What causes someone to backbite his Muslim brothers and sisters?
This is done by backbiting the person who kindles his anger. So every time this person makes him angry, he subdues it by backbiting the person. Through this (the backbiting), he feels he is getting even with the other person.
The cure for this is the advice of the Messenger sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam when a man came to him and said, “Advise me.”
RasulAllah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Laa taqhdab (Do not become angry)!”
2. Wanting to Make or Keep Friends
In order to maintain friends with others, a person indulges in backbiting because he is afraid of losing their friendship. Thus he does not reprimand them when they backbite, but indulges in it with them.
To cure this, he must remember the saying of the Messenger sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam:
“Whoever seeks the pleasure of men by displeasing Allah, Allah will abandon him to the people” (Tirmidhi).
3. Playing Around, Joking and Making Fun of Others
This could involve mockery and sarcasm. It is enough to remind those indulging in this practice of what Allah, the Most High, said:
O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter is better than the former… (Al-Hujurat 49/11).
It could very well be that Allah loves them and does not love us.
4. Anger for the Sake of Allah
A person may become angry because of a sin committed by another person. So, he talks about it venting his anger and mentioning that person’s name instead of concealing it and not mentioning him.
Sufyaan Ibn Al-Husayn narrates:
“I was sitting with Iyaas Ibn Mu’aawiyah when a man walked by and I said ill of that man. ‘Keep quiet!’ Iyaas said to me. ‘Have you fought the Romans?’”
“I said no. He asked, ‘Have you fought the Turk?’”
“I said no. He then said, ‘The Romans were saved from you and likewise the Turk were saved from you. But your own Muslim brother was not saved!’”
“After that, I never backbited anyone.”
5. Having Too Much Spare Time
This can cause a person to fall into backbiting, because it is easy for such an idle mind to become busy with men, their honor, and their faults. To correct this, a person must spend his time in acts of obedience to Allah, worshipping, seeking knowledge, and teaching others.
6. Conceit and Lack of Awareness of One’s Faults
Such people should think about their own faults and try to correct themselves, and feel ashamed to criticize others when they have many faults themselves.
It was said to Rabee’ Ibn Khaytham, “We never see you finding fault in others.”
He replied, “I am not satisfied with myself enough to dedicate my time to finding faults in others.”
Uqbah Ibn Aamir narrates:
I said, “O RasulAllah! What is salvation?”
He sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Hold your tongue! Your house should suffice you! And cry over your (own) faults” (Tirmidhi)!