Fasting is not only about abstaining yourself from food and drink, but it is also refraining from bad words. Most people in Ramadan focus about refraining from food and drink and they don’t control their tongues. To know how to control your tongue and what the things that you shouldn’t say, you should first know the different types of speeches.
There are three types of speeches
- Absolute good speech like reading Quran, saying supplication, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil like advising someone
- Evil speech like backbiting which is defined by the prophet “Mentioning your brother in his absence with that which he hates.” [Muslim], tale bearing which is defined as conveying what people say about one another with the intention of causing corruption between people, false testimony, and slandering, spreading people’s secret and false oath.
- And speeches that are neither good nor evil.
What speeches does Islam want us to refrain from?
A Muslim is not allowed to say evil words. The Messenger of Allah said, “A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing.”[At-Tirmidhi]. To be a true Muslim that represents Islam, you have to stop saying the improper words. Just imagine if a non-Muslim is dealing with a Muslim who say improper words, what image this non-Muslim will take about Islam.
In Ramadan, try to refrain yourself from speeches that are neither good nor bad as they are not beneficial to you in Ramadan, and minimize it after Ramadan.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “If he wants to speak, then if what he wants to say is good and he is confident that he will be rewarded for it, whether it is obligatory or praiseworthy, then let him speak, but if it does not seem to him that it is good and he will be rewarded for it, then let him refrain from speaking, whether he thinks it is haram (impermissible) or makrooh (disliked) or permissible. Based on this, it is recommended to refrain from saying permissible words and we are enjoined to avoid this, lest it lead us into something that is haram or makrooh, which is what happens in many cases or in most cases. Ramadan is a great opportunity to start controlling your tongue. Read Give up bad habits. Definitely this will help you after Ramadan to control your tongue.
Now we will share with you some tips that will help you hold your tongue.
Make a decision:
To stop saying evil words or words that are not useful, you have to make a decision first that you really need to change yourself and to control your tongue. And repent from your previous sins. Decide that you will not return again to saying non-useful or improper words. You will never be able to change yourself if you don’t want to change.
To control your tongue, Think first:
Think before saying each word. And think about the listener. Ask yourself: Will it help the listener or not? Will it make him happy or not? Will it hurt him or not?? Sometimes we say words that is not beneficial, and it hurts others, and we never think about it.
Think about yourself, is this word beneficial to me?? Will it make me gain reward or a sin?? Will it please Allah or not? The prophet peace be upon him said “he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Think about the hereafter and imagine that the guy that you talked about badly will take from your rewards or will give you some more sins. Remember what Allah says:” 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.”[Quran 49:12]
Think about the consequences that will happen because of your word. The apologies that will need to be made. The hatred that you may spread. The person who may lose his friend. Think about everything.
Don’t talk too much:
Minimizing your speaking will help you to think before each word. It will allow you to focus on every word that you say and to control your tongue.The less you talk, the less sins you gain.
Apologize to people whom you hurt. So if you have said something that hurt somebody, apologize to him. This will teach you to think about the apologies before you say anything that may hurt anybody.
If you backbit someone repent to Allah, and speak about him in a good way in the same gathering that you spoke about him badly in.
Choose whom you sit with:
If you know that there are some people that when you sit with them you speak about people badly, or you know that their gathering will not affect you or your personality in a good way furthermore you may have sins from their gathering don’t sit with them.
If you have to sit with them. Once they start saying evil speeches, sit apart from them, if you couldn’t, try to change the subject, if you couldn’t, don’t participate in the speaking. The Messenger of Allah said, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
Set a goal for yourself, 30 or 40 days. Decide that in this period you will control your tongue and you will not say any evil or non-useful words. For each day you succeed put some money away like one dollar in a small box. At the end of the period buy something for yourself, as a gift or extend the period to save more money until it is enough to buy something for yourself. This will help you stop saying evil words and it is also a way of saving.
If you made a mistake in one day, you will open the box and give all the money in the box to the charity even if it was a hundred dollars, even if you were on the last day of your challenge. Look at the bright sight, you will have a reward from this money that you gave to charity. Messenger of Allah said, “Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave decently towards people”.[At- Tirmidhi]
You can do this way with any sin or bad habit that you need to give up or any good habit that you need to add to your routine.
Start doing this today till the end of Ramadan as a first step. This will help you to stay away from these kind of words after Ramadan.