What this husband should do – if what his wife is saying
about him is true – is fear his Lord with regard to this demand that he is
making of his wife, and he should realize that he is sinning by doing this,
and that it is not permissible for his wife to obey him in this matter.
We advise this husband to focus on himself rather than other
people, and to look at his own faults and correct them, and to look at his
own shortcomings and strive to perfect his own self that is inclined towards
evil. That is better for him and is more appropriate than focusing on other
people and what they say and do. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on
him) said: The greatest loser is the one who is distracted from Allaah by
himself, and even worse off is the one who is distracted from himself by
other people. Al-Fawaa’id (p. 58).
He should not think badly of people and believe that he is
perfect, because not everything that people say concerns him or has to do
with him, rather it is his desire to hear people’s stories and find out
about their situations, and to rejoice at their shortcomings.
It is to be hoped that this husband does not approve of his
wife telling him what her family and other people say to her, even if they
are talking about him, because by doing that she would be a gossipmonger and
one of the salaf said: A gossipmonger and a liar could cause more damage in
an hour than a practitioner of witchcraft could do in a year. So how about
if he is the one who tells her to do that, and even orders her to do so, and
threatens to punish her if she does not do it?!
al-Nawawi said, quoting from Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali (may
Allaah have mercy on them both):
The one to whom gossip comes, saying So and so said this
about you, or did that to you, should do six things:
He should not believe it,
because the one who gossips is an evildoer.
He should tell him not to do
that, and advise him, and condemn his action.
He should hate him for the sake
of Allaah, for he is hateful before Allaah, may He be exalted, and he should
hate the one whom Allaah hates.
He should not think ill of his
He should not let what he is
told lead him to spy on others or try to find out about it.
He should not approve for
himself what he told the gossipmonger not to do, so he should not transmit
the gossip and say “So and so said such and such”, in which case he would
also be a gossipmonger and would be doing that which he told someone else
not to do. End quote.
What this husband wants from his wife is nameemah (gossip)
which is a major sin. Undoubtedly passing on such gossip will lead to evil
consequences, severing of ties, resentment and enmity, and undoubtedly the
wife’s family would hate for their words to be passed on. He should
understand that gossip is not merely passing on what people say for the
purpose of causing trouble, rather it may be for the purpose of enjoyment.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him)
What should be avoided and shunned totally is gossip which
means transmitting words from one person to another, or from one group to
another, or from one tribe to another, with the aim of causing trouble and
creating problems between them. It means disclosing that which should not be
disclosed, whether it is disliked by the one from whom it is transmitted or
the one to whom it is transmitted or a third party, and whether it is
disclosed verbally, in writing, in symbols or by gestures, and whether what
is transmitted is words or actions, and whether it refers to a fault or
shortcoming in the person from whom it is transmitted or not. A person
should keep quiet about whatever he sees of people’s situations, unless
speaking of it will bring some benefit to a Muslim or ward off some harm.
The motive in spreading gossip is either ill will towards the
person of whom one speaks or to show love to the person to whom one speaks,
or to indulge in unnecessary talk and falsehood. All of that is
There is a great deal of evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah
to show that gossip is haraam, such as the verses in which Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“And (O Muhammad صلى الله
عليه وسلم) obey you not everyone Hallaaf Maheen (the one who swears
much and is a liar or is worthless).
11. A slanderer, going about with calumnies”
“Woe to every slanderer and backbiter”
It was narrated that Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with
him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said: “No gossipmonger will enter Paradise” (Agreed upon). And it
was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Shall I not
tell you what is falsehood? It is nameemah (gossip), transmitting what
people say.” Narrated by Muslim.
Gossip is one of the things that incur the punishment in the
grave, because of the report narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased
with him), according to which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by two graves and said:
“They are being punished, but they
are not being punished for anything that was difficult to avoid.” Then he
said, “No. One of them used not to protect himself from his urine, and the
other used to walk around spreading malicious gossip.”
Rather backbiting and gossip are forbidden because they
involve attempts to cause trouble among people and create splits and chaos,
and fan the flames of enmity, rancour, destructive envy and hypocrisy, and
to take away love and friendship, by causing rifts and disputes and
resentment among brethren. It also involves lying, deceit, betrayal and
trickery, and making accusations against those who are innocent, and giving
in to slander and reviling and mentioning bad deeds and qualities, and
because they are a sign of cowardice, meanness and weakness; moreover those
who indulge in them commit sins which incur the wrath of Allaah and a
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz
It was said that al-‘adhu (translated above a falsehood)
means witchcraft in the language of Quraysh, and it was said that it means
lies and fabrications.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him)
My husband tells his family what I say, then he tells me what
they say, and that leads to many problems. I have often asked him not to do
that but he does not pay any heed. What should I do?
This is called nameemah (malicious gossip), which means
transmitting what people say by way of stirring up trouble. As for the
warning, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“ A slanderer, going about with calumnies”
[al-Qalam 68:10,11]. This is a
description of some of the people of Hell. And Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): “Woe to every slanderer and backbiter”[al-Humazah 104:1].
This refers to the gossipmonger. The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “No gossipmonger will enter Paradise.” And
according to a report: A gossipmonger could cause more damage in an hour
than a practitioner of witchcraft could do in a year. And the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that “The gossipmonger
will be punished in his grave.” Undoubtedly the prohibition is more emphatic
if the gossip is among a man and his wife and relatives. He has to fear
Allaah and remember that He is always watching him, and he should keep away
from things that will incur punishment in this world or the next. He has to
avoid lying, backbiting, gossip, slander and stirring up trouble among
people. He should be honest, protect people’s honour, fear Allaah and
remember that He is always watching, and that He is stern in punishment. End
Al-Hulool al-Shar’iyyah li’l-Khilaafaat wa’l-Mushkilaat
al-Zawjiyyah wa’l-Usariyyah byShaykh ‘Abd-Allaah
ibn Jibreem (fatwa no. 42).
So the husband must stop asking his wife to do this, and if
he persists then it is not permissible for his wife to respond to his
request. By agreeing to transmit what people say, one is persisting in sin
and listening to it, but by refusing one is refraining from it and putting a
stop to it.
If the wife is afraid that it will lead to troubles between
her and her husband, there is no sin on her, if her husband insists that she
should tell him what her family says, if she tells him that they praised him
and said good things about him, and other such words that will spread love
and friendly feelings, and will extinguish the flames of fitnah and disputes
between her husband and her family.
We ask Allaah to guide your husband and bring you together in
a good manner.
And Allaah knows best.