The evil deed of backbiting that is prohibited in our religion can be committed in a number of ways. There are many kinds of speech that constitute backbiting, and it’s easy to backbite without even realizing your error.
Gheebah is to talk about a person in a negative manner, which would offend and upset the person in question if he was present. This could include any undesirable comment pertaining to his physical appearance, or his practice of the religion. It could also be something as basic as a snide remark regarding one’s financial status or children.
We can commit Gheebat in multiple ways. It could be through regular speech or by way of writing, for example, on the internet using social media. It doesn’t even have to be an outright, explicit statement. Even implicitly mocking, insulting, or exposing someone qualifies as backbiting. If the statement disparaging the other person is true, it is still considered backbiting. However, if it is an untruth, one would be guilty of slander.
One may seek to justify and cover up his backbiting by using Islam. In such a case, a person might convince himself that he is against backbiting in general. He could tell himself that he’s not committing Gheebah; rather, he is only sharing the truth about another person.
Others may pretend to be opposing immorality, whereas their primary intent is to talk negatively behind a person’s back. We have to take great care to ensure we never commit this dreadful sin. Furthermore, we should always be mindful of our intentions when speaking, only uttering that which is beneficial.
The Prophet (PBUH) said in a Hadith narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari that whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Reckoning should either speak good, or keep silent.