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Rayhana80

Difference between backbiting and venting?

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Asalam-o-Alaikum everyone 

I know backbiting is haram but some people when they are actually backbiting say that they are venting so they can feel better. Is it allowed? How far can you vent which doesn’t make it sound like backbiting? They are many oppressed people out there who are holding so much back but they cannot say it in front of the person (out of respect etc) but then they talk behind their back which makes them feel good. Most of the times I really don’t have to do anything with the issue but I only help them out being a good listener. Is it okay to do so?

Edited by Rayhana80

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56 minutes ago, Rayhana80 said:

Asalam-o-Alaikum everyone 

I know backbiting is haram but some people when they are actually backbiting say that they are venting so they can feel better. Is it allowed? How far can you vent which doesn’t make it sound like backbiting? They are many oppressed people out there who are holding so much back but they cannot say it in front of the person (out of respect etc) but then they talk behind their back which makes them feel good. Most of the times I really don’t have to do anything with the issue but I only help them out being a good listener. Is it okay to do so?

Vent = don't mention names.

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1 hour ago, fatma93 said:

@ShiaMan14 great answer, was wondering if its still haram if you're venting but the other person has an idea of who you're talking about

Good point, i was under the impression backbiting was when the person you are talking/venting to, knows the person you are talking/venting about. E.g. if i come home from work and vent/talk about some colleague who was being a pain in the back to a family member, does this count? 

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1 hour ago, YAli said:

Good point, i was under the impression backbiting was when the person you are talking/venting to, knows the person you are talking/venting about. E.g. if i come home from work and vent/talk about some colleague who was being a pain in the back to a family member, does this count? 

I guess you could say "a colleague"

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Venting where other people might see or hear you is very likely to be backbiting. Best to keep a private journal if you feel that you must complain. Better still, don't complain about things outside your control - complaining only increases negativity. 

If you are complaining to seek advice and want to avoid backbiting, it gets complicated. Only seek advice from a trustworthy and discreet person, and avoid mentioning specifics if possible.

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Every time backbiting is mentioned, this is also mentioned that if that person is oppressor and the oppressed complains about his Zulm, then that's not backbiting. I have also heard from people that if the person you are talking about is not Shia, then it's not backbiting. So you can talk about non-Muslims and Sunnis. I remember I was hearing a lecture in which scholar said, I am going to talk about one of my relatives, I will change the relation so it doesn't count as back biting. I feel like people find loop holes for laws all the time. We have started treating islamic laws in the same way. I don't think Allah will decide on the basis if such minor technicalities. It depends upon your intention and in most cases, people know who you are talking about, even if you don't mention their name. 

Another example is hijab. Women follow all the rules of physical hijab and they even try to enforce the rules on other women. Same women are breaking all rules of social hijab, and you cannot say anything to them because you have no proof. If a woman is talking about her work day with her brother in law for hours, you cannot say that she is doing anything unislamic. Similarly, if she is cooking her brother-in-law's favorite dishes everyday, again you cannot stop her because she is not doing anything unislamic. 

In my family, dinner conversations usually include making fun of women who are black, who are fat, who look like men and women who look like black people. They don't mention my name or my sister's name, but I know they are talking about us. 

Edited by rkazmi33

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19 minutes ago, rkazmi33 said:

Every time backbiting is mentioned, this is also mentioned that if that person is oppressor and the oppressed complains about his Zulm, then that's not backbiting. I have also heard from people that if the person you are talking about is not Shia, then it's not backbiting. So you can talk about non-Muslims and Sunnis. I remember I was hearing a lecture in which scholar said, I am going to talk about one of my relatives, I will change the relation so it doesn't count as back biting. I feel like people find loop holes for laws all the time. We have started treating islamic laws in the same way. I don't think Allah will decide on the basis if such minor technicalities. It depends upon your intention and in most cases, people know who you are talking about, even if you don't mention their name. 

Another example is hijab. Women follow all the rules of physical hijab and they even try to enforce the rules on other women. Same women are breaking all rules of social hijab, and you cannot say anything to them because you have no proof. If a woman is talking about her work day with her brother in law for hours, you cannot say that she is doing anything unislamic. Similarly, if she is cooking her brother-in-law's favorite dishes everyday, again you cannot stop her because she is not doing anything unislamic. 

Thank you for replying but I didn’t understand your comment on hijab.. is there anything wrong talking to your brother in law about your work or to cook for him? I would treat my in-laws as guests and accompany them in the absence of my husband. I can’t be rude to them. 

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11 minutes ago, Rayhana80 said:

Thank you for replying but I didn’t understand your comment on hijab.. is there anything wrong talking to your brother in law about your work or to cook for him? I would treat my in-laws as guests and accompany them in the absence of my husband. I can’t be rude to them. 

If your brother-in-law thinks that he can have more intelligent conversation with you compared to his wife or you are better at cooking and organizing than his wife, then it will cause problems in his marriage. It happens more than we like to admit. Men always compare their wives to all other women and other women usually win in this competition, so yes you are making the problems worse. Social hijab rules say you have to keep the interaction minimum, I find it hard to believe that a woman can have hours long conversation with a serious and expression less face and voice. Every smile on your face looks like a signal to a man. 

