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WHAT IS GHEEBAT? In the Hadith Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “Backbiting is to mention something of your fellow Muslim brother what he would dislike (that such a thing is being mentioned about him.” Somebody asked: “And what if it is true?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied: “If it is true you have indulged in gheebat. If it is a lie, you are guilty of slandering him” (Mishkaat). Thus the common retort to justify one’s backbiting such as “what I am saying is true!” will not negate the sin of gheebat. In fact this is gheebat in its totality.