Sitting in gatherings where backbiting takes place

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

Question: I often sit in the company of other women, and often is the case that there is backbiting in these gatherings. And I feel very agitated by this, and dislike it, however, I am unable to actually do anything about it; I can’t even leave the gathering. So in this situation, am I considered to have partaken in the sin along with the others? Bearing in mind inside I detest it, and am agitated by it [all], however, I am unable to do anything other than that, so what [advice do you have for me] in this situation?

Response: In this situation you must get up and leave such a gathering, as it is not permissible for you to remain there. Even if you detest it in your heart, you are required to leave such a gathering, because no-one is preventing you from doing so. If, however, you were restricted [from leaving], and were told if you left the gathering you will be beaten up, then in this case you are unable to do that. So you are compelled to remain, and [in shaa.-Allaah] there is no sin upon you.

- from London, UK. 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.

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