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48 minutes ago, rkazmi33 said:

If your brother-in-law thinks that he can have more intelligent conversation with you compared to his wife or you are better at cooking and organizing than his wife, then it will cause problems in his marriage. It happens more than we like to admit. Men always compare their wives to all other women and other women usually win in this competition, so yes you are making the problems worse. Social hijab rules say you have to keep the interaction minimum, I find it hard to believe that a woman can have hours long conversation with a serious and expression less face and voice. Every smile on your face looks like a signal to a man. 

Well.. I can’t speak for other women but I know my limits. Why is it always a woman who is making an effort to make society a better place? Why can’t a man do it for a change? Men have this disorder or you can say they live in this assumption that other women are better than their wives anyway, they are so ungrateful. So if they are thinking that way, it’s their problem not ours. I don’t think there is anything wrong talking to a na-mahram as long as you r not alone with him and you know your limits. Rest is on Allah to judge. 

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10 hours ago, ShiaMan14 said:

Vent = don't mention names.

Well.. what you can do if you know the name of the person? If you be a good listener, would that count as backbiting? I usually listen don’t say anything.. what if the person is someone you really care about and you can’t see that person stressing over it? I am confused as in what to do.. 

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23 minutes ago, Rayhana80 said:

Well.. I can’t speak for other women but I know my limits.

And what are those limits? as long as you don't touch a na-mehram? as long as you don't say I love you to a na-mehram? Everything else is okay? I don't know if you realize but the arguments you are using are the same kind of arguments women use against physical hijab. You are not doing it for other men, you are doing it for other women and you should hope that other women also think of you when they are talking to your husband. You know in a society, where men get away with so much emotional and psychological abuse, is it not your responsibility to try your best to make life easier for other women? When you know your actions are causing problems between a husband and a wife, first time may be unintentional, but how can you repeat your actions and claim that you are not causing any problems in a marriage? And most people who love to talk to opposite gender, they become sad and upset when they don't get a chance to talk to opposite gender, which clearly shows that they derive some kind of pleasure from talking to opposite gender. You can deceive yourself and others, but on Judgement Day, your limbs will provide evidence against you. 

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52 minutes ago, Rayhana80 said:

Well.. what you can do if you know the name of the person? If you be a good listener, would that count as backbiting? I usually listen don’t say anything.. what if the person is someone you really care about and you can’t see that person stressing over it? I am confused as in what to do.. 

As a compassionate friend of the person who is venting/backbiting, you are in an awkward position and there might be no correct answer. Point out to the complainer that they need to take steps to correct the problem or stop talking about it, because you are concerned that backbiting may happen and you don't want them to suffer from that. 

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45 minutes ago, rkazmi33 said:

And what are those limits? as long as you don't touch a na-mehram? as long as you don't say I love you to a na-mehram? Everything else is okay? I don't know if you realize but the arguments you are using are the same kind of arguments women use against physical hijab. You are not doing it for other men, you are doing it for other women and you should hope that other women also think of you when they are talking to your husband. You know in a society, where men get away with so much emotional and psychological abuse, is it not your responsibility to try your best to make life easier for other women? When you know your actions are causing problems between a husband and a wife, first time may be unintentional, but how can you repeat your actions and claim that you are not causing any problems in a marriage? And most people who love to talk to opposite gender, they become sad and upset when they don't get a chance to talk to opposite gender, which clearly shows that they derive some kind of pleasure from talking to opposite gender. You can deceive yourself and others, but on Judgement Day, your limbs will provide evidence against you. 

Now here we go again.. who says I am causing problem in someone’s happily married life? You didn’t get my point .. what I am trying to say is why do women have to make an effort to make it easier for men? If their mind is full of filth, what can we do? Look, let me put it this way, even if a man has a perfect wife and a beautiful complete family, if he wants to go astray he would, nobody can stop him. It’s all in his mind and unfortunately there are handful of people who are loyal to their wives. If a man can get a chance he would flirt with any woman possible regardless of age. Sometimes it amazes me how men think. I try my best not to joke around or talk freely with opposite gender but if I ever have a gut feeling about the other persons intentions I keep my distance. 

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22 minutes ago, Rayhana80 said:

 Sometimes it amazes me how men think. I try my best not to joke around or talk freely with opposite gender but if I ever have a gut feeling about the other persons intentions I keep my distance. 

Thank you! It is good that you think that way. Sorry for misunderstanding and I am sorry for going off-topic. 

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14 minutes ago, notme said:

@Rayhana80 @rkazmi33 let's get back to discussing the fine line between venting and backbiting. There are already dozens of topics discussing appropriate interaction between non-mehrams. 

Exactly! We seriously need to brush up on that.. if a woman is not allowed to talk to a non-Mehram then she won’t be able go out and work at all. If she wastes her energy on thinking what the opposite gender is thinking, how can she be functional and productive? If men have such problems they should limit their interaction with women. 

 

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