The following is a transcript of a tape by brother Abu Uwais Abdullaah ‘Alee rahimahullah, taken from a series of lectures on the topic ‘Fatwa for women‘.
This tape is entitled ‘Fatwa for women – Tongue‘ in which we are reminded of the dangers of the illnesses of the tongue.
This reminder is extremely beneficial for both brothers and sisters and is of particular importance during this month of Ramadaan bearing in mind the following hadeeth narrated by Abu Huraira:
The Prophet salla Allahu alayhe wa sallam said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” (Bukharee 1789)
May Allah accept our fasting during this blessed month and grant us the ability to restrain our tongue and act upon the advice given in this lecture.
Transcript of abu uways fatwa for women – the tongue
(He begins with the khutbah al haajah)
In this brief sitting with the believing women, we want to discuss a subject that we discussed some of it in the khutbah yawm ul jumu’ah, but because it’s a very very or of the upmost importance, we want to discuss it in a little more detail inshallahu ta’laa and that is the issue of the dangers of the illnesses of the tongue, the dangers of the illnesses of the tongue, and that is that the tongue, the illnesses of the tongue, are very very serious and very very dangerous, very very dangerous and there is no true success or safety from that danger except by speaking khair, by speaking good.
For it has been stated by Muaadh ibn Jabal radi Allahu anhu ardaahu when he questioned the Prophet sala Allahu alayhi wassallam saying: ‘yaa rasoolullaah, – oh messenger of Allah, will we be taken for what we say, will we be taken (taken account), will we be taken for what we say? The Prophet sala Allahu alayhi wasallam stated: ‘yaa ibn Jabal (oh son of jabal), is there anything that makes the people or pushes the people into the hellfire upon their faces except the harvest of their tongue’, o kama qaal alayhi salam, this was related by ibn Maajah wa Tirmidhi wa Haakim and it is saheeh.
Here you’re finding Muadh ibn Jabal rahimahu Allah asking this question and you find the Prophet salla Allahu alayhe wasallam saying is there anything, anything that would put the people on their faces in the hellfire more than the harvest or what their tongues have harvested, what their tongues have involved themselves in, what their tongues, the crimes that their tongues have committed.
So the tongue is very very dangerous and the illnesses of the tongue are very dangerous and ibn Masood radiallahu anhu, ibn umm ‘abd radiallahu anhu used to say ‘oh my tongue say good and you will benefit and be quiet about evil or bad and you will be safe and do this before you will be sorry, and do so before you will be sorry’.
And the Prophet salla Allahu alayhe wa sallam stated ‘He who believes in Allah – man kaana yumin billahi wa yawmil aakhir – he who believes in Allah and the last day then he must say good or keep silent. The one who believes in Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala believes in the fact that Allah tabarak wa ta’ala is the Lord, the Controller, the Giver of life, the Giver of death, the Controller of all affairs, and that Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala has the best names and most highest qualities and that Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala is the only one who deserves that he be worshipped, he who believes in that. And who believes in the last day, that there’s a day where we will be in front of Allah bare footed, naked and uncircumcised and the sun will be one mile from us, and that the people will be sweating to such a degree that the sweat will make them bridle their mouths shut, and they will cry and they will want that the judgement will commence and that we’ll face Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala without any translator and that Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala knows our inner and our outer, what we conceal and what we reveal and He will call us to account for that, subhana wa ta’ala. And the meezan or the scales on the day of judgement which it is stated that the believer, his actions as well himself, will be weighed on these scales and the book to be given to the believer in his right or the one who has committed sin in the left hand behind his back and going over the siraat which is as thin as a hair and sharp as a razor and which is over the hell fire and everyone has to go over it, then all the mattters of the matters of the last day then the one who truly believes in Allah tabarak wa ta’ala and truly believes in the last day, let him or her speak good or keep silent.
…And we mentioned in a narration in the khutbah that the prophet salla Allahu alayhe wa sallam stated that ‘the one who can guarantee for me that which is between his cheeks and that which is between his legs, I can guarantee for that individual jannah’ oh kama qaal alayhi salam and this has been related by Bukhaaree.
And Abu bakr assideeq radiallahu ta ala anhu used to prevent himself from speaking and used to point to his tounge and used make the statement that this is what has gotten me into many difficult situations.
And Abdullah ibn Mas’ood radiallahu anhu says by Allah, the One who no one has the right to be worshipped except Him, nothing is in more need of imprisonment longer than the tongue, the tongue should be imprisoned should be kept in ones mouth and should only be used to express that which is of benefit to the servant.
