Story No. 341 – Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) and Gheebat (Backbiting)/Gheebah (Gossip)
Once a man who claimed to be a friend of our 4th Imam, Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) came to him and told him that so and so had been saying horrible things about him.
Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) replied that he had not heard anything and would not have if the man had not told him. Imam Zainul Abiddin (as) then continued that the person who had said the horrible things was as if he had shot an arrow and missed the target but the man who had told him was as if he had picked up the fallen arrow and hit the target with it.
Allah (SWT) does not like the habit of spreading scandal and gossip even if it be true.
In the time of Prophet Musa / Moses (pbuh), once there was a severe drought. For months there had been no rain. The people prayed and prayed but no rain came. When Prophet Musa / Moses (pbuh) went to mount Sinai to pray, Allah (SWT) revealed to him that amongst his people there was someone who spreading scandal and because of this person Allah (SWT) had not let it rain.
Prophet Musa / Moses (pbuh) asked Allah (SWT) who this person was so that he could tell him off for what he had done. Allah (SWT) replied that did Prophet Musa / Moses (pbuh) want Him to do what He had forbidden for others. (i.e. talk about others).
Moral: Do not talk about other people Gheebat (Backbiting) when they are not there even if what you say is true.