Pick Your Teeth!
It's one of the greatest sins and yet it's something we do day after day. Sometimes we don't even realise it. You're just chatting away with your friends and you begin to talk about somebody else. Our whole lives are based around 'Home and Away' and 'Neighbours', soaps based on lying, backbiting etc. But look at what the Prophet peace be upon Him said about it:
The Prophet peace be upon Him was sitting with his companions one day and one of them was speaking badly about someone who wasn't there. As the man got up to leave the Prophet peace be upon Him said to him: "Pick Your Teeth!" "But I haven't eaten anything," the man protested. "No," the Prophet peace be upon Him said "You have eaten the flesh of your dead brother".
As Allah tells us in the Qur'an:
"Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would hate it."
[surah al-Hujurat; 49:12]
But What If It's True?!
The Prophet peace be upon Him told us:
"Backbiting is to say something about someone they wouldn't like said about them....If what bad you said about them is true, then you have backbited and if it is false then you have slandered them."
If you're still not convinced of how big a sin backbiting really is, then look at the punishment Allah has in store for the backbiters. The Prophet peace be upon Him described:
"On the night of mirage I passed by some people who had metal hooks in their hands and were clawing at their faces and their necks with them. I asked Gabriel 'Who were these people?' He said 'These are the people who eat the flesh of human beings and disgrace them'
This is how big a sin backbiting is looked upon and yet we continue to backbite without a second thought. Next time you lie, talk about somebody, remember Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'ala) and the Prophet peace be upon Him and put them in front of you before you speak.