Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
All Praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of mankind and jinn, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Muhammad, His slave and Final Messenger.
The first evil of the tongue mentioned by Imaam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, may Allaah have mercy on him, is ‘Talking too much’. Some may be taken back as to why this was mentioned before all the common evils of the tongue we know of, such as lying and backbiting, but if you scratch beneath the surface, the reason becomes apparent. Those who engage in much talk are those that are more likely to fall into the evils of backbiting and lying and other sinful talk. A person who talks less, only talks when it is necessary and is therefore less likely to fall into such sins.
Al-Mughira ibn Shu’ba, May Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allaah, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him said:
“Allaah has made it unlawful for you to be undutiful to your mothers, to bury your daughters alive, to refuse to help the poor and others, and to beg things from men. And Allaah hates for you engaging in sinful and useless talk, asking too many questions (about religious matters) and squandering wealth.” 1
Not only does Allaah hate sinful talk but He also hates useless talk. And this may be because useless talk inevitably leads to sinful talk.
Jabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him said:
“Among those who of you who will be dearest to me and seated nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who have the best characters, and those of you who will be most hateful to me and seated farthest from me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who speak much and are loud mouthed, and who are proud.” 2
Eloquence in speech can lead to the greatest of goods or the greatest of sins depending on how it is used. The Messenger of Allaah may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, warned us against eloquent speech saying:
“An eloquent speech may have the influence of magic.” 3
It is because of the severe damage that eloquence in speech can have that we were warned about it. Eloquence in speech has lead to people who are unfit to be leaders become leaders, it has lead to men convincing others of their knowledge, superiority and, on some occasions even divinity, leading to divisions and sects amongst Muslims and has ultimately lead to widespread falsehood.
It should be noted that Allaah states in the Qur’aan that eloquence in speech is one of the characteristics of a munafiq (hypocrite). 4
However, for every sickness there is a remedy. One of the many remedies for talking too much is to constantly remind ourselves and each other of death; of its unannounced, unexpected and even unwelcomed visit. What assurance do we have that we will still be here the next day? Your day, which cannot be moved from its fixed appointed time, may be tomorrow; what have you prepared for it?
Also remember the words of our Lord, Exalted be He;
“But verily, over you [are appointed Angels in charge of mankind] to watch you, – Kiraman [Honourable], Katibin writing down [your deeds].” 5
Every word, every single letter that we utter we will have to account for on the Day of Judgement.
May Allaah enable us to speak that which is good or otherwise remain silent. Aameen.
Anything good and true is from Allaah and anything incorrect and false is from me and shaytaan. I pray that Allaah does not hold me accountable and count me amongst the hypocrites for speaking of that which I do not do. I advise myself before I advise you.
And Allaah knows best.
‘The Book of Major Sins’ by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab