بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Okay, the majority of you chose “Controlling the tongue as much as possible” as the second habit that you’d like to work on before Ramadan.
[Oh and we’re still continuing with Habit No. 1, remember?]
So, here are some tips to help us all do that:
[More tips will be found on the Daily Dose blog. I’ll also be posting Quranic ayaat and ahadeeth that relate to this topic, insha-Allah.]
1) Be serious about achieving this goal.
That should be obvious but many people are not serious which is why they fail!
2) Do dua
I always say this and I’m saying it again. Dua. Dua. Dua.
Believe me, there is nothing like it.
Ponder over the great virtue of those who control their tongues and also ponder over the many stories in the Quran and the Sunnah about the people that got thrown into Hell because of their big mouths.
4) Try until you die
Yes, that’s what we all have to do. Just keep going on until it’s over…
5) If you mess up, seek Allah’s Forgiveness
You know, we’re all humans so we all end up making mistakes. So no matter how hard we try, we will fall flat on our faces one day.
Now, will we just stay there in that position? No, we will not. We will get up i.e. we will do istighfar (seek forgiveness) and make a fresh start, insha-Allah, even if we have to do this a thousand times.
6) Be around righteous, silent people
You know, when the person with us talks about good things, we too will feel like talking about good things.
However, if the person with us talks rubbish, we too will eventually slip, let our tongues loose and start to talk rubbish.
7) Take it day by day
Controlling the tongue is one of the most difficult things to do, so we need to approach it on a daily basis.
8) Use your tongue for something useful
We need to do dhikr (remembrance) of Allah, dua (supplication) and say good things (e.g. enjoin good). If we don’t occupy our tongues with something good, then they will get occupied with something bad!
9) Understand what “controlling the tongue” really means
We have been asked to stay away from vain talk. So, what is vain talk?
A lecturer once pointed out that talking to your children (in a kiddish way) might appear to be vain talk but it isn’t because the whole point of the conversation is to build the relationship between you and your children.
So, controlling our tongues doesn’t mean ignoring our children and not talking to them at all.
It also doesn’t mean that we just stare at elderly relatives silently and make them feel uneasy instead of gently trying to talk about halal matters in order to make them feel better.
It also does not mean that we be silent in the face of disobedience to Allah. Shaikh Saad Ash-Shitri pointed out (in his commentary to the 40 hadeeth of Nawawi) that good speech is better than being silent.
So, not all talk is vain talk. Vain talk is that which does not bring us closer to Allah.
10) Remember that your tongue is a window into your brain.
We talk about things that are on our minds so our tongues expose our thoughts.
Let’s all ask ourselves: what is our speech like? Useful or useless?
So, let’s try this for 14 days and see how it goes, insha-Allah.
Why am I talking about backbiting in a blog about Ramadan?
Well, you see, fasting has two kinds of nullifiers:
1) Actual nullifiers (eating, drinking and sexual intercourse with one’s spouse)
2) Figurative nullifiers
What are figurative nullifiers? Well, they are things that pretty much render the fast useless. The proof that they exist is in the following hadeeth:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 127]
These nullifiers are haraam outside of Ramadan and fasting as well. It’s just that it is WORSE when you do them during fasting or Ramadan.
[Note: It’s ironic but there are only three HALAL things which become haram during fasting. So why is it that we give up so many things in Ramadan (e.g. music, movies, etc)? Perhaps because deep inside we know that they are not allowed? If we keep going this route (i.e. stopping the haram only during Ramadan), our own actions will be a witness against us.]
Here’s an article that explains the issue of the figurative nullifiers: Read more