Verse 49:12 states this about backbiting:

Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead?

Since it does not state his or her, does this mean the amount of sin a women receives for backbiting is less than what a man receives? In many places in the Quran when it talks about punishment and what is permissible, it refers to both women and men. For example, this is verse 24:2:

As for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes...

Verse 48:6 is another example that refers to both men and women:

And [that] He may punish the hypocrite men and hypocrite women, and the polytheist men and polytheist women...

There are also versus that specifically refer to women, such as 24:4:

Those who accuse chaste women ˹of adultery˺ and fail to produce four witnesses, give them eighty lashes each...

Since the Quran refers to men and/or women in other places, is the Quran only referring to men in regards to how much is sin is meted for backbiting?

  • Interesting assumption... However I doubt it ending up correct.
    – Medi1Saif
    May 2, 2021 at 2:41
  • 1
    Why the down votes? I'm just asking a question. May 2, 2021 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


In the name of Allah the most gracious and the merciful, As salaamu alaikum was rahmatullahi wa barakatahu

The verse which you quoted is from Surah Al-hujarat and it is as follows

O believers! Avoid many suspicions, ˹for˺ indeed, some suspicions are sinful. And do not spy, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of their dead brother? You would despise that!1 And fear Allah. Surely Allah is ˹the˺ Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful.

— Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the Clear Quran

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of Repentance and Merciful.

— Saheeh International

If you read it has not mentioned men or woman it has mentioned

Ya ayyuhal lazi naamanu


O people who people Or O believers

This means it is talking about both men and female not only to the men. So I believe your assumption is completely wrong that the punishment will be less for a male and more for a female or vice versa because in this world there is discrimination but Allah s.w.t. does not discriminate.

I hope I answered the question and Allah knows best.

And may Allah forgive me if there's something missing or if I have provided some wrong knowledge. May Allah increase you and me in knowledge and accept our deeds.

  • The beginning of the verse addresses all Muslims, but why use the word "his" when referring to the amount of sin? Some translations use "their". Which is correct? May 2, 2021 at 13:50
  • Here the punishment is related to the believers that would they like to eat the flesh of their brother. Means backbiting is a sin as if the person who is backbiting he is eating the flesh of his dead brother. And Allah knows best
    – Maaz Sk
    May 2, 2021 at 14:45
  • Verse addresses all believers to not backbite, but I'm not clear why word 'his' is used for amount of sin. In writing we regularly use the word 'his' to refer to someone generically, but the Quran is precise with language. May 6, 2021 at 22:46
  • The sin is not for a male or female it's like if you backbite someone it is like eating the flesh of your brother E.g. If you are backbiting then the sin is like you are eating the flesh of your dead brother which no one will love to do so and Allah knows best.
    – Maaz Sk
    May 7, 2021 at 3:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .