After all we are not (just) creatures of logic. We are made of flesh and bones. We have blood running in our veins. The reaction to backbiting is bound to occur. So instead of losing friends and increasing the number of enemies it worthwhile to behave all our life in such a
way that we win friends and keep our enemies as few as possible.
As we have said backbiting is not only a sin but is also a social crime. And when the crime is committed society is harmed. Those who think rightly and behave nicely despise this act. Thus one who backbites increases his enemies. The enmity may result in grave consequences.
Backbiting results in increase in animosity. Now to destroy an enemy we may develop a method - the best and surest. It is of making him a friend.
To illustrate this practically, we may say that if someone backbites then the best thing to destroy his inimical behaviour is not to pay him in the same coins by committing the (same) major sin. Not only that we should not backbite him, but we should instead make a mention of his person in decent words.
Our pleasant conduct in return for his hostile attitude will put him to shame and he would give up his efforts and instead become friendly. An enemy is thus eliminated in the sense that he is now no longer hostile.
There is no monetary cost for this pleasure. One may have some hitch or hesitation in entertaining himself when he has to pay for it, but for this no expense is to be incurred. It needs no prior arrangements - only a simple occasion for idle talk is required and the people get going with it.
The crime being of a cankering nature - the principal enemy of man the Satan instigates and inspires people to commit it.
But we should be very mindful of the grave consequences and serious effects this habit has on us, individually and collectively in this world which would make us live a wretched and miserable life.
Moreover, because of the evil deed done deliberately despite so oft-repeated warnings from Allah, His Last Messenger and the infallible Imams, our place in the Hereafter will be in one of the hottest corners of Hell.
Hence let us take heed and do not be amongst the losers - both here and in the Hereafter. Instead we must strive to have a life of peace and tranquility here and gain salvation and bliss in the Hereafter.
To say it again - because the reminder is of immense value in this case - gheebah is a sin so manifest and of a enormous magnitude. The act is heinous. This is why Quran draws an analogy between backbiting and cannibalising one's own dead brother (49: 12).
As we have said, backbiting is a very common practice. The act yields pleasure and is a source of enjoyment, satisfying for the soul - the soul governed by an evil self.
Because of the gratification derived from this act, many people do indulge freely in it disregarding the evil effects it has on the individuals and ultimately the society, and the severe punishment in the hereafter that awaits both the backbiter and those abetting his actions; abetting means listening with interest too. The criterion “with interest” is significant because someone may be present at a particular place and some others could be backbiting in his presence. But he is not in the position to either stop them from doing it. Neither could he leave their company. Rather he is forced by circumstances and listens only reluctantly.
One of the factors leading one to this sinful act is curiosity. His eagerness to know the affairs of another person drive him to indulge in this act. Speaking or hearing about the faults and (misfortunes) of another somehow yields so much pleasure to him, such that he would stoop so low to do it. It is best to restrain the curiosity so that the urge to speak ill of others is suppressed, and one can save himself from the grave consequences of backbiting.
Now, as we know Satan is the arch-enemy of man and will remain so till the time appointed by Him. So ho does entice people to commit sins. The sinfulness of man pleases the Satan much.
We are warned not only of the great chastisement that the backbiters shall receive in return for the sin. Not only it is similar to the eating of a dead brother's flesh, but the consequences may be grave. It ruins an individual, a family, a community, a nation or a group of nations.
It is therefore necessary to realize the gravity of the sin and its grave consequences and discourage people from indulging in it.
May Allah help us in our determination not to indulge in backbiting. It is otherwise very difficult to resist the temptation especially when instigated by the Tempter himself.
So let us not indulge in backbiting.