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An Islamic perspective: What corrupts the Tongue?

An Islamic perspective: What corrupts the Tongue?Researchers in ethics say that there is a cause of corruption for everything. The tongue is not an exception to this. Many things will corrupt it. Nearly sixteen causes have been cited for the corruption of the tongue.

01 - Talking in vain or useless

Talking in vain will only waste our time and is one of the causes of corruption of the tongue. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "One of the signs of goodness of a Muslim man's submission to Allah (SWT) is avoiding vain talk."

Ibn Abbas (RadhiAllahu Anhu) said: Achieving the following five matters is more beneficial than owning the best types of horses:

(1) - Not involving yourselves in conversations that do not concern you, as there is no guarantee that you would not sin therein.

(2) - Not talking about things that do concern you, until you find the proper time; as a person may talk about a matter that does concern them but at the wrong time and therefore produce a bad consequence.

(3) - Not arguing with a wise or a foolish person, as the wise person would desert you and the foolish person would humiliate you.

(4) - Mentioning your brother, in his absence, with things with which you would wish him to mention you with in your absence and forgiving him for that which you would wish him to forgive you for.

(5) - Performing the actions of one who is certain that he would be rewarded for the good and punished for the bad that he does.

It is a fact that the majority of those who take the lead in vain talk during sinful gatherings talk so much that one who listens to them comes to realize that they themselves are not aware of what they are saying and that there is no thought process behind their words.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "No servants of Allah's (SWT) belief will be correct until his heart is corrected, and his heart will never be corrected until his tongue is." The first phase of achieving this correctness is for a person to give up that which does not concern them and not to involve themselves in things that they were not asked about.

Islam has dispraised frivolities and idle talk as they are immaterial and evil. In fact, the more a person stays away from them, the higher their rank becomes with Allah (SWT). Conversely, the more a person indulges in them, the more their punishment will be with Allah (SWT).

An Islamic perspective: Triple Filter Test Mind Your Own Business

Islam and LyingDuring the Abbasid period, one of the scholars in Baghdad, the capital of Muslim caliphate at that time, was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

"Hold on a minute," the scholar replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"

"That's right," the scholar continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and..."

"All right," said the scholar. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," the scholar continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really..."

"Well," concluded the scholar, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

Allah (SWT) the Exalted said in Noble Qur'an: "O' ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it. But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful." [Sura Hujurat 49:12]

An Islamic perspective: Over Talking (02) Islam and Over Talking

Islam and Over TalkingProphet Muhammad (saw) said: "Blessed be the one who avoids over talking and gives his excess wealth in charity to the needy."

03 - Bad Talk

Examples of bad talk are attending the get-together sessions of some women, meetings of those who drink, and talking with the corrupt, the rich, the rulers and the kings. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "One who says something to make the people laugh has deviated from his position as a human being, and has fallen down like one who falls down from a star, even farther than that!"

Don't use hurtful or insulting words:

A younger woman one day said something that hurt (insult) her best friend. She regretted it immediately, and would have done anything to have taken the words back. But they were said, impulsively, in a moment of thoughtlessness, and as close as she and her friend were, she didn't consider the effects of her words beforehand.

In her effort to undo what she had done, she went to an older, wiser woman in the village. Explaining her situation, and asked for advice. The older, wiser woman listened patiently in an effort to determine just how sincere the younger woman was, how far she was willing to go to correct the situation.

The older, wiser woman said, "There are two things needed to do to make amends. The first of the two is extremely difficult. Tonight, take your best feather pillows, and open a small hole in each one. Then, before the sun rises, you must put a single feather on the doorstep of each house in town. When you are through, come back to me. If you've done the first thing completely, I'll tell you the second."

The younger woman hurried home to prepare for her chore. All night long she laboured alone in the cold. She went from doorstep to doorstep, taking care not to overlook a single house. Her fingers were frozen, the wind was so sharp it caused her eyes to water, but she ran on, through the darkened streets, thankful there was something she could do to put things back the way they once were.

