11 Evils of the Tongue.
1) Speaking about things that there is no need with which to concern oneself:
Know that the most precious wealth of a servant of Allah is his time. Whenever he expends it on that which does not concern him, then he is wasting his most valuable asset. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Part of someone’s being a good Muslim is leaving alone that which does not concern him.” (At-Tirmidhi) 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.
2) Excessive speech:
The tongue is misused is by excessive speech. This involves engaging in speech that there is no need to concern one with, as well as being excessive in expressing oneself by speaking more than is necessary. 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 Quraan, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (SAW), 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.”
3) 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’ood said: “The man with the most mistakes on the Day of Judgment is the one who engages most in vain speech.”
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَالَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَوَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
“The Believers must (eventually) win through. Those who humble themselves in their prayers; Who avoid vain talk.” (Surah Al-Mu’minoon 23:1-3)
وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ يُكْفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِثْلُهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا
“Already has He sent you word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For Allah will collect the Hypocrites and those who defy faith all in hell.” (Surah An-Nisaa 4:140)
فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَعَنِ الْمُجْرِمِينَمَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ
قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَوَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَوَكُنَّا نَخُوضُ مَعَ الْخَائِضِينَ
وَكُنَّا نُكَذِّبُ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ
“(They will be) in Gardens (of Delight); they will question each other .And (ask) of the Sinners: “What led you into Hell-Fire?” They will say: “We were not of those who prayed; Nor were we of those who fed the indigent; But we used to talk vanities with vain talkers. And we used to deny the Day of Judgment” (Surah Al-Muddathir 74: 40-46)
4) Shameless, vulgar and indecent tongue:
This is not only offensive, but also prohibited. It originates from being malicious, vile, wicked, and reproachful. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “A believer is not a shameless person, nor one who curses, nor an obscene person nor is he indecent.” (At-Tirmidhi)
5) The prohibition to use the word ‘if’ relative to Qadr (Allah’s Decree):
Rasulullah (SAW) 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 Shaytaan.” (Al-Bukhari) 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.
6) It is prohibited for a person to say “such and such” is for Jannah or for Jahannam or that he is a kaafir:
Rasulullah (SAW) 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 Dawud) 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. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
7) The prohibition of defaming one’s kin:
Rasulullah (SAW) 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 Hadith, that it is also prohibited for women to wail over the dead.
8) It is prohibited to boast:
Rasulullah (SAW) 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)
9) The prohibition to speak while the Imaam is giving Khutba on Friday (Juma’ ah):
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Whoever says ‘shut up’ to his brother while the Imaam is addressing the people (in the Khutba) on the Day of Jumuah has done an evil act.” (Al-Bukhari) In this Hadith 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 Khutba, while the Imaam is speaking, is so great, that even this noble act cannot be done. Abu Ad-Dardaa (RA) said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was on the Minbar, addressing the people, and Rasulullah (SAW) recited a particular ayah. Ubayy Ibn Ka’b was sitting next to me, so I asked him: “When was that ayah revealed?” He refused to speak to me, until the Messenger of Allah (SAW) came down from the minbar, and then he said to me: “You have nothing from the Friday Prayer but your vain speech.” When Rasulullah (SAW) had finished, I went to him and informed him of what has happened, and Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Ubayy has spoken the truth, if you hear the Imaam speaking, be quiet until he is finished.” (Ahmad & At-Tabarâni)
10) Prohibition to employ Respectable titles for hypocrites and Innovators:
Rasulullah (SAW) 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 Dawud)
11) Blasphemy, insult, ridicule and abuse:
- 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:
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ نَعْفُ عَنْ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَائِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ
“If thou dost question them, they declare (with emphasis): “We were only talking idly and in play.” Say: “Was it at Allah, and His Signs, and His Messenger, that ye were mocking? Make ye no excuses: ye have rejected Faith after ye had accepted it. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you, for that they are in sin.” (Surah At-Taubah 9: 65-66)
- In the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer the following narration is related as the reason for revelation of this ayah. Ibn ‘Umar, Muhammad Ibn Ka’ab, Zayd Ibn Aslam and Qatada have all contributed to the establishment of the following Hadith. 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 Malik rose and said: “It is rather you who are the liar; you are a Munaafiq pretending to be a Muslim. I shall tell the Messenger of Allah (SAW) about you.” Aws went to Rasulullah (SAW) to inform him but found that revelation had already preceded him. (When the news reached) the man, he mounted his camel, sought Rasulullah (SAW) and said: “But we were only joking trying to pass the time while traveling.” 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?”
- It is prohibited to abuse or blaspheme the Sahabah (the companions of Rasulullah (SAW). Rasulullah (SAW) said: “May Allah curse the one who abuse or blaspheme my companions.” (At-Tabarâni)
- Rasulullah (SAW) 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.” (Al-Bukhari & 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 (RA), or even other Sahabah, like Mu’awiyah (RA).
- It is prohibited for a Muslim to abuse or blaspheme another Muslim, The Messenger (SAW) said: “Abusing/blaspheming of the Muslim is evil and immoral whilst fighting him is Kufr (disbelief).” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
- Rasulullah (SAW) states: “The Muslim is he from whom other Muslims are safe from his hand and his tongue.” (Muslim)
- It is prohibited to abuse/blaspheme the dead. The Messenger (SAW) said:
- “Do not abuse/blaspheme the dead.” (Al-Bukhari)
- It is prohibited to insult/blaspheme what the unbelievers worship other than Allah.
- Allah, the Most High said:
وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.” (Surah Al-An’am 6: 108)
- The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Do not cause harm to the Muslim because of insult or abuse to a kaafir (disbeliever).”(Al-Haakim & Al-Baihaqi)
- The Prohibition to abuse the wind. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) 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.” (Ibn Majah)
- The prohibition to blaspheme the rooster. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Do not abuse/blaspheme the rooster, because it awakens (people) for prayer”. (Abu Dawud)
- The prohibition to blaspheme time (As-Dahr) Rasulullah (SAW)) said: “Do not abuse/blaspheme time…” (Muslim)
- Do not blaspheme fever. The Messenger (SAW) 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.” Rasulullah (SAW) said “Do not blaspheme fever, because it wipes out the sins of the children of` Adam, as the bellows extract the dirt from iron.” (Muslim)