OMG, did you hear about… how to avoid Gossiping?

So, we are all females here and we all know how easy it is to get sucked into the newest story of Eman and how she and Tamer are no longer engaged. Or how Hoda is no longer employed by that big fashion company. Or how Mona and Lina are no longer friends. Although these things may just seem like “happenings”, they really are the newest gossip. So for argument’s sake, let me define exactly what “gossip” is. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, gossip is the idle talk about the affairs of others, whether they are good or bad. Yes, sisters- GOOD or BAD.

Ghibah (Gossip) is something that is very frowned upon in Islam. As Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“A person may utter a word he thinks harmless, which results in his falling the depth of seventy years into hellfire.”

I know resisting to gossip is hard. And I also know how abundant it is in our society today. BUT I can also tell you that there are several things you can do to avoid it all.

It’s a Small World

Always remember that whatever is circulating might just come back to the person it is about. Do you really want to have your name on that sin? Also realize that once you are a labeled gossip, you might not be seen as so trustworthy. Therefore, some of your closest friends might find it hard to come to you. Gossiping can lead to many things, including broken friendships and trust.

Silence is Golden

Secondly, try not to listen to the gossip. You know which of your friends is the ‘social butterfly,’ so try to engage in other conversations with her. If she somehow manages to bring up something about another person, remain silent. You do not have to answer in any way, unless it is to disprove her statement. Yes, it is wrong to be talking about another person, good or bad, but if you are doing it for the sake of helping them, then it is perfectly fine (just be sure you are positive about what you say.) For example:

LeilaGossip: “Oh did you hear about Dina? She’s thinking about breaking up with Ahmed.”
You: “.. Hmm, I was just talking to Dina the other day and she said everything is fine.”

Dip Out

Thirdly, do no get caught up on gossipy conversations. For example- you are out with a group of girls at a restaurant and as you are waiting for the food to arrive, Soaad brings up something about Somaya which creates a huge topic of conversation. Simply excuse yourself and go to the restroom. This is the best way to eliminate yourself from the conversation and avoid temptation to respond.

“Speaking of!.. What did you think of that…”

Interrupting a gossip session with a different topic also seems to work very well. Say your friends are too busy talking about Mustafa and how he really wasn’t playing that well during last week’s soccer game. Instead of continuing the banter about Mustafa, bring up something about another sport. Like: “Did you see that match on ESPN last night?” Hopefully, they would get the hint and stop talking about Mustafa.

There you have it, girls. There are many ways to avoid the ever growing problem of gossip- especially in the female world. If every person tries to withhold their judgments, I’m sure this world will be a much happier and better place insha’Allah. Remember, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“The one who adheres to the lengthy silence (except from that which is good) will be saved on the Day of Judgment.”

The more we stick to this way of interacting, the more it will become the natural thing to do. Sooner or later, these pesky gossipers will have nobody to tell their juicy news to. Also, we will be able to raise our children to be the same way and help make the world that much better.

Salams for now!