And Tawoos rahimahu Allah stated that my tongue is a snake, my tongue is a snake if I let it go it would eat me, if I let it go it would eat me.
And Al Hasan ya’nee Al Basree rahimahu Allah ta’aala the one, he said, the one who does not control or guard his tongue has not understood his dean – maa ‘aqala deenahu – he has not understood his deen he who does not guard his tongue, he has not understood his deen he or she that does not guard their tongue.
And ‘awzaa’ee rahimahu Allah ta’aala said that Umar ibn abdul azeez radiallahu ta’alaa ‘anhumaa wrote to us saying – amma ba’ad – to proceed verily the one who thinks a lot about death and is pleased with a little from this world and considers that his statements that he makes with his tongue are from amongst his actions and therefore only speaks in matters that concern him, then his speech will be limited an he will only speak in those matters which concern him’. So he mentioned here 1. thinking of death, when one really thinks of death for subhana Allah if it is considered and one contemplates upon death and the fact that one has to die there is no method of avoiding death for every soul must taste of death. And what that in fact means when one thinks of this and then is pleased with little of the dunyah, what allah tabarak ta wa ta’alaa has given him of the dunyah and considers his speech as part of his actions and makes sure that what he states that what he or she states the little that one states that it is in regarding to that which concerns oneself, that which concerns oneself.
And Yunus ibn abdullah said I saw no pepole who consider the actions of their tongue ya’nee guard their tongue, watch their tongue except that I saw that righteousness in all other actions, meaning that by the fact that they guard their tongues and watched their tongues since their concerned about the tongue and as we said that the tongue is the hardest thing or one of the hardest things to control for, (unclear) immediately someone would state something that doesn’t benefit them or state something that is haraam for them to state or the tongue will fall into nameemah,or into gheebah, or into kadhib lying or slander and so and so forth that, he said that the individuals that he found who guarded their tongues he saw that righteousness he saw in the rest of their actions that level of righteousness.
Abu Bakr ibn ayyaash said four kings gathered a king from India and a king from China and a king from Persia and a king from Rome. One of them said ‘I feel sorry about what I have stated and I do not feel sorry about that which I do not state’ (or that which I do not say). Another one said ‘if I speak a word the word owns me and I don’t own it and if I don’t speak then I own it and it does not own me’. The third said ‘I am astonished about the one who speaks that what he states comes back and harms him and that if it does not come back and harm him it doesn’t benefit him’. The forth one said that ‘to take or to control what I say before I say it, to bring back or radd or bring back what I say before I say it is easier for me than to try to bring back something that I have stated’. These are some wise words from four wise kings each speaking about the fact of controlling the tongue, controlling their tongues and watching what they say.
…Some of the diseases of the tongue are as follows:
1.Al kalaam fee maa laa ya’nee ý talking or discussing matters which does not concern one, talking or discussing matters which does not concern one. You should know that the greatest capital of the servant is his time and when that time is spent in a manner which does not concern that person or about a matter which does not concern that person or in a matter which does not concern that person, that person will not be acquiring reward for the hereafter. And in that regard that person has lost their greatest wealth. And because of this the Prophet salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said ‘from the good Islam of a person is leaving alone that which does not concern him’, which was related by Imam Maalik and Ahmad and is Saheeh. From the good Islam of a person is leaving alone that which does not concern them, and the reason behind this, as he says, are many, amongst them is that this person is so concerned finding out that which they had no need for. Or using the time to talk about that which has no benefit and a total remedy for this or the remedy for this is to consider every breath we take as our greatest wealth and that our tongue is a tool that can be used to gather good for us or if we pay no attention to it do not guard it do not control it can lead us into total loss can lead us into total loss. So this is the first illness of the tongue to talk about that which does not benefit or that which does not concern one rather. Kalaam fee maa la ya’nee the thing, the matter or the issue does not concern you, it is not of any importance to you or benefit to you in this life or the hereafter, simply leave it alone. Because it is a waste of time and it is a waste of spending time on that which will bring harm and will not bring benefit rather than using the tongue and using it in a manner that will bring us benefit.
2.Another issue or illness of the tongue is talking too much, fadool al kalaaam, talking too much. And this is also something to be looked down upon and criticised and it also really falls into discussing that which does not concern one. And going to that which does concern one more than one has to, ‘ala qadara haajah’ beyond the need. Because that which concerns us it is possible that we can abbreviate our words and shorten our talk regarding it. And sometimes we can repeat one or two statements that would give justice to what we are trying to say without going into great detail. So if we can mention two words that would explain the situation or will give the proper understanding of what we are trying to say then the third word is extra talk that is not needed even if there might not directly be a sin connected to it. And there is a statement of Allaah tabaaraka wa ta’ala which says ‘ la khayra fee katheerin min najwaahum illa man amara bi sadaqatin aw maaroofin aw islaahin baynan naas’. ‘There is no good in most of their secret meetings or secret discussions except one who orders what is good or orders with sadaqah or orders what is good or orders or suggests the correcting of the hearts between people or bringing the relationships between people closer or together. So this shows what is beneficial of the statements.
