With Ramadhan al-Mubarak approaching, many articles will be written in relation to this blessed month. However, I feel that it is necessary to implement some permanent changes in our lives in preparation for not only Ramadhan, but more importantly, for the Hereafter.
The true blessing of Ramadhan is acquired by that person who aims to continuously please Allah سبحانه و تعالى and sees the holy month of Ramadhan as an opportunity to achieve proximity to Him.
To achieve this, we can commit to any positive change in our lives. However, I feel that the benefit that one can achieve by keeping one’s tongue under control is so immense, yet overlooked, that a short reminder on this topic could do no harm.
There are numerous Ahadith on the topic of the tongue; when kept in control it becomes a guarantor for Jannah, but when left loose and out of control then its harm is seen in this world as well as the Hereafter.
The messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم has informed us:
مَنْ يَضْمَنْ لِي مَا بَيْنَ لَحْيَيْهِ وَمَا بَيْنَ رِجْلَيْهِ أَضْمَنْ لَهُ الْجَنَّةَ
Whosoever can guarantee me the safeguarding of that which is between his jaws and that which is between his legs, I guarantee for him Jannah.
It is disturbing matter, that in today’s day and age the tongue is probably the foremost and most dominant means of committing sins; a tool whose harmful effects are so easily overlooked and forgotten that the Muslim Ummah barely even realise that a sin is being committed.
Today backbiting is prevalent, lying is a fashion & excessive speaking is an indicator of being intellectual & knowledgeable.
On the request of Hadhrat Abu Dhar رضي الله عنه our Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم gave several advices to him, from amongst these our Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
عليك بطول الصمت فإنه مطردة للشيطان وعون لك على أمر الله
Remain silent for long periods for indeed it keeps Shaytaan away and it will be a helper for you in your matters relating to Allah سبحانه و تعالى
Here our Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم is advising such a personality for whom he has stated:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَنِي بِحُبِّ أَرْبَعَةٍ وَأَخْبَرَنِي أَنَّهُ يُحِبُّهُمْ قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ سَمِّهِمْ لَنَا قَالَ عَلِيٌّ مِنْهُمْ يَقُولُ ذَلِكَ ثَلَاثًا وَأَبُو ذَرٍّ وَالْمِقْدَادُ وَسَلْمَانُ أَمَرَنِي بِحُبِّهِمْ وَأَخْبَرَنِي أَنَّهُ يُحِبُّهُمْ
Indeed Allah سبحانه و تعالى has ordered me to love four people; and He has informed me that He loves them. It was asked “O Prophet of Allah name them for us.” He صلى الله عليه و سلم said “Ali is from them” and he repeated this three times, “and Abu Dhar, and Miqdaad and Salmaan.” He سبحانه و تعالى has ordered me to love them and has informed me that they love Him.
An individual for whom a message of love came down from Allah سبحانه و تعالى; a message that confirmed the sincere love of Hadhrat Abu Dhar رضي الله عنه for Allah سبحانه و تعالى and in return proclamation of love of Allah سبحانه و تعالى for him.
When such an individual can be advised on keeping silence for a lengthy period then surely it applies to us many a fold.
The harms of the tongue have been mentioned profusely in the Qur’an and Ahadith. Its mention is vast and therefore there is no need to reiterate and repeat the many great articles and books that have been written on this subject.
However, as this post is, to some degree, in preparation for Ramadhan, it seems appropriate to mention the effect that the tongues can have on our fasts during Ramadhan. Our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has stated:
مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ فِي أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ
Whosoever does not forsake lying and acting upon lies
then Allah is in no need for that person to leave his food and drink
By not controlling our tongue in Ramadhan we are merely carrying out an obligatory act in Ramadhan; but we remain deprived of the blessings of that fast and of that month. A month which we cannot guarantee will return in our life again. Therefore, it is imperative that we seek to control our tongue before the commencement of this month and continue to do so during and even after the month of Ramadhan.
Hadhrat Anas رضي الله عنه warned us of taking lightly sins as they are in reality very destructive.
عَنْ أَنَسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ لَتَعْمَلُونَ أَعْمَالًا هِيَ أَدَقُّ فِي أَعْيُنِكُمْ مِنْ الشَّعَرِ
إِنْ كُنَّا لَنَعُدُّهَا عَلَى عَهْدِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ الْمُوبِقَاتِ
Anas رضي الله عنه said “Indeed you do deeds which are, in your eyes, as insignificant as a strand of hair whilst we used to consider those very deeds, during the life-time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم from amongst the destructive things.”
For us to successfully leave this sin it is also vital that we stay away from the company of such people who are involved in this sin. We are duty-bound by Allah سبحانه و تعالى to remain in the company of the good and to refrain from the company of those who divert our attention away from Allah.
So the next time we are in the company of someone who is speaking a lie, someone who is backbiting, someone who is gossiping, someone who is tale-bearing, someone who is engrossed in idle and futile talks which have no benefit within them we should either divert the talk to one that is more constructive, beneficial and one which involves the remembrance of Allah سبحانه و تعالى and His messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم.
May Allah سبحانه و تعالى give us all the ability and strength to control our tongue; may He give us the inclination to stay in the company of the pious, who remember Him regularly. Aameen.
Please do remember me in your Du’as, especially during the month of Ramadhan.
May this Ramadhan be a blessing for us all. Aameen.