Salaam Alaikum,

By the end of this year, I have fully realized that one thing I really need work on is my ability to control how much my tongue lets out. Though it can be pretty easy to fall into temptations and whatnot, I've decided that I would try my best not to backbite, start rumors, or continue to gossip.

[49:12] O you who believe, you shall avoid any suspicion, for even a little bit of suspicion is sinful. You shall not spy on one another, nor shall you backbite one another; this is as abominable as eating the flesh of your dead brother. You certainly abhor this. You shall observe GOD. GOD is Redeemer, Most Merciful.
Al-Qur'an: The Walls [Al Hujurat]

I find it quite easy to fall into trap of such gossip. Each and everytime I am near someone, stories come up about who ran away with whose son, who failed their Chem exam, or who got expelled. Most of the times, such stories are fabricated versions with twists and turns at each words.
I have absolutely NO idea as to why I find gossiping so pleasurable but when I really do think about it, I come to the agreement that whether it be true or not, I certainly would not want ANYONE for that matter to talk about me in a way I would disapprove of.

I remember sitting on top of a table and gossiping about everyone before and after tennis practice with my best friend. At the time, we felt that if something was true, then there was absolutely no harm in it. To us, it was a simple, innocent pasttime until we could hit the courts and come back sweaty.

Just today, I found myself gossiping with my Aunt about someone we both mutually know. Though it was more like an obvious statement, it seemed as though that personal most likely would not appreciate us making certain comments about her. I became more and more engaged into the conversation and couldn't resist to be pulled away but soon realized that this is exactly what the Shaytaan wants me to fall into-- he's increasing my negative desires and temptations by allowing me to feed myself with backbiting, ultimately resulting in sin.

It seems so difficult but I really believe that each time I want to open my mouth, if I hold onto my tongue, walk away or merely change the subject, I'd be at least 1/4th the step I need in order to rid myself of such habits. And InshaALLAH, I'd like to see myself easily deny any engagements in such an activity.

Wa Alaikum Salaam