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Friday, January 26, 2007

Pick Your Teeth!

The Tongue

It's one of the greatest sins and yet it's something we do day
after day. Sometimes we don't even realise it. You're just
chatting away with your friends and you begin to talk about
somebody else. Our whole lives are based around 'Home and Away'
and 'Neighbours', soaps based on lying, backbiting etc. But look
at what the Prophet (saw) said about it: The Prophet (saw –
may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sitting
with his companions (ra – may Allah be please with them all)
one day and one of them was speaking about someone who wasn't
there. As the man got up to leave the Prophet (saw) said to him:
"Pick Your Teeth!" "But I haven't eaten anything." The man
protested. "No" the Prophet (saw) said "YOU HAVE EATEN THE FLESH
OF YOUR DEAD BROTHER". As Allah tells us in the Quran "Would
any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you
would hate it." (Ch49: v12)

But What If It's True?!

The Prophet (saw) told us "Backbiting is to say something about
someone they wouldn't like said about them....If what bad you
said about them is true, then you have backbited and if it is
false then you have slandered them." (MUSLIM)

If you're still not convinced of how big a sin backbiting really
is, then look at the punishment Allah has in store for the
backbiters. The Prophet (saw) described: "On the night of
mi’raag (ascension) I passed by some people who had metal
hooks in their hands and were clawing at their faces and their
necks with them. I asked Gabriel (as – peace be upon him)
'Who were these people?' He said 'These are the people who eat
the flesh of human beings and disgrace them' (Abu Dawud).

This is how big of a sin backbiting is looked upon and yet we
continue to backbite without a second thought, next time you lie,
talk about somebody, remember Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw)
and put them in front of you before you speak.

Just having a Laugh!

May be we think it's all right to take the ‘mick’ out of
someone so long as we say it to their face. 'We'll make fun of
the way someone talks, walks, or how they look. Allah warns us
against such behaviour: "O you who believe. Let not some men
laugh at others, it may be the that they are better than you. Nor
let some women laugh at others it may be that they are better
than you. Nor abuse each other, nor be sarcastic to each other by
using offensive nicknames..." (Ch49v11)

Don't forget that Allah made us the way we are, so how can you
even think of making fun of his creation?

Cool to Swear?

Listen to yourself and to your friends speaking one day - nearly
every sentence will have a swear word in it, thinking it's cool
and macho to swear, copying the idols of TV and the cinema. Is it
really 'cool' to swear? The Hellfire is far from being cool.
People will wish they were cool then rather than being cool in
this world. Remember! That every time you speak , an angel writes
down what you say, and that one day you will have to answer for
every single word you ever uttered. So if you swear at someone
then it's written down as a sin against you. You're only harming
yourself. The Prophet (saw) said that "Abusing a Muslim is a sin
and fighting with him is disbelief." (MUSLIM).

'But sometimes you just have to swear'!

We've all been there - you're just so angry with somebody and the
only way you can express yourself, is to swear at them. The
solution? ...

Don't get angry in the first place

A man came to the Prophet (saw) one day and said "Advise me". The
prophet (saw) said "Don't become angry. Don't become angry. Don't
become angry"....

"When one of you gets angry while he is standing up, he should
sit down. Then anger will leave him, and if not then he should
lie down" (Ahmad). So let us follow this beautiful advice of the
Prophet (saw) and remember that anger is from shaitan (devil). If
someone angers you or swears at you then don't harm yourself by
doing the same but respond in a better way as Allah says in the
Quran "Repel evil with what is better. Then he who was your worst
enemy will become your best friend." (Ch41v33)

"It wasn't me. Honest."

How often do we say such a phrase or say that "I was only
joking". We treat lies as being trivial. However we are told that
"Allah's messenger did not hate anything more than lying"(Ahmed).
The Prophet (saw) was once asked "Can a Muslim be a coward?" He
(saw) replied "Yes." and then asked "Can a Muslim be a miser?"
and the reply was "Yes." The Prophet (saw) was then asked "Can a
Muslim be a liar?" The Prophet (saw) replied "NO! A Muslim can
never be a liar". Furthermore, he said "Truth leads to virtue and
virtue leads to paradise...Lying leads to wickedness and
wickedness leads to the hellfire." (Bukhari). As we know that one
lie leads to another ten lies which lead to bad actions. Remember
you can lie and think that you have got away with it but on the
day of Judgement your hands, tongue and feet will bear testimony
against you and tell the truth.

But it's only words!

One day one of the companions asked the Prophet (saw) "O
Messenger of Allah. Will we be called to account for what we
say?" He replied "May you be lost to your mother (it was a
expression used to grab the attention of the listeners) - people
will be thrown, faces down into the hellfire, only on account to
what their tongues said." (Tirmidhi).

Indeed the tongue controls the rest of your body. A well
controlled tongue will keep us within Islam but a loose tongue
will destroy us. The Prophet (saw) said "When a person gets up in
the morning, all the parts of his body make a plea to his tongue
saying; 'Fear Allah regarding us, because we follow you. If you
are right then we shall also be right, and if you are wrong then
we shall also be wrong." (Tirmidhi)

Instead of swearing, lying and engaging in useless talk we can
use our tongues in better ways and what better than telling
people about Islam. Allah says "Who is better in speech than one
who calls (men) to Allah and works righteousness and says I am
one of those who bow down in Islam" (Ch 41v33)

Your tongue can save you as well!

Indeed if you control your tongue and speak good then paradise
can be yours. The Prophet (saw) said "Whoever can guarantee me
two things I can guarantee them Paradise." The companions asked
"What O Messenger of Allah?" He replied "What is between his jaws
(his tongue) and his legs (private parts)." (Bukhari)

I've lied and backbited, sworn and made fun of others. I must be
doomed I must be going to hell!"

NO! Allah tells us in the Quran: "O my servants who have wronged
themselves. Never despair of the mercy of Allah for truly he
forgives all sins. He is the Forgiving, the Merciful." (Ch39v53)

So if you really repent and turn back to Allah and promise not to
commit the sin again then truly Allah's promise is true and He
will forgive you Inshallah (God willing).

If you've backbitten someone - go and tell the person whom you
backbited and apologise sincerely and ask them to forgive you.
But if you think that the situation will get worse then turn back
to Allah sincerely begging for his forgiveness then to make up
for what you said, go around and talk good of him.

The Best Example

As we know that the best person to have ever lived is the Prophet
Muhammad (saw) and he is the best of example for mankind. If we
follow him we can never go wrong. Ayesha (RA – may Allah be
pleased with her) the Prophet's wife described the Prophets
conduct as follows "He was neither an obscene talker nor a user
of bad words. He did not shout nor did he repay evil with evil.
He used to forgive people and overlook their sins." (Tirmidhi)

Final Advice: A beautiful saying of the Prophet (saw) that will
ensure the protection of our tongue. The Messenger of Allah (saw)
said "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last day, LET HIM EITHER
SPEAK GOOD OR KEEP SILENT" (Agreed upon)

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