Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bad Consequences of the Tongue

The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said,
"... I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women." (Al-Bukhari)
The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) observed:
'O women, you should give charity and ask for much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) , that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to that of one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense, and you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadan (during the days) you do not observe fast, that is a failing in religion. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of AbuTahir with this chain of transmitters. (Muslim)

*("Failing in religion" meaning a decrease in deeds because of loss in prayer (due to menses) in relation to men)*

The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said,
"... I saw the (Hell) Fire, and I have never before, seen such a horrible sight as that, and I saw that the majority of its dwellers were women." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam)! What is the reason for that?" He replied, "Because of their ungratefulness." It was said. "Do they disbelieve in Allah (are they ungrateful to Allah)?" He replied, "They are not thankful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors done to them. Even if you do good to one of them all your life, when she seems some harshness from you, she will say, "I have never seen any good from you.'" (Al-Bukhari)

The Tongue and the Heart


The tongue expresses what is in the heart. If a persons heart is good you see it in their saying. 

If the tongue is used correctly then it has its blessing but if used incorrectly it has its dangers. Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) has given us this tool (the tongue) to communicate and it is a blessing form Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la) which must be used correctly.
The gratitude we should show for this great blessing should include, using it for the obedience to Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la), for reading the Quran (and good Islamic materials), for speaking good, such as, enjoining good and forbidding the evil and in teaching the ignorant, in Dhikr, in worship, in sincere advice to our brothers and sisters and in many other things which enable us to get closer to Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la). It is true that ONE saying may enter a person into the fire and one saying may save a person from the fire and enter one into paradise.

The prohibitions of the tongue are that you do not lie, abuse, use foul language, backbite, and do not slander.

The tongue is protected by the teeth and then the lips which should act as a prison when indulging in loose talk. Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la) says in the Quran:
"Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with all solemnity and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden)." (Al-Mu’minun 23:1-3)
Here Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) mentions the words "turn away from" not "leave" which shows that, refraining from vain talk is a characteristic of the believers.

Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) is Ever Watchful


"Verily your Lord is ever watchful (over them)." (Al-Fajr 89:14)
Ibn ‘Abbaas (raDiAllahu 'anhu) said that "…ever watchful" means that Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) hears and sees. Yet, brothers and sisters speak about other Muslims without seeing everything concerning them and without even weighting the severity of that which you say. But Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) knows every letter we uttered.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (
raDiAllahu 'anhu). The Messenger Muhammad (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said:
"Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should speak good or keep silent."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Imam ash-Shaafi’ee (rahimahullah) said, "If you wish to speak then it is upon you to think before you speak. If you think there is good in it then you should speak and if not then do not speak."

One searching for salvation against vain talk should ask themselves:

Will this saying of mine please Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la)?
Will this saying of mine bring me closer to Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la)?
Does this saying earn with it obedience to Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la)?
If so then speak otherwise on should keep silent.  Sahl ibn Sa’ad (raDiAllahu 'anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said:
"Whomever guards what is between his jaws and legs, I will guarantee him paradise."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
This is one of the open paths to paradise. It is calling the people to come to paradise with the guarding of their tongues.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (
raDiAllahu 'anhu) that he heard the Messenger (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) say:
"Indeed a servant may say a word which he doesn’t realize and it will make him fall into the fire further than the East and the West." (Sahih Al-Bukhari (without "further than the East and the West) and Muslim)

Guarding Your Tongue From All Haram

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (raDiAllahu 'anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said,
"The son of Adam wakes up and the whole body makes takfeer (i.e. warns of error) upon his tongue saying, ‘Fear Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) concerning us for indeed we are upon you so if you are upright then we will be upright and if you are corrupt then we will be corrupt.’" (Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhee)
On the authority of Mu’adh ibn Jabal,
"I said to Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam): Inform me about an act which would entitle me to enter Paradise, and remove me from Hell-Fire. He (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said: You have asked me about a matter (which ostensibly appears to be) difficult but it is easy to those for whom Allah (SW) has made it easy. Worship Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) and do not associate anything with him, establish prayer, pay Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan and perform Hajj to the (sacred) House (Ka’bah). He again said: Should I not direct you to the gateways of good? Listen to me: The fasting is a shield against evil, the charity extinguishes (the fire of sin) just as water extinguishes fire, the prayer of a person during the middle of the night. Then he recited: ‘Who forsake their beds… (up to) … they used to do.’ Then he said: Should I not direct you to the highest level of this matter, to the pillar on which (it rests) and its top? I said: Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) yes, (do tell me). He said: The uppermost level of the matter is al-Islam. Its pillar is the prayer and its top is Jihad. He then said: Should I not inform you of the sheet anchor of all this? I said: Allah’s Apostle (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) (of course do it). He took hold of his tongue and said: Exercise restraint on it. I said: Apostle of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam), would we be held responsible for what we say with it? Thereupon he said: Mu’adh, may your mother be bereaved. Will anything else besides (irresponsible) talk cause the people to be thrown into the Hell-Fire upon their faces or on their nostrils? (Hasan Sahih Tirmidhee)

Most of the People Who Will Enter the Fire Will Do So Due to Their Tongues


So the servant must beware! We could invalidate all our fasting and prayer from just one gathering. There is no success of us unless we learn how to imprison our tongues from vain talk. Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) has placed this tongue of ours in a prison, that it does not come out except when there is a need for it.

Umm Habiba (
raDiAllahu 'anha) reports that the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said:
"Every saying of the children of Adam is cursed except for enjoining good and forbidding the evil or for the remembrance of Allah." (Hasan Gharib Tirmidhee)
Yet you will find ninety percent of the time our tongues are not engaged in this. Rather we choose to continue with our vain talk, joking, laughing, backbiting and slandering.

Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) on the authority of Salamn ibn Suhaim on the authority of his mother who heard the Prophet (
salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) say:
"A man may be close to paradise such that the distance between him and it is one derah (arm length) and he speaks a word and he becomes distant from it further than San’aa."

Using of the Speech of People Against Each Other, Wishing Thereof Corruption


What is the ruling of backbiting and tale carrying from the Quran and the Sunnah and the consensus of the ummah? As regards to the Quran then it is from the saying of Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la):
"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful." (Al-Hujurat 49:12)
As regards to tale carrying then Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) says,
"Woe to every slanderer and backbiter." (Al-Humazah 104:1)
As regards to the Sunnah then it is form the authentic saying of the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) saying,
"The gossip-mongerer will not enter paradise."
(Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ahmad and Daraqutnee)
Also there have come upon us many Hadith warning us of backbiting. The situation of the tongue is very dangerous and no one truly submits except a few people. Except a few from the few people who are sincere. It is also very unfortunate that another this topic is not mentioned except a few times. In a gathering when one is backbiting another saying this and that, no one hardly speaks out to say, "O sister fear Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la), this is backbiting from the major sins."

Narrated Hudhaifa (
raDiAllahu 'anhu): I heard the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) saying,
"A Qattat (a person who conveys disagreeable, false information from one person to another with the intention of causing harm and enmity between them) will not enter Paradise." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Narrated ibn ‘Abbas (raDiAllahu 'anhu): Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) passed by two graves and said,
"Both of them (persons in the grave) are being tortured, and they are not being tortured for a major sin. This one used not to save himself from being soiled with his urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies (among the people to rouse hostilities, e.g., one goes to a person and tells him that so-an-so says about him such-and-such evil thing)." The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) then asked for a greed branch of a date-palm tree, split it into two pieces and planted one on each grave and said, "It is hoped that their punishment may be abated till those two pieces of the branch get dried." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Some Essential Points


So he who finds himself in these gatherings and hears this backbiting and does not speak out against the backbiter nor does he advise him nor does he change the evil then he is as if he is agreeing to it, level by level.

So it is obligatory upon a Muslim that if you are present in these gatherings and a person has been mentioned then you should speak out for the honor of your sister and struggle for her and make the speaker be quiet by telling her, "Fear Allah !!! Don’t backbite this Muslim." If you have difficulty then you should go to her and advise her. If she refuses then you should leave her and get up. It is not allowed for you to stay in this gathering where the faults of the people are magnified. If you still find this difficult then you should occupy yourself with the remembrance of Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la) by glorifying Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) such that you do not hear this bad speech. Such that it does not harm you.

Overcoming the Evil Habit of Backbiting


How can one overcome this? How can one guard their tongue from backbiting? This is important that one guards oneself from this. First as Imam an-Nawawee said that you should remember the punishment of Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la). You should remember Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. He is the Finder the Superior Force, aware of every saying at every time. He sees and hears every saying at every time. High is Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) from imperfection. So if one remembers this then it is natural that they by shy or modest in this aspect. That he speaks a saying which Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) is angry with. If any of us become shy towards saying a bad thing towards the creation then how is it for the creator who hears and sees.
Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) says,
"Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)."  (Qaf 50:18)
Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) says,
"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful."  (Al-Hujurat 49:12)
Who would like to eat the flesh of anybody? Imagine your sister dies and you cut a piece of flesh and you eat it. So if you hate this then keep away from backbiting for it is the same or worse.
‘Ubayda, the freed slave of the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) reported that someone came and showed the Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) two women who were fasting and said that they were dying of thirst. The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) turned away silently refusing to give permission for them to break their fast. So the man begged him again mentioning that the women were on the verge of death. The Prophet (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) then said, "Bring them to me and bring along a bowl." When they cam to him, he turned to one and told her to vomit in the bowl. She complied spitting up a mixture of vomit, blood, pus and pieces of flesh which half-filled the bowl. He then turned to the other woman and had her do the same. After the bowl was filled, he said, "Verily, these tow have fasted from what Allah has made Halal for them and broke fast from what Allah has made Haram. They spent their fast eating the flesh of other."  (Ahmad and Baihaqi)
Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) reported with his chain that Jabir ibn Abdullah (raDiAllahu 'anhu) said,
"We were with the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) when we passed by a bad smell. The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said, "Do you know what this smell is? This is the smell of those who backbite each other."
By Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) we will not survive if we smell this. We would look for a place in the mountains to get away from this. Who is this one who is saved for his own tongue? May Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) make us of them. Ameen. One should strive with all that has been mentioned. The other thing that will help guard our tongues is to look at the lives of the pious predecessors (Salaf us Salih). Look at the way of those who were true to Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) and try to imitate their way.

