Looks all good and harmless right?This is what gossip really is. We all know that Allah subhanhu wa ta a'ala abhors the nature of mankind that inclines its men and womenfolk to gossip about one another. Or if you don't, and are new to Islam, I will post the ayah from the Qu'ran for clarity's sake: "...Nor speak ill of eachother behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother/sister? Nay, you would abhor it. But fear Allah" (Qu'ran 49: 12). Gossip is like eating the flesh of the person you are backbiting, gossiping about, or slandering. That is the metaphor we are given by Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala about this despicable habit.
And the punishment for those who gossip about any member of this Ummah? "Those who love [to see] scandal published and broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter..." (Qu'ran 24:19)
The Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam advised in this hadith: "No man conceals the sin of another in this world, but Allah will cover him on the Day of Resurrection." (Muslim). And this hadith--- "Whoever sees a Muslim's fault and covers it up, it will be as if he brought back to life a baby girl who had been buried alive." (Ibid). This means we are supposed to conceal our own sins (excepting that we can provide advice to help prevent others from committing the same sins), not only the sins of others'. We are not supposed to say something about somebody they would not like, even if it is true. If we say something they do not like to others about them, then it is backbiting. If we say something to somebody other than the person comitting the sin (in private) we are gossiping (even if the gossip is true). If it is untrue, then we have slandered them. Do you know what gossiping is?:"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 I say about my brother it 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). . And 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib reports: "The one who gives his tongue free rein in spreading scandal in the commnity is as great a sinner as the one who commits a scandalous act." Ponder that, if you will. The one who spreads the gossip about the one who say, flirted with a boy, or wore too much eyeshadow, or bought a lottery ticket, or even committed fornication, has committed a sin as great as the one they have spoken of. This because the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alahi wa salaam has related "You will find among the worst people in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection, the one who is two-faced, who approaches some people in one way and others in another." (Bukhari, Muslim, et al). "The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe. (Bukhari). So you say la ilaha il allah but you hurt other Muslims and they are not safe fro you? Then, you risk not being what the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam considered a Muslim to be. We are told to protect eachother from sin, not by shaming them "The whole of a Muslim's being is sacred to another Muslim-his blood, his wealth and his honour are inviolable." (Muslim). The Qu'ran tells us not to seek out others faults "...And spy not on one another..." (Qu'ran 49:12). Slander and accusations destroy the integrity of the Umah which is why adultery, which has such a high price in its punishment, is worthy of death (it causes suspicion and gossip and destroy bonds of brotherhood and family ties in the way that gossip and slander does!). Rasul Allah, sal Allah alayhi wa sallam, said "...And anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should say what is good or keep quiet." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 47I will describe the ugliest monster created by nothing more than the human tongue: it has no legs and so it must be carried everywhere. It has no eyes, so it sees things that never were. It has no hands but it can slay, and maim, and kill, and has. That ugly monster is gossip. It causes suicides in highschools, breaks up marriages, ruins friendships, and plagues this ummah. Many, the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam said, would be led to hell by their tongues (gossiping), or by the tongues of others' (ie listening to gossip). Sisters, you cannot stop others from gossiping about you, but you can avoid spreading gossip, and a way better even than that is to avoid listening to it.