Ataa ibn Abee Rabaah rahimahullah said that those who were before you used to dislike, meaning the Salaf, used to dislike extra talk and they used to consider extra talk which was not speaking about the book of Allah or the sunnah of the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wa salam or ordering what is good or forbidding what is bad or speaking about something that one needs to speak about regarding ones livelihood, they used to dislike that. And they used to have the viewpoint that and with sure knowledge that upon us are ‘haafidheen kiraaman kaatibeen’ that there are angels writing down everything we state being on our right and on our left and no statement that we make except that it is written. He said would you not be shy from having your book opened on the day of judgement and that what is in it for the mostpart is that which does not benefit you in this world nor in your deen.
Ibn Umar Radi Allahu anhuma the son of Umar ibn al khattaab said the best thing that one can or the thing that has the most right that one purifies is the lisaan, the thing that has the most right that one purifies is the tongue ya’nee before purifying everything else the thing that has the most right that we purify it is the tongue.
3. A fourth issue or illness of the tongue is arguing, debating, almaraa’ah, almiraa’ah, aljidaal
Bilal ibn Saeed said if you find a man arguing debating and astonished by his own opinion then know that his loss is complete.
Ibn abi layla said I do not argue with my companions because either I will call him a liar or I will anger him.
And arguing is ý…UNCLEARý… to oppose a persons words or to attack a persons words to show a deficiency in what they say whether you do it in words or in meaning or finding fault in the intention behind what they are saying and therefore the way you leave arguing is to leave finding fault in what they have stated or attacking it or opposing it. So any statement that you may hear if it is true you should believe in it and agree with it, and if it is false or a lie and is not connected to the matters of deen, turn your attention away from it be quiet about it. And it also among the obligations of the muslims that when it comes to an argument or debate about matters of knowledge we be quiet about it and when we ask we ask the scholars we ask in a manner that we can benefit not in a manner to find fault in what they will relate to us, or to find the true reality of a matter and not using the question as a means to find fault with someone else.
So arguing has all of these characteristics to them to try and take the words of someone else and show his deficiency in what he has stated or to connect what he has stated to stupidity or ignorance this is all from arguing and one will fall into arguing which has been forbidden and there is no safety from falling into this arguing or sinning in this way except by keeping silent. And there are many things that lead to arguing and amongst the matters that lead to it are a person wanting to be shown that they’re a cut above the rest, that they are some how above the rest by showing their knowledge and attacking others and showing others deficiencies. Both of these are two qualities which destroy an individual. And also arguing leads to harming one another and bringing about anger of one person to another and leaving that effect upon the heart of your brother or your sister. And this leaves, many times this leaves such an effect on the heart that the individual wants revenge for what has been stated in arguing and wants to show that he is right in any way possible whether the way that they will use is a good way or bad way. And to find fault with the one that was arguing with them and the statements they were making.
So there is a remedy for such things of this nature and amongst them is to remove the kibar (the pride) because pride is rejection of the truth and looking down upon the people.
4.Another fault of the tongue is cursing.
Ibn Abbas radiallahu anhumaa said that Allah is shy and generous and He forgives and uses kinaayah meaning that He uses expressions that are other than the obvious expression like using the word lams (to touch) rather than the actual word for the relation between husband and wife. So this is Allah tabarak wa ta’ala using these terms so we must be wise and have enough taqwa to use words that are decent in describing things that are indecent and we are not to use indecent words to describe indecent matters, this is not the way of the believers. But the believers use decent words even to describe indecent matters.
And it is related that a bedouin arab came to the Prophet salla Allahu alayhe wasallam and the arab said ‘awsanee’ give me advice and the Prophet salla allahu alayhe wasallam said ‘alayka bi taqwa Allah’, upon you is to have taqwa of Allah yanee to fear Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala, taqwa, to be aware of Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala that he is watching you and hears you and sees you and knows everything about you nothing is concealed from him subhanahu wa ta’laa so upon you is to have taqwa of Allah tabarka wa ta’ala, taqwa meaning avoiding what Allah tabaraka wa ta’ala has forbidden and act upon and be committed to that which Allah tabaraka wa ta’alla has ordered us to do this is taqwa.
