Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

People may not remember the expensive dress you wore or the fancy car you drove but they would surely remember a kind word or a gentle piece of advice you could give. Fasting in Ramadan isn’t just about restricting your body from food and drink. Ramadan provides you with opportunities to polish your character and soul to reach the zenith of righteousness and be of someone whom Allah subhanahu wa taala loves, in terms of deeds, words and actions. Therefore, it makes no sense when your actions are not in concurrence with your words. Allah subhanahu wa taala doesn’t like a fasting body which doesn’t desist from foul words or backbiting or slander.[1]

Use your words more carefully and stringently than you would use your money. Our Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was never a person to talk excessively. When he spoke, he was clear, gentle and precise in whatever he had to say.

Kind words and beneficial reminders is what would set you apart from the common folk. Your wealth, beauty and status just makes you a person, but what you have to say defines your character. What you utter has a profound impact in shaping you into the kind of person you are.

Since Ramadan is an amazing training period to mould you into a better person with a beautiful character, make the best use of this month to tame your tongue. Remember, Allah subhanahu wa taala does not look at your appearance, or the glossy hair you have or the incredible amount of dollars you spend on having flawless skin. He subhanahu wa taala looks into your hearts and character. [2]

#1 Time Is Precious
Stop wasting time on what your friends, neighbors or cousins are gossiping about. As cliché as it may sound, you need to constantly remind yourself that you never know when your time on Planet Earth is going to be up. You don’t want the angel of death to snatch your soul when you were gossiping.Going away from this world while reading Quran or doing dhikr is so much more better.

There are people who waste precious minutes, days, weeks and sometimes even months or years before doing anything beneficial for their akhira. And guess what, most of them never get down to doing what would benefit them in this world and the next. How many stories have you heard of people being snatched away by death during the prime of their lives and regretting not having collected enough good deeds to be presented in front of Allah on the Day of Judgment?
You can use your tongue to plant your seat in the everlasting gardens of Paradise or use the same tongue to dig your seat in Hellfire. The choice is yours.

#2 Drown Yourself In Dhikr And Dua
If you find it difficult to stop yourself from backbiting or gossiping, make dua. All of us have weaknesses in one form or another, so you don’t have to feel bad that you are not able to control your tongue. Make dua to Allah subhanahu wa taala, begging Him to help you use your tongue in beneficial ways. And make it a habit to constantly make dua. This way, you will be preventing your tongue form talking unbeneficial things. Have a conscious heart when you are asking for something because Allah subhanahu wa taala sees the sincerity of your hearts more than the empty words you robotically utter from your mouth.

#3 Cleanse Your Heart
You might be wondering why I’m talking about having a sound and clean heart to tame your tongue. To put it simply, your heart is a reflection of what you say and think. It’s *the* seat of emotions and defines your character. Having a clean heart is a fundamental prerequisite to having a tongue that’s clean of backbiting and slander. Most of the evil thoughts, intentions and feelings including backbiting, slander and/or jealousy occur because of the kind of feelings we foster and harbor in our hearts.

So, cleanse your heart with dhikr and repentance. A heart that’s busy in glorifying our Lord will not have time for useless speech. There is nothing more pleasing to Allah than seeing His slave utilize the time He has given in glorifying and praising Him. Develop the habit of talking to your Lord.

# 4 Want Paradise?
What if I promise to give you your dream job, dress, car, etc., if you speak nothing but good words for half a day? I’m sure you would be determined to utter nothing but good to make sure you get what I’ve promised.

Narrated by Sahl bin Sad, RadhiAllahu Anhu, the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said, “Whoever guarantees me (the chastity of) what is between his legs (ie. his private parts), and what is between his jaws (i.e., his tongue), I guarantee him Paradise.”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.799]

Now, wouldn’t you want to guard your tongue and utter only good words to get Jannah! The ultimate reward! Your stay in this world is just like a day or a part of the day, so wouldn’t you want to remain silent and speak good words for a part of the day, even?

# 5 Righteous Company
Hanging out with the right set of friends is crucial to tame your tongue. What your friends discuss *always* has a direct impact on what kind of words come out from your mouth. Make it a habit to surround yourself with righteous company; friends who would pull you up on your low eemaan days and get you closer to Allah subhanahu wa taala. If you’re struggling with lack of righteous friends, make loads of dua asking Allah subhanahu wa taala to help you. And His help is always near.

Remember every single letter you utter, write or type is being recorded and you will be held accountable for it on the Day of Judgment.

Abu Huraira, RadhiAllahu Anhu, reported: The Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said, “Do you know who is bankrupt?” They said, “The one without money or goods is bankrupt.”
The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said, “Verily, the bankrupt of my nation are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also with insults, slander, consuming wealth, shedding blood, and beating others. The oppressed will each be given from the oppressor’s good deeds. If the oppressor’s good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then the oppressed people’s sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire.”
[Sahih Muslim 2581]

You don’t want to give away your good deeds to others on the Day of Judgment, do you? So, make sure you fill your book with pleasant words which Allah loves.

May Allah swt help us attain a righteous character and a tongue that is moistened with glorifying and praising Him at all times.

1. Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Fasting is not (abstaining) from eating and drinking only, but also from vain speech and foul language. If one of you is being cursed or annoyed, he should say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’” [Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban. Sahih according to Imam Muslim’s criteria.]
2. Abu Hurairah (radhiAllahu anhu) narrated: Messenger of Allāh (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) said, “Allāh does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts [and deeds].” [Muslim]