Backbiting is haram as per Qur’an, 49:12. But there are exeptions to it, where one can backbite about the other person if the other person falls in the following category:
- Giving a genuine advise on someone, eg: your opinion to a person who is seeking x person as his/her partner.
- A person who has treated you unjustly
- A person accusing a momin for something
- If someone claims a genealogy to which he doesn’t belongs
- One who openly commits sins
- One who openly speaks or writes against Islam
- Backbiting a person who spreads a bid’ah in the community
- Asking a ruling from Mujtahid where one needs to expose others
- Backbiting a person to safeguard him from a potential threat
- To identify someone as he is well known like blind, deaf etc These are few categories in which backbiting is permitted. Sheikh Ansari in his famous book al-Makasib (vol. 1 pg. 171) discusses this topic with much detail. For specific cases in each of the categories one needs to seek the fatwa of his marja.
Shaykh Kumail Rajani