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 Afflictions of the Tongue

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PostSubject: Afflictions of the Tongue    Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:03 pm




The Prophet (saw) said regarding the fast of Ramadhan:

"Whoever did not leave the speaking of falsehood and acting upon it, Allah{SWT} is in no need that he should leave his food an his drink."

Afflictions of the tongue are many and varied. They have a sweetness in the heart. They have drives in human nature which arouse them. There is no escaping them except with great care and taqwa and in some cases only by silence.
KNOW that silence when called for collects ones strength and frees ones thoughts. Sometimes it is the only escape from the dangers of the tongue. The Prophet (sas) said:
"Whoever can guarantee me what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I can guarantee him Paradise."

"The faith of a slave is not correct until his heart is correct and his heart is not correct until his tongue is correct and no man will enter Paradise whose neighbor is not save from his mischief."

... So I said, "O Messenger of Allah{SWT}, inform me of an action which will get me into Paradise and keep me away from the fire." He (sas) said, "You have asked about something great although it is easy upon those for whom Allah{SWT} has made it easy. Worship Allah{SWT} and never any others along with Him, maintain the prayers, pay the Zakat, fast Ramadhan and make pilgrimage to the House." Then he (sas) said, "Should I not direct you to the doors of good? Fasting is a protection, sadaqa extinguishes sins like water extinguishes fire and the prayer of someone in the middle of the night." Then he recited:

"Their sides are repelled from their resting places. They call out to their Lord in fear and hope and of that which We have provided for them, they spend. (16) So, no soul knows that joys which have been hidden away for it, a reward for that which they used to do."

Then he (sas) said, "Should I not inform you of the head of all of this and its support and its pinnacle?" I said, "Of course yes, O Messenger of Allah{SWT}." He (sas) said, "The head of it is submission, its pillar is prayer and its pinnacle is fighting in the path of Allah{SWT}." Then he (sas) said, "Should I not inform you of enable and makes firm all of that?" I said, "Of course yes, O Messenger of Allah{SWT}." So, he took hold of his tongue and said, "Keep control of this." I said, "O Messenger of Allah{SWT}, are we to be taken to account for what we say?" He (sas) said, "May your mother be bereaved of you O Mu'adh! What throws the people into the fire on their faces other than the fruits of their tongues?".

Some Afflictions of the Tongue

1. Speaking about that which does not concern you.

KNOW that whoever understands the value of his time and that it is his "capital" will not utilize it except for something beneficial. This knowledge will of necessity lead on to withholding the tongue from speaking about that which does not concern you. Whoever delegates some of his time which could have been spend in remembrance of Allah{SWT} and uses it to engage in talk about that which does not concern him is like one who had an opportunity to take a jewel but took a plain stone instead. It is a loss of a lifetime. The Prophet (sas) said:

"Part of the goodness of one's Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him."

2. Delving into falsehood, i.e., talking about acts of disobedience such as drinking and other gatherings of sin.

There are many types of such falsehood. The Prophet (sas) said:

"Verily, a slave will speak a word which casts him in the fire farther than what is between the east and the west."

Closely related to this is arguing (الجدل), disputing (المراء) and attacking someone verbally with the intention of showing his mistakes (الملاحاة). The drive which fuels this is conceit and arrogance.

It is incumbent upon every individual to reject and prohibit every wrong (منكر) speech or discourse and to explain what is correct. If that is accepted from him, fine. Otherwise, he must steer clear of disputing once the truth has been made clear. This is what applies to issues of the deen. As for strictly worldly affairs, there is never any reason for arguing about such things. The cure for all of this is to break the pride (الكبر) which is what drives one to show off their own status and knowledge. Dispute which reaches the level of enmity (الخصومة) is worse still then disputing. The Prophet (sas) said:

"The most disliked of men to Allah{SWT} are those who are extreme in disputes (which reach the level of enmity)."

3. To engage in lowly speech. This includes mockery, talking to much, needlessly repeating oneself or making efforts to rhyme in one's speech. The Prophet (sas) said:


"The most beloved of you to me in the hereafter are the best of you in character. The most disliked of you to me and the farthest from me in the hereafter are the worst of you in character, الثَّرْثَارُونَ (those who talk too much or repeat themselves needlessly), الْمُتَفَيْهِقُون (those who talk too much and open their mouths wide when talking) and الْمُتَشَدِّقُون (those who joke and mock others even twisting their mouths in mockery)."

This does not apply to the speech of a khatib or preacher which may involve repetition, rhyming and other issues mentioned above because the intention is to motivate the hearts and create yearning in them for the pleasure of Allah{SWT} - as long as it is within reason and not overdone.

4. Obscenity and crudeness.

This means to speak about distasteful things in explicit terms. People of goodness speak about such things only indirectly or euphemistically.

5. Joking. If done only in moderation it is not prohibited, as long as it is truth.

The Propeht (sas) used to joke on occasion but never spoke other than the truth. He once addressed Anas ibn Malik saying, "O you with the two ears." On another occasion:

From Anas ibn Malik that a man sought a mount (for jihad) from Allah{SWT}'s Messenger and he (sas) said, "I will mount you on the son of a camel." So, the man said, "O Messenger of Allah{SWT}, what should I do with the son of a camel?" He (sas) said, "And do camels give birth to anything but camels?"

The Prophet (sas) maintained three things with regard to joking:

The Prophet (sas) maintained three things with regard to joking:
It was always TRUTH
It was done with women, children and those who still needed training due to weakness among men.
It was rare. It is not appropriate for one who wishes to engage in joking on a constant basis that he claim the sunnah supports this. The ruling of the rare is not the same as the constant. Similarly if one spent great lengths of time watching war dances like the ones performed by the Ethiopians while the Prophet (sas) and Aisha watched. This would be a false daleel, since this was a one-time thing in the life of the Prophet (sas). Going to excess in joking and doing it on a constant basis is something prohibited. This is because it lowers one's dignity and also causes spite and grudges in the hearts of others. As for the occasional joke and in the manner of the Prophet (sas), in this there is a relaxation and something pleasing to the nafs.

Putting people down (السخرية) and mocking them (الاستهزاء). This means drawing attention to the flaws of another in a way which makes other laugh. It could be by imitation, action, statement or by signs and signals. All of this is prohibited in the Shari'a.
Revealing secrets, breaking of promises and lying in statements and in oaths. All of that is prohibited except for that in which there is found a permission such as lying to one's wife and in warfare. The rule of thumb is that any objective which is praiseworthy and which cannot be achieved without lying, lying become permissible in this case as long as the objective sought is permissible. If the objective is obligatory, then lying become obligatory. In general, one must beware of lying and stay away from it as much as possible.
Backbiting (الغيبة). The Qur'an has forbidden this in the most extreme terms and compared one who does it to one who eats dead human flesh. The Prophet (sas) said during the farewell pilgrimage:
"... Surely your blood, your property and your dignity are sacred among you like the sacredness of this day of yours in this month of yours in this land of yours. Let the witness deliver this message to the absent. For verily, the witness to another who understands it better than himself."

"O you who believe with your tongues but faith has not yet entered your hearts, do not backbite the Muslims. And do not seek out their nakedness. Whoever follows the nakedness of others, Allah{SWT} will seek his nakedness and when Allah{SWT} seeks someone's nakedness He will scandalize him in his own house.
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