Anonymous asked: If you have a friend that's gossiping and lying about other people, and even if you don't join in, are you judged for not stopping them? Cuz people hate when you do that. And if I'm too afraid to say stop, is it ok to avoid those people? And Salam Alaikoum. Sorry.
Wa alykum as-salaam,
You need to do your best, for The Qur’an says:
"O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God’s claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them. Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!” [4:135]
It doesn’t matter what people hate or not, they will respect you for holding onto your values and for standing up for what you believe in, even if they disagree with you. This is the right thing to do.
Imam Baghawi reports the following Hadith:
“If a man’s Muslim brother is slandered in his presence, and he is capable of defending him and does so, God will defend him in this world and in the next. But if he fails to defend him, God will destroy him in this world and the next.”
That being said, even with those who are backbiting, remember this Hadith, which is found in Bukhari, Ibn Majah, where The Prophet is narrated to have said:
“Whoever covers (the sin of) a Muslim, God will cover him (his sin) in this world and in the Hereafter.”
There is a polite way of doing this, do not be overly aggressive, but remember that you are protecting a Muslim from slander, and slander is quite serious from the perspective of The Qur’an.
I know this is uncomfortable, but you must strive to do this, for The Prophet is reported to have said in Abu Dawud:
"The best fighting (jihad) in the path of God is (to speak) a word of justice to an oppressive ruler."
So defend peoples’ honor, and God will defend your’s.
I hope this helps, insha Allah.