Jul 4, 2012

Taming Your Tongue Before Ramadan

By Amal Mila Filza


The most amazing month of them all is knocking on our door. There are so many things to do yet there is so little time. Have you prepared for Ramadan?

Ramadan is a month that gives Muslims the thought of joy and where Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala grants us the ability to change ourselves for the better. It is a month of His Mercy and Forgiveness. The month where we are no longer imprisoned by Shaitaan. Still there are some destructive sins, which are being neglected and are considered as a part of our everyday lives. These sins became a habit among many of us and are not viewed as something evil.

Gossiping about one another has become second nature to many people. The imagination of human beings does not have or know a limit when it comes to talking behind someone’s back. At first, an innocent remark may not seem as a big deal yet that ‘innocent’ remark may cause a lot of harm to your self.

Backbiting and slandering is one of the major sins, yet it is also one of the main reasons for a meet up with friends. How many times do you talk behind someone else’s back? Let us break this awful habit and tame our tongue once and for all. Let this Ramadan be the moment for us to control our tongue, ask for forgiveness and change for the better InshaAllah.

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” 
(Al-Hujuraat 49:12).

Controlling our tongue is one of the most important aspects we have to keep in mind while being a Muslim. The ayah above shows us that suspicion and backbiting are sins. Nobody would like to eat the flesh of his or her dead brother. We should not be pre-occupied with things that do not concern us. Just like the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “From the excellence of a man’s Islam is leaving that which does not concern him.” (Bukhari)

I have always loved the hadith; “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day let him speak good or remain silent” (Bukhari & Muslim) and we should always try to do this. Perhaps to control our tongue is one of the hardest things to do but Paradise comes at a price and nobody ever told us that life was going to be easy.

Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd: Allah's messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him." (Bukhari) 

I can hear you thinking, but what if I am telling the truth? I was one of those people who thought that if I would tell only the truth, it would not be gossiping because I was only stating facts, right? I was wrong, even if I was telling the truth it would still be backbiting.

Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: "Do you know what is meant by gheebat (backbiting)?" The companions said, "Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala and His Messenger know best." Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, "To say something about your brother which he dislikes." One asked, "Even if what I say is true about my brother?" Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam replied, "If such defects you say are true about him, then you have backbitten him, and if he doesn't have what you say, then you have committed slander against him."(Muslim, Abu Dawood, and Tirmidhi)

Ramadan is coming close and we all want our fasting to be accepted. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi 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 (ie. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” (Bukhari)

The month of Ramadan is filled with blessings and virtues. There are so many hadiths of Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam where he warns us against our tongue. This Ramadan is the right time for us to tame our tongue just as we restrain our body from food and drink and its desires. Think before you say something or bite your tongue if you have to and seek refuge from Allah so He will guide you to say only that which is good.

Oh Allah make us reach Ramadan and benefit from its blessings, make us change for the better before our soul shall taste death.

Abu Hurairah radhi Allahu anhu narrated from the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam:“Indeed, the person will verbalize a word, while being unaware of (its penalty), and because of it, he will be put into the hell, farther than the distance between the East and the West”. (Bukhari & Muslim)

To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. 
Ya Allah we thought this Dunya had so many things to offer, 
But instead it has left us empty hearted. 
We talked too much, said too little. 
Constantly in a hurry, 
Time caught us by surprise. 
As we stand all alone, 
Can’t bear to watch, 
Time to pay our dues. 
One more chance is all we ask. 
Oh the regret, of the words we shouldn’t have said. 


As salaamu alaykum Amal,

May Allaah reward you for your article full of reminders. Gheebah is a threat to our entering al jannah. And we are all in this together. Nobody can say he/she is free from it. May Allaah aid us all and may He give us all the wherewithal to aid ourselves, aameen.
My beloved sisters, let us see this struggle against gheebah as a personal/societal journey to entering paradise. I know it'll be a step-to-step process. I know few sisters who are working on their personal relationships and struggling to keep a relationships that is free from all these vices. At times, even when u intend to do good by visiting your Muslim sister at home due to an illness, death in the family, or an addition to the family, occasions like such can be meritable at the beginning. Then, we lose control of our mouths and things become worse. Someone's name is mentioned sarcastically and the other sisters have no courage or guts to call a spade a spade and put a stop to the "once upon a time" gheebah story. I'm sure we've been in this kind of situation before. I have been in such situations b4 where I had the courage to stop and at times, where I totally lost my courage and listened in. And after listening, I feel disgusted for not covering up the faults of my Muslim sisters. Yes, I feel so useless, so disgusted.

I pray Ya Allaah, to aid us all because I have been thinking lately of this approaching Ramadhan.What will become of our niyyah, our fasting, our siyam, our qiyam al layl, our sadaqah, our zakah, our hulq, our amanah, when we fast for 15 or 16 plus hours and all these acts of ibadah get wasted simply by the vibe that comes out of our mouths. Even at iftar get-togethers, strive to make it a blessed one and not a cursed one. Even at taraweeh prayers, keep yourselves busy by doing dhikr instead of the unnecessary chats that occur in the women's prayer halls. 

Sisters should anonymously share their experiences with us with the intention of helping other sisters who have this weakness. We are all weak yet someone's weakness might be another person's' strength.

We don't want to end up have a fail mark in this Ramadhan. Please, pray for one another and pray for the Muslim Ummah.

Let's use our tongues to earn Allaah's pleasure and not His displeasure.

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