Just as the sun rose, she returned to the older, wiser woman. She was exhausted, but relieved that her efforts would be rewarded. "My pillows are empty. I placed a feather on the doorstep of each home."

Now, said the older, wiser woman, "Go back and refill your pillows. Then everything will be as it was before."

The younger woman was stunned. "You know that's impossible! The wind blew away each feather as fast as I placed them on the doorsteps! You didn't say I had to get them back! If this is the second requirement, then things will never be the same."

"That's true", said the older, wiser woman. "Never forget. Each of your words is like a feather in the wind. Once spoken, no amount of effort, regardless how heartfelt or sincere, can ever return them to your mouth. Choose your words well, and guard them most of all in the presence of those you love, because remember one kind word can warm three winter months."

An Islamic perspective: Arguing (04) Islam and Arguing, Offensive Insulting

Islam and ArguingArguing and teasing are factors that will corrupt the tongue. Islam has ordered us not to argue since it is blameworthy. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Do not argue with, tease, or break the promise you have made to your brethren."

Prophet Muhammad (saw) also said: "You cannot attain full faith unless you quit verbal arguments even if you are right."

Prophet Muhammad (saw) also said: "Whoever knows he is right but quits arguing shall be given a residence in a high heavenly place. Whoever knows that he is wrong and quits arguing shall be given a residence in a low heavenly place."

5 Simple Tricks to Help You Win Any Argument

We all get into arguments from time to time. But how do you deal with those people who consistently want to fight and act like they are always right? Contradicting them just feeds their desire for conflict and will frustrate and cause strife. Here are five alternative methods for dealing with this type of difficult person.

1. Smile: Deflect the anger. Ask questions designed to get the other person to think about why he or she is upset. It's very difficult to argue with someone who is smiling and conversing without resistance.

2. Let them think your point of view is their own: To do this requires some subtlety but is very powerful against extremely stubborn people who will never admit they are wrong. The trick is to ask questions designed to manipulate the person into arriving at your conclusion "on their own."

3. Admit your mistakes: If you did something wrong or made a mistake, just be humble and admit it. This sound like you're conceding defeat, but actually this wins immediately since it takes the combative person completely off guard. One of two things usually happens next: either the other person will feel bad for even bringing up the issue and will suddenly be very helpful, or they won't know how to respond immediately which gives you the opportunity to say something leading the conversation into a more productive direction.

4. Shut up: This is an especially strong technique when you know you're right and you suspect the other person knows it but isn't ready to admit it. Let the person fumble and squirm around while you just listen.

"One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say." ~ Will Durant

5. Do Not Attack: Whatever you do, do not attack the other person. Sure, you might know the exact thing to say to hit 'em where it hurts. You might be cold and calculating with your logic and reduce the argument (and the person's self-esteem) to dust. Or you could follow the techniques above and come away from the argument with an ally instead of a foe. Your choice.

05 - Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse or expression of animosity to get one's right or property is another factor that corrupts the tongue. Abu Hurairah quoted on the authority of Prophet Muhammad (saw): "Whoever expresses animosity without true knowledge shall remain subject to Allah's wrath until he dies."

Prophet Muhammad (saw) also said: "There are rooms in Heaven which are transparent. Allah (SWT) has prepared them for those who feed the hungry ones, use nice words in their speech and avoid bad talk and verbal abuse."

Thus, Prophet Muhammad (saw) instructs all Muslims to be polite in speech, and not to use bad or obscene language. Muslims are instructed to attract other people's love and friendship by using good words.

06 - Excessive Eloquence

The Blessed Fatima Zahra (sa) quoted on the authority of her noble father, Prophet Muhammad (saw): "The most wicked people in my nation are those who are feeding off divine blessings by eating various dishes and wearing colorful clothing, but speak using an excessively eloquent language."

We can realize that we should not overburden ourselves by using excessively eloquent language when talking with others. Rather we should try to use nice words and expressions to express important topics.