Umar ibn al-Khattab (
raDiAllahu 'anhu) said,
"Be careful from remembering people for it is an illness and be in the remembrance of Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) for it is a medicine."

Exceptions to Backbiting


There are certain occasions when backbiting is allowed. There are six occasions where the scholars have reminded us about. Other than these occasions then it is forbidden.

First Exception to Backbiting - Oppression

For example a man has been oppressed. His property and rights have been taken away. Should he go to the people and say that they done this and that to him? NO!!! This is not allowed. As he will backbite the oppressor. Rather he should go to one who is capable of dealing with him such as the judge, ruler or he who has the ability to stop the oppression and return his right to him.

Second Exception to Backbiting - Changing the Munkar

Help in changing the evil and retune the bad person to righteousness. So if there is evil that one is not able to change then he should go to one to help him with it hence backbite the one who is doing evil. All of these of course with the correct intention seeking the face of Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la).

When changing the evil of the rulers then this should be done by the scholars and not openly as is mentioned by a clear Hadith of the Prophet (
salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam),
"When you wish to correct the sultan then take him by the hand in secret and advise him."
(Aquidah Tahawiyah)

(Dana's Comment: Over here, the hadith on the top is not really authentic, so what do we do? lol, aren't we allowed to talk about the opressor  leaders especially nowadays... Because i have talked a lot about the opressor leaders......hmmmmmm)

Third Exception to Backbiting - Seeking a Fatawa

For example a man who has a wife (or a father who has a son or a brother who has another brother) who harms him. She goes to a scholar and asks him for a fatawa. "What is your opinion regarding my wife who does not listen and she leaves the house without my permission?" So here you are talking about her doing bad but here it is permissible but first he should be general like. "What is your opinion about a woman who does not obey her husband, what is your opinion on a woman that does this and that?" This should be first.

Fourth Exception to Backbiting - Warning the Muslims From Evil

Ibn Daqiqa said, "Backbiting is a drop from one of the drops of Hell-Fire. On its edge are the judges and rulers." Due to them listening to the problems. For example one is going to do business with another man whom you know is not honest so you say to the one wishing to do business with him. "This is not good for you." Here one must be careful not to let his tongue get carried away. Such that he says, "Oh he is this and that…" NO! Rather he should stop at, "Its not good for you to go into business with him." So you try to keep that person away by saying general statements like that which are allowed.

If you see a person going to an innovator and you fear for this person then you can warn him but warn him by wishing the face of Allah (
subhanahu wa Ta'la) and for the benefit of this brother or sister. As regards to speaking about this innovator or sinner by bringing down his honor then this is not allowed. This is Haram. There are many people who in the name of advice pull down the honor of the sinners and innovators.

Fifth Exception to Backbiting - Advising Those Away From the Innovators & Sinners

Openly declare the open actions of such and such person to give advice but as regards to his secret actions then it is not allowed to declare them. You backbite that which he openly did.

Sixth Exception to Backbiting - Enquiring

That a person is blind or deaf or limping but this has a sin. Here it is allowed with the good intention knowing who this perinea is. But most not be with the intention of putting the person down.

Another Important Point to Earn a Great Reward


Abud Darda (raDiAllahu 'anhu) said, "Whoever protects the honor of his brother then Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) will protect his face from the fire on the Day of Judgment."
The meaning of this is that he who does not refute for the honor of his brother then Allah (subhanahu wa Ta'la) will not keep the fire away from his face. 

Jabir ibn Abdullah and Abi Ttalha (raDiAllahu 'anhu) that he said the Messenger of Allah (
salAllahu 'alayhi wa salam) said,
"No (Muslim) man will desert a man who is a Muslim in a place where his respect may be violated and his honor aspered without Allah deserting him in a place where he wishes help; and no (Muslims) man who will help a Muslim in a place where his honor may be aspered and his respect violated without Allah helping him in a place where he wishes His help."
"Whoever protects he honor of his bother in his absence, Allah will protect his face from the Fire on the Day of Judgment." (Hasan Tirmidhee)
"The believer is a mirror to a believer. The believer is a brother to a believer. Guarding him against loss and protecting him in his absence." (Al-Bukhari and Abu Dawood)

Information from Sheikh Ahmad Zamzami’s Advice On The Bad Consequences of the Tongue
Translated by Abdulilah Ibn Rabah Lahmami as-Salafi


Anonymous said...

Love this Surah. Has soo many lessons within to learn from and correct our character. Jazakiilhu khayran for the reminder.

RealLittleSister said...

thank you for this beautiful reminder...i like the fact that it is extensive. jazakala khairan :)

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