Backbiting and mocking others in a gathering

Reference: Fataawa Noor ‘alad-Darb – Question No.6420, Pages 248-249, Volume 12

Question: [I am] a woman who spends a lot of time in gatherings with [other] women, and a lot of the time in these gatherings there is backbiting and mockery [of others]. I feel uncomfortable about [all] this, and don’t like it, however, I am unable to do anything – not even to get up and leave the gathering. So in this situation, am I still considered to have partaken in the[ir] sin? Bearing in mind, inside I dislike it and am uncomfortable about it, however, I am unable to do anything about it other than that, so what should be done in such a situation? I implore you to advise me and offer guidance.

Response: What you should do in such a situation is to get up and leave the gathering; it is not permissible for you to remain there. Even if you dislike it in your heart, you are obliged to leave the gathering since you are not forced to remain. If, however, you are threatened, and are told that if you leave the gathering, you will be beaten up – and you know she is able to do that, then in this case you are compelled to remain, and [as such] you will not be liable [for any sin].

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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