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The Many Dangers of the Tongue

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Chapter Five

General Evils of the Tongue.

Speaking about things that there is no need with which to concern oneself.

Know that the most precious wealth of an 'abd (servant of Allah) is his time. Thus, whenever he expends it on that which does not concern him, then he is wasting his most valuable asset. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

"Part of someone's being a good Muslim is leaving alone that which does not concern him." [At-Tirmidhie]

One of the reasons that pushes someone to get involved in speaking about things which does not concern him, is his desire to know that which there is no need to know or being satisfied with talking about things that have no benefit.

The cure for this is to be aware that every second of one's life is part of his most precious wealth, and that his tongue is a net with which he should hunt for good deeds. Being neglectful of this important fact will only lead to great losses in the Hereafter.

Excessive speech.

Another way in which the tongue is misused is by excessive speech. This involves engaging in speech that there is no need to concern oneself with, as well as being excessive in expressing oneself by speaking more than is necessary.

Therefore, in cases where there is need for someone to express oneself, he should stick to the minimum words necessary to express his ideas. To exceed that can be regarded as being excessive. This is a negative attitude although the one who is involved in it would accrue no sins. However, the time spent in repeating what he said could have been spent in saying something good, which would give him a reward in the Hereafter.

'Ataa said: 'Those that -were before you (the Salaf), used to detest excessive speech. And they considered anything as excessive speech except speaking about the Book of Allah, the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), commanding good and forbidding evil, and speaking about what a man needs to speak because of a need he has to fulfill in his daily life."

Engaging in vain talk.

Even worst than the above categories, is indulgence in vain talk, since it involves sin. Acts of disobedience, such as men discussing the affairs of women, sitting around with men who are drinking alcohol and mixing with bad company, are common examples of vain talk or deeds. Ibn Mas'oud said:

"The man with the most mistakes on the Day of Judgment is the one who engages most in vain speech."

Allah, the Most High said:

"Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with solemnty and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood)... " [Al-Muminoon 23:1-3]

He, the Sublime also said:

"And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (the Quraan) that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that.. " [An-Nisaa 4:140]

And in another aayah it also states:

"(The pious) in Paradise (Jannah) will ask one another about the Mujrimeen (the guilty ones): "What caused you to enter Hell?" They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer prayers, nor did we feed the poor, and we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allah hated) with vain talkers, and we used to belie the Day of Judgment. "

[Al-Muddathir: 40-46]

A shameless, vulgar and indecent tongue.

This is not only offensive, but also prohibited. It originates from being malicious, vile, wicked, and reproachful. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"A believer is not a shameless person, nor one who curses, nor an obsene person nor is he indecent." [At-Tirmidhi and Al-Baihaqie].


The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "I command you with three things

and I prohibit you from three (things)- I command you to worship Allah and not to associate anything in worship with Him, to hold fast to the rope of Allah all together and not to divide, and to obey whoever Allah causes to be in charge of your affairs*. And I prohibit you from gossiping and idle-talk, excessive questioning and from wasting money."

[Authentic from the Hiliyah of Abi Na'eem].

*It should be noted that who "Allah causes to be in charge of your, affairs" are the scholars, as Allah, the Most High, describes in the following Aayah:

"When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people). If only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it 1Eom them (directly)... " [An-Nisaa 4: 83]

It is prohibited for a woman to describe another woman to her husband.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "...and she describes her to her husband as if he were looking at her. " [Bukharie]

This type of description has many dangers; among them is that love for the other woman might enter the husband's heart, and so he starts wishing that he was with the other woman that is described to him, instead.

The prohibition to use the word 'if' relative to Qadr (Allah's Decree).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The strong believer is better and more loved by Allah than a weak believer, but in each of them is good; aspire after what is going to benefit you and seek Allah 's help and do not despair, and if anything afflicts you, then do not say: 'If I had done so and so, but say Allah 's decree and what He wills, He will do, because 'if' opens the works of Shaitaan." [Bukharie]

This is after the incident has occurred. However, in discussing an issue about the future, there is no harm in the use of the word 'if' in discussing various approaches. And Allah knows best.

It is prohibited for a person to say "such and such" is for Jannah or for Jahannam or that he is a kaafir.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There were two men who were living as brothers; one of them was sinful, while the other stove very much to perform his devotion to Allah. The striver (after good) would continuously see the other in sin, and so he would continuously advise him to leave it. The sinner retorted: 'Leave me, by my Lord- are you sent as a watcher over me?' worshipper said: 'By Allah, Allah will not forgive you, or (he said) Allah will not make you enter Jannah. After their souls were taken, they were brought together before Allah, so He said to the striver: 'Did you have knowledge of Me, or are you able to do what is in My Hand?' Allah said to the sinner 'Go to Jannah by my Mercy and said to the other "Take him to the fire (of Jahannam)'. "

[Abu Dawood and Ahmad]

If a person calls a Muslim 'O Kaafir (unbeliever)', then kufr will befall one of them. If what he said was true, then it is as he related. However, if it is not true, then the kufr would be his lot. [Hadeeth -Bukharie and Muslim]

The prohibition of defaming one's kin.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Two types of people from among men have disbelief (kufr) in them, the defamer of his kin (close family relatives), and the woman who wails and lament over the dead." [Muslim]

It is clear from the above hadeeth, that it is also prohibited for women to wail over the


It is prohibited to boast .

