Friday, March 28, 2014

Tame That Tongue Of Yours

*NOTE!: AssalamAlaikum!
We have made a few changes which include re-posting a post from one of the blogs in our directory. We will post on the daily basis and will cover every blog. It can promote your blog and will also to make this blog more lively. insha'Allah :) *

As-Salamu Alaykum!

Imagine this. 

Imagine that your words had an odor. Your good words would emit the loveliest of scents, while your bad words would reek of anything and everything that could induce vomit. At the end of each day, would you smell of roses and chocolate and freshly baked cookies? Or would a skunk, accustomed to the smell of filth, be offended by your presence?

Ladies. How did we allow this to happen? How did we go from discussing our homework, to gossiping about our classmate's dress sense? When did the subject change from the weather, to how we think our colleague is too sinful? At what point in the conversation did we move from talking about how adorable your niece is, to complaining about how awful your sister-in-law's food is? Or how she wears too much make-up. Or who she hangs out with. 

Gossiping has turned into an epidemic. We do it so often, and with so many people, that it is fast becoming the norm of society. Have we actually run out of quality things to talk about? There used to be a time when people would have you believe that gossiping is an act born out of jealousy, envy and insecurity. I don't even believe that anymore. Things have gotten so bad that many of us simply gossip out of habit. And it's a shame... because some bad habits are enough to prevent many good people from getting into Jannah (Allahu A'lam).

I think we can do better. We're not toddlers - we have the ability to filter our thoughts and tame our tongues. It may not happen overnight, but I believe that every learned habit can be unlearned, as long as we put in the effort to do so. To get us all started, I've got a little three-step plan. I call it the ADT -  Admission, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Own it. Take some responsibility. Admit to yourself that, whether intentional or not, you do indulge in gossip from time to time. Without this step, you will never get cured. Nobody rushes to see a doctor unless they believe that they are ill. Accept that there is a problem, and only then will you be psychologically willing to make a change.

 Ah, the fun part. This step is going to need way more honesty than your ego will care for. That's because I'm asking you to be completely objective with yourself. Assess the person that you are until you find the root cause of the problem. Dig deep. Are you a jealous person, or are you envious towards a certain group of people? Are you malicious in nature? Do you have bad friends? Are you affected by peer-pressure? Are you trying to fit in? Are you revengeful? Do you get an adrenaline rush from gossiping, or do you often feel remorseful afterwards? Perhaps indifferent? 

Ask yourself all the right questions. This is between you and yourself, so fear no judgement. You will find that often times, when you allow yourself to dig deep, you will uncover aspects of your personality that you ordinarily turn a blind eye to. Remember, without an accurate diagnosis... the treatment will likely be rendered useless.

 This step is a bit tricky to summarize in a blog post, particularly because different people will have different diagnoses. However, one thing we can all decide to do is to be more aware of our actions. We need to stop having conversations in the same manner that we breathe (i.e, without having to think about it). Instead, we need to strive to be extremely conscious of what we are saying, and why. Here's a challenge; 

  • Before starting a conversation;
    • Remind yourself that there are angels writing down your good and bad deeds. 
    • Challenge yourself - try to make each conversation the purest conversation you've ever had.
  • During a conversation;
    • Compliment at least one person (and be honest about it). 
    • When you catch yourself in the midst of backbiting someone, stop (yes, mid-sentence!), and say "however/but...(and say one positive thing about that person). You are in control, so change the direction of the conversation.
    • Imagine that your words have an odor. Remain self-conscious of your smell.
  • At the end of every conversation;
    • Allow yourself some time to mentally assess how the conversation went.
    • If you were responsible for much of the backbiting, then challenge yourself for the next conversation. See how much you can cut back. 

No treatment would be complete without addressing external factors. When you have a cold, it is not enough to have some medicine. You might also want to wear a thicker jacket, or stay away from the cold weather as much as possible. In the same manner, you have to understand that (unless you are schizophrenic), you don't have these conversations and backbiting sessions all by yourself.   

Think about the people you spend most of your time with. If the conversations you have with your friends primarily revolve around judging, belittling or gossiping about other people, then you will never grow out of that habit. Try to be more assertive by continuing to steer your conversations away from the negative, and towards the positive. Be upfront. Tell your friends and family that you are challenging yourself and your aim is to quit gossiping. They should support you, and perhaps even be inspired to change themselves. At the back of your mind, you should always know that people who insist on gossiping with you are highly likely to gossip about you. Choose your friends wisely.

In general, we should all try to be more empathic towards people. Everyone is different, and we should aim to celebrate those differences. Gossiping about people solves no problems. If someone offends you, talk to them about it. If they are unaware that they offended you, then they might continue to do so unintentionally. If you believe that someone is doing something incorrectly (religious or otherwise),talk to them about it. And even then, do so privately and in a sensitive matter. Most people tend to be quite receptive of constructive criticism- but it all depends on your delivery.

I'll leave you with this quote and a very creative short video.
 "I asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH): Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of Allah replied, "He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands."

Have you noticed this epidemic where you live? 
How are you trying to change?


  1. Unfortunately, this epidemic is more prevalent among many of the Muslim sisters that I know. I was fortunate enough to observe it as a newcomer to the circle before I became close to them. I think they are more bored than malicious, but they don't realize the hurt it cause to others.

    Great post for young or or women.

  2. Loved how you presented this topic... May Allah reward you!


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