Faith and beliefs are supposed to bring out the best in ourselves and in others. By treating people with respect, honesty and honour; is a sign of a believer and good person inside and out. Thus, it is not allowed in Islam to spread stories such as rumors, gossip and even engaging in bad-mouthing another person.

It is also important for everyone to remember that Islam teaches us to refrain from talking about people behind their backs. Even in the teachings of the Al-Quran, the holy book teaches us not to engage in speculations and assumptions. Assumptions are the windows to our lives and when we assume, we naturally believe what we ‘create’ in our minds to be true, and with those assumptions, we naturally fill in the blanks with our interpretations of what we see or hear.

“But you are making assumptions without all the facts, and that’s not a sign of intelligence” C.C Hunter.

It has been repeated in the Quran; Muslims are warned about the sins of the tongue, as “backbiting” or “bad-mouthing” is something that is regarded as distasteful and an act of cannibalism.

“Oh you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin” (Quran 49:6).

Hence, a positive way to simply avoid gossiping in Islam is to first, always remember that Allah sees and knows all things. We should also always recognize that nobody is perfect and everybody is lacking in some way.

Second, “cut the cord”. Every once in a while everyone has to go through these phases in life where they had to make tough decisions in cutting the cord with anyone that no longer serves a purpose in their life, especially when that person constantly exudes the negative energy that not only affects themselves but also to everyone around them.

Third, to avoid gossiping, especially in this era of social media, where each walk of life’s main purpose is to post an update every single thing that has happened in their lives. It’s the era of posts and ‘likes’, and all with the purpose of yearning for attention. A break from social media is sometimes what you really need to take a breather from everybody. There is both good and bad when it comes to social media and by cleansing, the best solution when you want to abolish and eradicate that toxic energy you have left hanging in your back closet.

Forth, is to have an unbothered way of thinking. It is important for everyone to recognize that shaytan seeks to fuel doubt and mistrust among the believers. Thus “let the one who believes in Allah and the Hereafter utter good words, or let him be silent”. By having this mantra as your backbone to live a better and clean life, you will start to realize how a huge weight has been lifted off your chest. The unbothered way of thinking is when you hear a rumor about someone’s misfortune, you strive for compassion rather than continuing or passing along the gossip.

When you’ve mastered the art of unbothered thinking, it will be easier for you to slide into the fifth step which is to have a positive outlook on life. Where there will be no spying. Spying further fuels misinformation and thus creates a climate of mistrust amongst one another. Sometimes, we have to be corny and by remembering ourselves that life is way too short to be wasting it on someone else’s life.

“And spy not on each other behind their backs. Fear Allah. For Allah is the Most Merciful” (Quran 49:11-12).

A wise woman once said, by constantly complaining and gossiping about other people’s lives and personal matters, you are allowing that negativity stay and fester in your minds “rent free”. Why bother about other people’s mess and problems and passing along the gossip when you can focus on building and rebuilding yourself for the better you? We only live once. Focus on you and positive things will happen. Insha Allah.