In ancient Greece , Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said,
"Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
"That's right," Socrates continued. "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. 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?"
"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and..."
'All right," said Socrates. "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?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "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 filter of USEFULNESS. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
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 him, and if that is not in him it is a slander!.'
Sahih Muslim HadithHadith 6265 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah