Many of us wander at our lack of spiritual progress yet we fail to avoid the basic sins. For example, sins of the tongue such as swearing, backbiting, rumour mongering and slander.
Silence is the hallmark of a believer and one of the goals of tazkiyah is to cut down on one's speech. Most people tend to talk excessively and this in itself is a curse. We have to train ourselves to remain silent and true silence is when a person has the ability and desire to speak yet remains silent, for example when angry. We should be conscious that we will be accountable for every word we utter on the Day of Judgement.
[This short excerpt is based on a brothers' majlis (gathering held for spiritual training) held by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 5th February 2003]
"Every word uttered by a child of adam will be held against him and not in favour of him, except enjoining good, forbidding wrong, and the remembrance of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى." (Tirmidhi; Ibn Maja)
On the Day of Judgement, a person will be held accountable for everything he has said. Gossip and idle talk cause the hearts to harden and to become further from the mercy of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. The person who engages in idle talk is deprived of the reward he could have gained had he enjoined good, forbidden evil, or spent his time in the remembrance of Allaah by glorifying Him, praising Him, extolling His greatness, supplicating to Him (du'a), reciting the Qur'an, or by invoking blessings (salawaat) upon His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. (Mirqat al-Mafatih, 5:601; Mazad al-Raghibeen, 28)
"He who keeps silent saves himself." (Tirmidhi; Ahmad)
Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali رحمه الله writes, "The dangers of the tongue are great and the calamities many; for instance, erring, lying, tale bearing, backbiting, ostentation, hypocricy, vulgarity, arguing, and discussing vice. Despite the dangers, the soul is inclined toward such calamities. One who falls into them can seldom keep his tongue harnessed, [therefore one should] only permit it to speak when necessary and prohibit it when necessary. Thus, there is danger in confronting these calamities, and there is safety in remaining silent, along with the opportunity one gets to gather one's thoughts, ponder, reflect, and worship." (Mirqat al-Mafatih, 8:527)
Imam Ibn Wahb رحمه الله Treats Gheeba By Spending Money
Imam Ibn Wahb رحمه الله was a great muhaddith, faqeeh and zahid. He was also a companion of Imam Malik رحمه الله, Layth رحمه الله, Thawri رحمه الله, and other great scholars. He says:
"I made it incumbent upon myself that whenever I speak ill of a person, I must keep one fast [as a punishment to myself]. But this became easy for me. So I made it incumbent upon myself that whenever I speak ill of a person, I must give one dirham in charity. This was difficult for me and I eventually gave up speaking ill of anyone."
"The sins of speech include shirk (associating partners with Allah سبحانه و تعالى). This is the greates sin in Allah's sight. It also includes speaking about Allah سبحانه و تعالى without knowledge, which is the companion of shirk. It also includes giving false witness, which can be equivalent to shirk. It also includes sorcery, calumny and other major and minor sins, such as lying, backbiting, tale-spreading. In fact, the other sinful acts, in general, are usually accompanied by speech that assists in those deeds."
Ibn Buraidah رحمه الله stated that he once saw Ibn 'Abbas رضي الله عنهما taking hold of his tongue and then saying, "Woe to you. Speak well and you will gain from that. Refrain from speaking evil and you will be safe. Otherwise, you must realise that you will have to be remorseful."[Ibn Rajab رحمه الله: Jaami' al-'Uloom wal Hikam]
"One will not find any act of piety that is followed by all other acts except in the tongue. You can find a man who fasts during the day and breaks his fast on forbidden things [because of his speech]. He spends the night in prayer and during the day he gives false witness...."
"However, you will not find a person who only speaks the truth whose actions ever contradict that."
"It is amazing how it is easy for a human to control and protect himself from eating forbidden items, wronging others, fornication, stealing, drinking alcohol, looking at what is forbidden while it is difficult for him to control the movement of his tongue.
You can even find a man who is considered religious, pious and a worshipper while he speaks words that anger Allah and he does not even consider them important; he is lowered by one word a distance even greater than what is between the east and the west.
How many times do you see a person who refrains from the lewd acts and wrongdoing while his tongue flows in false speech concerning the honour of those both alive and dead, and he does not even care about what he is saying."
[Abdul Malik al-Qasim: Ahsaahu-llah wa nasooh (Riyadh: Dar al-Qasim, 1995), pp 6-7]
ar-Rabee' Ibn Khuthaym رحمه الله would write everything that he said from one Friday to the next. If he found that he had spoken well and truthfully, he praised Allah سبحانه و تعالى; if he found an error in his speech, he repented to Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
We apologise but you have been denied access to report posts in this thread. This could be due to excessively reporting posts and not understanding our forum rules. For assistance or information, please use the forum help thread to request more information. Jazakallah