say that when we hope that Allaah will accept du’aa’ and
prayers for forgiveness as an expiation for bad deeds, it is essential to be
sincere towards Allaah in this du’aa’, to seek out means of drawing close to
Allaah, and to repeat it in times and places where du’aa’s are answered, and
pray for all goodness and blessing in this world and in the Hereafter.
Undoubtedly such a du’aa’ requires us to specify the person for whom we are
praying, either mentioning him by name or describing him, by saying: O
Allaah, forgive me and the one whom I have gossiped about and wronged; O
Allaah, pardon us and him, and whatever else you can say in your du’aa’. 

As for praying in general terms, it does not seem to be
sufficient to achieve what you are hoping for from Allaah. Just as you
gossiped about him by mentioning his name or describing him, and you singled
him out for harm, so too you should pray specifically for him and ask for
forgiveness for him, so that the bad deeds will be replaced by good. 


It should be noted that the purpose behind praying for
forgiveness and saying du’aa’ is to ward off bad deeds with good, and to
compensate for misdeeds. Hence it is not limited to prayers for forgiveness
in exclusion to other good deeds. Rather you can do a good deed and dedicate
its reward to the one about whom you gossiped, such as giving charity on his
behalf or offering him some help, or supporting him at times of hardship,
and trying to compensate him for the wrong you did as much as you can. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (18/187-189): 

As for the rights of the one who was wronged, they are not
waived just because one repents. This is a right and there is no difference
between a killer and other wrongdoers. If a person repents from wrongdoing,
the rights of the one whom he wronged are not waived because of his
repentance, rather it is part of his repentance to compensate him to a level
commensurate with his wrongdoing. If he does not compensate him in this
world then he will inevitably compensate him in the Hereafter. So the
wrongdoer who has repented should do a lot of good deeds, so that when those
who have been wronged claim their rights, he will not end up bankrupt. And
if Allaah wants to compensate the one who was wronged then no one can
prevent His bounty, such as if He wants to forgive sins less than shirk for
whomever He wills. Hence in the hadeeth about qasaas, for which Jaabir ibn
‘Abd-Allaah rode for a month to ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Unays to hear it from his
lips – which was narrated by Imam Ahmad (3/495) and others, and which
al-Bukhaari quoted as evidence in his Saheeh – it says: “When the Day
of Resurrection comes, Allaah will gather all creatures in a single plain so
that the announcer will be able to make them all hear his voice and the
watcher will be able to see all of them, then He will call them in a voice
that will be heard from afar just as it is heard from nearby: ‘I am the
Sovereign, I am the Judge. None of the people of Hell should enter Hell if
they have any right due from any of the people of Paradise, until the score
is settled, and none of the people of Paradise should enter Paradise if they
have any right due from any of the people of Hell, until the score is

And in Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Sa’eed:
“When the people of Paradise cross al-siraat and stand on a bridge between
Paradise and Hell, they will settle their scores with one another, and when
they are cleansed and purified, permission will be given to them to enter

When Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, said
(interpretation of the meaning): “neither backbite one another” – as
gossip is a transgression against people’s honour – He then said: “Would
one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so
hate backbiting). And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is the One Who forgives
and accepts repentance, Most Merciful” [al-Hujuraat 49:12].  

So He told them to repent from gossip, because it is a kind
of wrongdoing. 

This applies if the one who was wronged found out about the
gossip. But if he gossiped about him or slandered him and he did not know
about it, it was said that one of the conditions of repentance is telling
him, and it was said that this is not essential, which is the view of the
majority. Both views were narrated from Ahmad. But he should still do good
things for the one who was wronged, such as saying du’aa’ for him, praying
for forgiveness for him, and doing good deeds and giving him the reward for
that, so as to make up for gossiping about him and slandering him. Al-Hasan
al-Basri said: The expiation for gossip is praying for forgiveness for the
one about whom you gossiped. End quote. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


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