“Fasting of the Tongue” by Ustaz Leyaket Ali
Allah SWT says in Alqur’an, surah AlHujurat verse 12:
“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.”
The tongue is a means to good or evil. What a delight it would be for those who remember Allah, seek His forgiveness, praise Him, glorify Him, give thanks to Him, and repent with their tongues. And, what a disappointment it would be for those who use it to violate honour and sanctity and tarnish values.
The phrase “Be Alert” should stay in the mind of every practicing Muslim. We need to be mindful of how we use our tongue, especially during fasting. We should remember the Prophet’s (S) warning to us:
“Many a keeper of the fast receives nothing from his fasting but hunger and thirst and many a keeper of night vigil (qiyamulail) receives nothing from his vigil but insomnia.”(Ibn Hanbal, Musnad 8501)
Indeed a reason that can get you nothing out of your fasting is that of a piece of muscle in between your two lips.
Al-Imaam Ghazali says:
“Protect your tongue from 8 things:
- Breaking promises
- Praising one’s self
- Cursing/ using obscene language
- Insulting and making fun of others
- Invoking du’a for musibah to befall on others”
In another hadith the Prophet (S) mentions:
“Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is Fasting he should not use foul or foolish talk. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: “I am Fasting, I am Fasting!” (Sahih Imam Bukhari, 1795)
Recognising the possibility of gaining a serious ‘zero’ merit to a Muslim, clearly fasting includes the guarding of our tongues.
According to a tradition: two women were fasting during the time of Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad Ibn AbdiLlah (S). They were extremely fatigued towards the end of the day, from hunger and thirst that they were on the verge of collapse. They therefore sent a message to Allah’s Messenger (S) requesting permission to break their fast.
In response, the Prophet (S) sent them a bowl and said: “Tell them to vomit into it what they have eaten.” One of them vomited and half filled the bowl with fresh blood and tender meat, while the other brought up the same so that they filled it between them. The onlookers were astonished.
Then the Prophet (S) said: “These two women have been fasting from what Allah made lawful to them, and have broken their fast on what Allah, Exalted is He, made unlawful to them. They sat together and indulged in backbiting, and here is the flesh of the people they maligned!”‘
In the view of all that have been discussed above, Al-Habib Hassan Bin Soleh Al-Bahr Aljufri, a great Sufi from the valley of Hautho, Hadhramawt in his daily act of reflection; as an act of remembrance to Allah often recited in his dzikir to the Almighty as such:
اللهُ ناَ ظِرِيْ
اللهُ قَرِيْبٌ مِنِّي
(1)Allah is watching me (2) Allah is my witness. (3) Allah is here with me. (4) Allah is present with me. (5) Allah is always near me.
O fasting people! Moisten your tongue with the remembrance of Allah, discipline it with God-consciousness and cleanse it from disobedience! Evidently, a Muslim like you, when indulging in this short dzikir constantly, it will be a steady reminder of the Almighty. Subconsciously, your tongue will incline your heart to purify your words thus avoiding lying, backbiting, slandering and so forth.
A heart filled with iman and belief that Allah is all-around & watching & hearing would never want to defy the heart’s desires. As Sayyiduna Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) mentions: The tongue of the wise man is behind his heart, and the heart of the stupid is behind his tongue.
Wa’ Allahu a’lam.
Ustaz Leyaket Ali Mohamed Omar
Ustaz Leyaket Ali spent six years studying at Rubat Tarim, where he learnt the Arabic language and various Islamic sciences like Qur’an Exegesis (Tafsir), Islamic law and jurisprudence (Fiqh & Shari’ah), Islamic History (Tarikh), Biography of Prophet Muhammad (Seerah), Islamic Spirituality (Tasawwuf), and so on. He graduated in July 2003 with an Ijazah equivalent to a Degree in Islamic Studies. Read more about him here.
This post first appeared on Ramadan.sg.