And he said and if someone finds fault with you for a matter that he knows about you, you should not find fault with that person for a matter that you know about them. And therefore his deed will be upon him and you will have a reward and ‘that therefore you will be clearing yourself of any wrong doing’, oh kamaa qaal alayhi sallam. So here the prophet salla allahu alayhe wassallam, and this is a narration by Ahmad at-Tabaraani, and according to haafidh al iraaqee, it’s isnaad is jayyid, (it’s a good hadeeth) that have taqwa and if someone finds fault with something that that individual knows about you, don’t let that be a means of you finding fault with that individual about something that you know about them. And therefore what he has said about you will be upon him and you will have the reward from Allah tabarka wa ta’ala.
And the Prophet salla allahu alyahe wa sallam said ‘sabaab al mu’min fasooq’ to curse a believer is evil doing is fasooq, ‘wa qitaaluhu kufr’ and fighting him is a form of disbelief, disbelief in actions, fighting him or killing him.
And the Prophet stated from the akbar kabaair the greatest of the major sins is that a man curses his parents. The companions of the Prophet salla allahu alayhe wa sallam said oh messenger of Allah how can a man curse his parents? This was unimaginable to them that someone curses his parents. The Prophet salla allahu alayhe wa sallam said it is that you curse the father of a man and therefore he curses your father, so by you cursing the father or mother of a person you have brought about them cursing yours, so you have brought about the curse upon your mother or father so therefore in reality you have cursed your mother or father because you brought it about.
5.Another disease of the tongue is cursing in the sense of asking the curse of Allah to be upon such and such thing. L’an
6.Another mistake or illness of the tongue is singing
7.Another illness of the tongue is to joke too much
And Umar ibn al khattabý radi Allahu anhu- said he who jokes a lot will be belittled amongst the people- people won’t consider that person anyone of importance. They wont consider their words of importance or anything they might say because they joke so much.
As sa’eed ibn aas said to his son oh my son do not joke with someone who is noble for he will dislike you and do not joke with someone who doesn’t have proper character for he will use it as a means to attack you he will forget any type of respect for you.
And they say for everything has a seed and the seed for bringing about hatred and discord and enmity is to joke too much. You want that the people dislike you, start to joke with them too much. This is basically what he has stated and that what we find with the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam’s joking we find that it was a joking that was in its place and its time and did not have any exaggeration in it.
8.Another illness of the tongue is making fun of people, mocking people, sukhriyyah wa istihzaa
And what is meant by sukhriyyah is al istihaana, to look down on someone, to make fun of someone, to belittle some one, to point to the faults of someone or the deficiencies of someone in a way that will make others laugh and in a way that you are laughing at them. And this may be that you state it on your tongue or it may be that you point it out like if some ones short and you put your hand out and you place it at the level of your knee and everyones laughing and you say yeah and the brother and you point to the level of your knee you dont say anything this is still making fun of and mockery. And this is laughing at someone else, at the expense of someone else and making that someone little in the eyes of others trying to belittle that individual and this is why Allah says ‘asaa an yakoonu khayran minhum ya’nee it may be that the person is better than them ya’nee don’t look down on him don’t belittle that person it may be that that person is better in the sight of Allah tabarak wa ta’ala than you!
And this is someone who did not want or is not aware that you are making mockery of them or did not ask you to do it or did not allow you to do it. It is not someone who may be joking with you and don’t mind that you have made himself in a funny way or something and doesn’t mind that you do this. But it is someone who doesn’t like this and who it offends them that you are doing this, this is in this case haraam. This in this case is haraam. So the haraam is that you belittle people and harm them by making fun of them and mocking them by looking down on them, sometimes by laughing from what they say. Did they make a mistake in what they say, you expresss the mistake that they say. If someone made a mistake in reading something from qur’aan or reading hadeeth ‘haatha masjidu’ something like this as an example. Finding fault in this statement or a mistake a person might be making in this this is sukhriyyah and it is haraam. Or upon the actions of a person like how their handwriting might be or the way that they walk or how they look, how their nose is or their eyelids or their eyelashes or their face, ALL of this is haraam. To laugh at any of that all of this falls into sukhriyyah making fun of people.
9.The twelfth issue or illness of the tongue is to spread secrets, ish’aar as sirr.