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Allah has revealed to me that you all should be humble, so that no person would oppress another, and neither should there be anyone displaying pride, or boast to another person." [Muslim]

The prohibition to speak while the Imaam is giving Khutbah on Friday (Juma' ah).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever says 'shut up' to his brother while the Imaam is addressing the people (in the Khutbah) on the Day of Juma'ah has done an evil act. " [Al-Bukharie]

In this Hadeeth the person who is telling the other to be quiet is actually involved in "commanding good and forbidding evil". However, the gravity of speaking during the Khutbah, while the Imaam is speaking, is so great, that even this noble act cannot be done.

Abu Ad-Dardaa said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was on the Minbar, addressing the people, and he (peace be upon him) recited a particular aayah. Ubay Ibn Ka'b was sitting next to me, so I asked him: "When was that aayah revealed?" He refused to speak to me, until the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came down from the minbar, and then he said to me: "You have nothing from the Friday Prayer but your vain speech." When the Prophet (peace be upon him) had finished, I went to him and informed him of what has happened, and he (peace be upon him) said: "Ubay has spoken the truth, if you hear the Imaam speaking, be quiet until he is finished:"

[Ahmad & At-Tabaraanie]

Prohibition to employ Respectable titles for hypocrites and Innovators.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Do not address a hypocrite by using respectable titles (like sir, master etc.), for even if he is in such a position, you would have aroused the anger of your Lord, Master of Honor and Glory."

[Abu Dawood]

Blasphemy, insult, ridicule and abuse.

a) It is prohibited to insult, abuse or blaspheme Allah, His Messenger, His Deen, and/or His Book. These are all aspects of kufr (disbelief).

Allah, the Most High said:

"If you ask them (about this) they declare: 'We were only talking idly and joking.' Say 'Was it at Allah, and His Aayaat (signs, revelation, etc.,) and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed... "

[At-Taubah 9: 65-6]

In the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer the following narration is related as the reason for revelation of this aayah. Ibn 'Umar, Muhammad Ibn K'ab, Zayd Ibn Aslam and Qatadaah have all contributed to the establishment of the following Hadeeth. In the course of the campaign of Tabuk, a man came up and declared:

"We have seen no people with greater appetites, more lying or more cowardly in battle, than the Prophet of Allah, and his reciting companions."

Aws ibn Maalik rose and said: "It is rather you who are the liar, you are a Munafiq pretending to be a Muslim. I shall tell the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about you."

Aws went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to inform him but found that revelation had already preceded him. (When the news reached) the man, he mounted his camel, sought the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and said: "...But we were only joking trying to pass the time while travelling." Ibn 'Umar said: "He was clinging to the saddle belt of the Prophet's camel as it ran, his feet and legs being battered by the rough ground, and repeating: but we were only joking... and the Prophet insisting, without turning his face to him said: "Joking! Joking with Allah? With His Revelation With His Prophet?

b) It is prohibited to abuse or blaspheme the Sahabas (the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "May Allah curse the one who abuse or blaspheme my companions". [At-Tabaranee, Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadee]

He (peace be upon him) also said: "Do not insult/blaspheme my companions, for by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if one of you spend the like of the mountain of Uhud in gold (in Allah 's way) you would not equal their support, or not even half of their support'. [Bkhari & Muslim].

It is painful to hear people, who claim that they are Muslims, abuse the noblest of men of this ummah, like Abu Bakr, and 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them), or even other Sahabas, like Ma'aawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him).

c) It is prohibited for a Muslim to abuse or blaspheme another Muslim, The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Abusing/blaspheming of the Muslim is evil and immoral whilst fighting him is kufr (disbelief)". [Bukharie & Muslim]

He (peace be upon him) further states: "The Muslim is he from whom other Muslims are safe from his hand and his tongue." [Muslim]

d) It is prohibited to abuse/blaspheme the dead. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

"Do not abuse/blaspheme the dead. [Bukharie]

e) It is prohibited to insult/blaspheme what the unbelievers worship other than Allah.

Allah, the Most High said:

"And insult not those whom they (the disbelievers) worship besides Allah lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge." [Al-An'aan: 108]

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Do not cause harm to the Muslim because of insult or abuse to a kafir (disbeliver)". [Al-Haakim & Al-Baihaqee]

f) The Prohibition to abuse the wind.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Do not abuse/blaspheme the wind because it circulates from Allah, it brings mercy and punishment. However, ask Allah for its good, and seek refuge with Allah from its evil." [Al-Haakim & Ibn Majah]

g) The prohibition to blaspheme the rooster (fowlcock).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Do not abuse/blaspheme the rooster, because it awakens (people) for prayer''. [Abu Dawood]

h) The prohibition to blaspheme time (As-Dahr)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Do not abuse/blaspheme time..." [Muslim]

i) Do not blaspheme fever.

The Messenger (peace be upon him) entered upon Umm As-Saaib and said to her: "What is the matter with you, O Umm Saaib that you are trembling'" She said "Fever, (there is) no blessing of Allah in it". He (peace be upon him) said "Do not blaspheme fever, because it wipes out the sins of the children of` Adam, as the bellows extract the dirt from iron ".


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