Today's world is filled with cell phone talks and texts, 24x7 radio and TV programs, emails, and Social networking (Facebook, ...). It appears that we talk, text, see and hear a lot more than what it was used to be. The atmosphere is filled with all sorts of waves like wireless networks and so on.
Do we use our tongue, hands, eyes and ears for useful purposes or is it mostly talk, text and see in vain - purposes which have no benefit here or the hereafter?
Let us read the below article on The Tongue which is based on a Jumuah Khutbah.
Allah T’ala says in the Holy Quran, Surah Qaaf:
إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ
مَا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ
050.017 When the two Receivers receive (him), seated on the right hand and on the left,
050.018 He utters no word but there is with him an observer ready.
If every word we utter gets recorded and we may have to answer it in the hereafter, it becomes critical to control our speech.
We do pray to Allah T’ala for forgiveness of our sins, open or secret, intentional or unintentional, past, present or future. And we seek His Mercy for His forgiveness and release from Hellfire. Ameen.
An agreed upon Hadeeth defines a Muslim as one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe.
I read this Hadeeth and asked myself: “Am I a Muslim? Do I fit this definition of a Muslim? Are there any Muslims left in town?” Have I been in gatherings in which backbiting, making fun of others, insulting others, Laghw (vain talk) were the most delicious dishes after the main course?
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “May Allah have mercy on a servant who spoke well and gained good, or kept silent and avoided harm.” (Ibn al-Mubarak)
In an agreed upon Hadith, Prophet (s.a.w.) said,” He who believes in Allah and in the Last Day, should honor his guest. And he who believes in Allah and in the Last Day, should speak good (khair), otherwise, remain quiet.”
In another Hadeeth, prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “Majority of a person’s sins emanate from his tongue.”
When the Prophet (s.a.w.) spoke, he always said the truth, even in levity. He disliked verbosity and cautioned his Companions about the tongue and what it earns. If it is words for the sake of words, it is a waste of time and a sign of bad character.
Muwatta Imam Malik:
Book 56, Number 56.3.9:
Malik related to me that he heard that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent a message to one of her family after the evening prayer, saying, "Will you not allow the recording angel to rest?"
Muwatta Imam Malik:
Book 56, Number 56.5.12:
Malik related to me from Zayd ibn Aslam from his father that Umar ibn al-Khattab came upon Abu Bakr as-Siddiq pulling his tongue. Umar said to him, "Stop, may Allah forgive you!" Abu Bakr replied, "This has brought me to dangerous places."
Muwatta Imam Malik: Book 56, Number 56.5.11:
“… The Messenger of Allah, (s.a.w.), said, "Whomever Allah protects from the evil of two things will enter the Garden. They are what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, what is between his jaws and what is between his legs."
‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood, (r.a.a.), said: “I swear by the One besides Whom there is nothing worthy of worship: one’s need to imprison his tongue is greater than anything else.”
Prophet (s.a.w.) advised Abu Dharr (r.a.a.), saying: “Stay silent for long periods, as this keeps Satan away from you and helps you in the practice of your religion.” The Prophet (s.a.w.) also said: “No servants of Allah’s belief will be correct until his heart is corrected, and his heart will never be corrected until his tongue is”
Allah T’ala says in the Holy Quran, in Surah Al-Isra:
وَقُل لِّعِبَادِي يَقُولُواْ الَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنزَغُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلإِنْسَانِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا
017.053 Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan does sow dissensions among them: For Satan is to man an avowed enemy.
In controlling of our speech, we find two ways to train ourselves.
The first method is to be quiet unless we have something good to say.
The second mode is to talk but avoid certain types of speech, such as backbiting, Laghw (vain talk or pointless talk), making fun of others.
If we follow the first method of remaining quiet unless it is good, then we have also succeeded in avoiding backbiting and making fun of others as these are grave sins mentioned in the Holy Quran.
Shunning Laghw (idle talk) is the gate to success. Allah says in Surah Al-Mu’minoon
- قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
- الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ
- وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
“Certainly will the believers have succeeded. They who are during their prayer humbly submissive. And they who turn away from ill speech.” (Al-Mu’minoon:23: 1-3).
So what do you do when you are in a gathering in which backbiting, ridiculing and making fun of others, Laghw (vain talk) are going on? You may be quiet but others are engaged in Laghw, gheebat or other sins?
Advise them and if they don’t listen, leave the company.
وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا
and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!"; (25.63)
وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا
and, if they pass by futility (Laghw, vain talk), they pass by it with honorable (avoidance); (25.72)
To begin with, be careful on who your companions are. Allah T’ala commands in Surah Taubah, ayat 119:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
009.119 O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed).
It is astonishing how people can influence others simply by being in each other’s company. The effects of the company may not appear suddenly. It is a gradual process that unfolds with time. Do not take as a companion someone whose state will not elevate you and whose speech does not direct you to Allah T’ala.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “A man takes on the religion of his companion.” The company of a person who delays or neglects prayer, or a person who abandons Zakat, or a person who commits Shahwaat drags others into his way of life. Conversely, the company of a righteous person will pull one upward. As it is said, “If you sit at the door of a tavern (bar), you will either walk in and drink or merely smell the stench of alcohol and drunkards. But if you sit at the door of a perfumer, you will either walk in and wear the scent or at least enjoy the fragrance.”
One of the best places to be is the Masjid. However, we need to be careful even at the Masjid. In our spare time before or after the prayers, we should not waste time in worldly issues or engage in sinful acts of backbiting or jokes.
May Allah T’ala forgive our sins. Ameen.