Know that these two matters are from the most vilest and despicable of things, yet the most widely spread amongst mankind, such that no one is free from them except for a few people. Thus, I begin with these two, due to the public's need for being warned of them.
As for Backbiting (gheebah), then it is when you mention something about a person (in his absence), that he hates (to have mentioned), whether it is about: His body, his religious characteristics, his worldly affairs, his self, his physical appearance, his character, his wealth, his child, his father, his wife, his servant, his slave, his turban, his attire, his manner of walking, his smile, his dissoluteness, his frowning, his cheerfulness or anything else related to the above. Likewise, it is the same whether you mention that about him with words, through writings, or whether you point or indicate him by gesturing with your eyes, hand or head.
As for the body, then it is when you say: "he is blind", "he limps", "he is bleary-eyed", "he is bald", "he is short", "he is tall", "he is black", "he is yellow". As for his religious qualities, then it is when you say: "he is a sinner", "he is a thief", "he is a betrayer", "he is an oppressor", "he takes the prayer lightly", "he is lenient with impurities", "he does not behave well towards his parents", "he does not pay the Zakaat duly", and "he does not avoid backbiting." As for the worldly matters, then it is when you say: "he has poor manners", "he's unmindful of people", "he does not think that anyone has a right over him", "he talks too much", "he eats and sleeps too much", "he sleeps at the wrong times", "he sits in places he does not belong in."
As for those matters connected with one’s parents, then it is when you say: "his father is a sinner", "an Indian", "a Nabatean", "a Negro", "a loafer", "a seeds man", "a cattle dealer", "a carpenter", "a blacksmith", "a weaver." As for his character, then it is when you say: "he has bad manners", "he is arrogant", "he is quarrelsome", "he is rash and hasty", "he is tyrannical", "he is feeble", "he has a weak heart", "he is irresponsible", "he is dismal", "he is dissolute", etc. As for the garment: "it has wide sleeves", "it has short hems", "what a filthy garment", and so on.
The remaining categories can be deduced based upon what we have mentioned, considering that the source rule behind it is: “Mentioning some aspect about him that he hates to have mentioned.” Imaam Abu Haamid Al-Ghazaalee quoted the consensus of the Muslim scholars with regard to backbiting being: “One's mentioning something about other people (in their absence), which they hate to have mentioned.”
As for Gossiping (nameemah), then it is when one conveys and carries the talk of people from one group of individuals to another with the intent of causing discord between the two of them.
These are the definitions of the two. As for their rulings, then they are forbidden according to the unanimous agreement of the Muslim scholars. The clear evidences in the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of the ummah indicate its prohibition. Allah says:
"And do not backbite one another." [Surah Al-Hujuraat: 12]
And He says:
"Woe to every slanderer and backbiter." [Surah Al-Humazah: 1]
"A slanderer going about with gossip." [Surah Al-Qalam: 11]
Hudhayfah (radyAllahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "The one who spreads gossip (Namaam) will not enter Paradise."
Ibn 'Abbaas (radyAllahu ‘anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger once passed by two graves and said: "Verily, they (occupants of graves) are both being tormented and they are not being tormented for something major."
In the report from Al-Bukhari, it states: "Rather, it is indeed something major. As for the first one, then he used to go around spreading gossip (nameemah) and as for the other, then he used not to protect himself from his own urine."
The scholars say the meaning of "and they are not being tormented for something major" is "something major" according to their opinion or "something major" for them to have abandoned doing.
 Saheeh – Reported by Al-Bukhari (10/472 of al-Fath) and Muslim (105), and the wording is from him.
 Saheeh – Reported by Al-Bukhari (1/317 and 322, 3/222-223 and 242) and Muslim (292).
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human