During the golden Abbasid period, one of the scholars in Baghdad, the capital of Muslim caliphate at that time, was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.
One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?
The scholar said “Hold on a minute, before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test”.
The man said “Triple Filter Test?”
The scholar said “That's right, before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say.” The scholar continued “That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
The man said “No, actually I just heard about it and ...”
The scholar said “All right, so you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”
The man said “No, on the contrary...”
The scholar said “So, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left:” The scholar continued “The filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”.
The man said “No, not really”.
The scholar said “Well, if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
"O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former)" ... (to end of surah) Hujurat 49.12
"And spy not on each other behind their backs..." (to end of surah) Hujurat 49.13
Advice from our beloved prophet (peace be upon him) to mankind…..Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him said;
"Do you know what is backbiting?' They (the Companions) said: 'Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) know best.Thereupon he (the Prophet (peace be upon him)) said:
"Backbiting implies your talking about your brother (behind his back) in a manner which he does not like.' It was said to him: 'What is your opinion about this that if I actually find (that failing) in my brother which I made a mention of?' He (peace be upon him) said: 'If (that failing) is actually found (in him) what you assert, you in fact backbited (gheebah) him, and if that is not in him it is a slander!" (Nameemah)Sahih Muslim Hadith Hadith 6265 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
Insha'Allah, this serves as a reminder for all of us to be mindful of the words that we speak. We should always use caution before we say or repeat anything. If you have nothing good to say, keep your mouth shut! We do not want to be amongst the backbiters on the Day of Judgment. May Allah save us from the bad in this life and from the bad in the hereafter. May he bless us all with success in this life and in the next. Aameen.