07 - Swearing

Swearing is considered bad in Islam. It is one of the factors that corrupt the tongue. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Avoid swearing since Allah (SWT) does not like swearing and those who are used to swearing."

In another tradition we read that Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Heaven is forbidden to whoever is used to swearing. He cannot enter it."

Swearing is one of the very bad characteristics. Whoever gets used to swearing should try to treat himself. Swearing is defined to be the expression of vulgar things. One who swears is trying to hurt the other person, and hurting others is certainly forbidden. It may be the result of associating with bad people who use obscene language. This has also been declared to be bad in Islam.

An Arab went to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said: "Please give me some advice." Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "I advise you to fear Allah (SWT). If someone blames you for what is in you, do not blame him for what you know that may lie in him. Thus, he will suffer from the ill consequences of his deeds and you will prosper from your good deeds. Also never swear at any of Allah's creatures."

The man took the Prophet's advice and never swore at anyone. We learn from this tradition that we should never use our knowledge of other people's weaknesses to harm their honor. Ayaz ibn Samar told Prophet Muhammad (saw): "O' Prophet of Allah (SWT)! A relative of mine who is lower than me in rank swears at me. Should I swear at him in defense?" Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Whenever two people swear at each other they are like two Satan's that are helping each other."

An Islamic perspective: Cursing (08) Islam and Cursing, Abusive Language

Islam and CursingCursing is also another factor that corrupts the tongue. Whoever curses others is pushing them away from the circle of Allah's Mercy. This issue has been referred to in several verses of Noble Qur'an. Allah (SWT) has cursed many and has deprived them of his Mercy. An important case is that of Satan:

"And My curse shall be on thee till the Day of Judgment." [Sura Sad 38:78]

Those who conceal the truth are also damned in Noble Qur'an:

"Those who conceal the clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, - on them shall be Allah's curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse."[Sura Baqarah 2:159]

Those who lie were also damned as in the following verse of Noble Qur'an:

"If anyone disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee, say: "Come! Let us gather together, - our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!" [Sura Al-E-Imran 3:61]

Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Imam Ali (as) cursed several people. Imam Ali (as) has been narrated to have quoted on the authority of Prophet Muhammad (saw):

There are seven groups of people who were cursed by Allah (SWT) and His Prophet Muhammad (saw):

1- Those that change the Divine Book

2- Those who deny divine decrees

3- Those that change the Prophet's traditions

4- Those who allow to my family what Allah (SWT) has forbidden

5- Those who use their power and rule to belittle one whom Allah (SWT) has honored, and those who use their power and rule to honor one whom Allah (SWT) has debased

6- Those that make lawful what Allah (SWT) has forbidden

7 - Those those are haughty in worshipping Allah (SWT)

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "A believer shall not curse others."

It is even forbidden to curse animals in Islam. Overall, we can conclude that cursing men, animals and objects is forbidden, except for some instances of the infidels, the hypocrites and those who have usurped the rights of Imam Ali (as) and his descendants.

09 - Lustful Songs

The next factor that corrupts the tongue is listening or singing to lustful songs. Consider the following verses of Noble Qur'an:

"Such (is the Pilgrimage): whoever honors the sacred rites of Allah, for him it is good in the Sight of his Lord. Lawful to you (for food in Pilgrimage) are cattle, except those mentioned to you (as exception): but shun the abomination of idols, and shun the word that is false." [Sura Al- Hajj 22:30]

"Those who witness no falsehood, and, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with honorable (avoidance)." [Sura Al-Furqan 25:72]

The Arabic expressions that are translated into "shun the word that is false" and "witness no falsehood" in the above verses of Noble Qur'an have been interpreted by Shuham and Ibn Abi Amir and Abi Basir (in Kafi) and others as implying lustful songs.

However, there are two groups of traditions regarding poetry. Religious poetry is considered to be good in one group of traditions. Other traditions consider lustful poetry to be bad.

Islam and Gossiping, Backbiting (Gheebah)

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017