Ghazali on Backbiting: Imagine yourself in your brother’s place

Al-Ghazali reported: Some of the scholars said, “I do not mention a brother of mine in his absence except that I imagine him sitting before me, so I only say about him what he would love to hear if he were present.” Other scholars said, “I do not mention a brother of mine except that I imagine myself in his place, so I only say about him what I would love to be said about me.”

Source: Iḥyā’ ‘Ulūm al-Dīn 2/181

عن الغزالي قال بَعْضُهُمْ مَا ذُكِرَ أَخٌ لِي بِغَيْبٍ إِلَّا تَصَوَّرْتُهُ جَالِسًا فَقُلْتُ فِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ أَنْ يسمعه لو حضر وقال آخر ما ذكر أخ لي إلا تصورت نفسي في صورته فقلت فيه مثل ما أحب أن يقال في

2/181 إحياء علوم الدين