Allahu akbar wallahu akbar we live in a time now when no one can keep secrets! You find a person saying wallahi tell me wallahi I wont tell anyone wallahi then after a while everyone on earth that he comes into contact with knows! This is very very dangerous and it is haraam because it causes harm to the individual and it is not looking a their rights. The rights of that individual is that you keep what they said to you to yourself. This is what he expected when he told you he did not expect for it to be broadcast or to be on the nightly news or in the newspaper or that everyone in the first, second and third saff in the masjid knows about it!
So we must keep this in mind and this is because the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa salam said ‘idha hadatha rajul if a man tells you something (man or woman) bi hadeethin tells you (hadeethin here is talk)- talks to you about something then turns around like a person turns their head to the right and then the left meaning they don’t want anyone else to hear, then what they state is an amaanah, amaanah – its a trust. He says brother let me tell you something he looks around he looks to the right and the left and then tells you that’s an ammanah, that’s a trust.
And the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam on authority of (unclear) and ibn Abbaas radi Allahu anhuma saying that ‘inna majaalis bil amaanah’ sitting is with amaanah or ‘alhadeeth baynakum amaanah’ that talking between one another is a trust. So ish’aar as sirr spreading the secrets is a betrayal of that trust and it is haraam. Haraam if it leads to that which is harmful and it is a sin even if it doesn’t lead to that which is harmful.
10.Another illness of the tongue is the lying. Lying or making a false promise, al wa’ad al kaadhib.
This is another illness that is quite common among the muslims nowadays. A brother promises or a sister promises something and the actions do something else. That is that the tongue says or promises to do something then the person says well I may do it or I may not, and in the majority of cases won’t do it, this is a sign of a hypocrite or one of the signs of nifaaq or hypocrisy actually.
Qaala Allahu ta’ala ya ayyuhal ladheena aamanoo awfoo bil ‘uqood. awfoo bil ‘uqood. awfoo bil ‘uqood. Oh you who believe keep your promises, keep your agreements that you have agreed upon.
And Allah tabaark wa ta’ala praises His Prophet Ismaa’eel alayhi sallam in His book by saying ‘innahu kaana saadiqul wa’ad’ verily he was truthful in what he promised.
And when death, right before he died Abdullah ibn Umar, when death was coming to him he said verily someone from amongst a man from Quraysh asked for the hand of my daughter and I gave him something that could in fact, could possibly be understood as a promise. So I don’t want to meet Allaah tabarak wa ta’ala with even a third of hypocrisy, even a thuluth of hypocrisy, so therefore I married him to her or her to him at this point.
As he said shubhul wa’ad, may, it seems like it might have been a promise. How many times has this happened where you know what you have stated to the individual, the individual understood that to be a promise. You could say well I didn’t really intend that to be a promise and its some people use the excuse ‘well I said insha Allah’ as if that removes all of it. I said insha Allaah, what does that mean? Insha Allaah ya’nee if Allah wills. It is that you do your utmost to do that and if something that Allah decrees comes between you and fulfilling that promise then you are excused. But to sit in your house and you promised to meet a brother a 4′ o’ clock and now it is 3:58 and you are just sitting there, you can’t use the excuse of insha Allah and say well I told him insha Allaah and therefore I can do whatever I want to do in this respect and have the right to break my promise, this is not the case.
11.Another mistake or illness of the tongue is to lie and to swear while lying.
These are two sins, one is to lie by itself the other one is to swear, to take the name of Allaah tabark wa ta’ala and lie with it. This is a great sin. He brings a narration that has been collected by Ibn Maajah and Nassa’i and Haafidh al Iraaqi said it is hasan which says ‘woe to you from lying because it is always with evil doing and both of them are in the hellfire’.
Another hadeeth that we should seriously be aware of and is related by Ahmad Tabaraani and Haafidh al Iraaqee says its isnad is jayyid is the hadeeth that ‘it is a great betrayal or deceit of your brother that you talk to him with words from yourself or words that he believes that you are truthful in and you are lying to him’. ‘At tahuddith akhaaka’ to talk to your brother and to tell him some words ‘wa huwa laka bihi musaddiq’ and he believes that you are truthful in but in reality you are lying.
So these are some of the issues. And we covered gheebah and we covered nameemah and there are reasons that gheebah takes place and there are remedies for gheebah and we should be aware of gheebah or backbiting and nameemah and falsely praising people and having two facedness. All of these are issues that we could not go into because of the amount of time that we have but we must all be aware of our statements and what we say.
And may Allah tabarak wa ta’ala bless us to guard our tongues and only say that which is of benefit to us and to not speak without knowledge and to not speak about those matters that do not concern us and to not speak in regarding the honour of the people and in a manner that will harm them. Aameen.
Source : Posted by Umar Abu Ubayd on SalafiTalk.net forum