Refrain from Gossip and Backbiting
Gossip and backbiting is one of the worst things humans can do to one another. There is absolutely no benefit in it, and it brings nothing other than harm. And it is for this reason that Islam unequivocally declares it illegal: haram
Allah says, “… nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it. But fear Allah, for Allah is Oft Returning, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:12). We must remember that it is our brother or sister who we are talking about. In being loyal to them, we must guard our tongue when discussing them with others and speak only good. Remember the words of the Prophet (pbuh) as he further explained the sin of gossip and backbiting, “Do you know what gossip is? They said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘It is your saying about your brother something which he dislikes. He was asked, ‘What do you think if what I say about my brother is true?’ He said, ‘If it is true then you have gossiped about him, and if it is not true then you have slandered him.’” (Muslim).
We must be careful in our discussions with others on any topic, as it could very easily lead to gossip. The one who stands around and listens to such talk is guilty of the sin as well. Because we have to show loyalty, the Sunnah instructs us to speak up on behalf of the absent person, or refuse to be part of such discussions. This can be easier said than done, because not to get involved in gossiping today is a tremendous burden to carry even in environments that are supposedly professional, respectful and loyalty-based.
Take for example what goes on in many corporate climates where gathering around the water cooler for regular chats about co-workers can seem like part of the job. Choosing not to join these discussions can make you look like you are isolating yourself from everyone else. But we must always remember that to Allah we will return, and trust that deciding not to participate in ruthless chatter is our best choice. More than likely, others will respect your decision to adhere to your values.