I start with the name of Allah, praise be to Him. I humbly ask Allah to raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and his kind Al and Companions and to protect his nation from that which he fears for them. May Allah grant us sincere intentions and facilitate for us rewardable deeds and their acceptance.
Dear brothers, Allah, the Exalted, endowed upon His slaves uncountable endowments. Ayah 34 of Surat Ibrahim means: [Should you attempt to count the endowments of Allah upon you, you would be unable.]
The tongue is one of many endowments Allah bestowed upon His slaves. Although the tongue is a tiny organ, the person who uses it to comply with the orders of Allah, the teachings of the Qur'an, and the teachings of the Prophet may earn blessings in this world and the in Hereafter. However, the one who uses his tongue in disobedience to Allah would not be displaying thankfulness to Allah and would be heading towards his own destruction. Certainly, being thankful to Allah means not to use the endowments bestowed by Allah in what is forbidden. One needs to know the sins of the tongue could be small or enormous.
One should be aware some of these sins take the person out of Islam, as the Prophet, said in the hadith related by at-Tirmidhiyy which means: <<A person may utter a word he thinks harmless, which results in his falling the depth of seventy (70) years into Hellfire.>> This hadith clearly refers to the bottom of Hellfire--a place only the blasphemers will reach.
Included among the sins of the tongue are gossip (ghibah) and tale-bearing (namimah). Gossip (ghibah) is a disease prevailing in many societies. In addressing this issue, let us remind ourselves and others to be cautious of spreading this disease.
In Ayah 12 of Surat al-Hujurat, Allah forbade the believers from gossiping their Muslim brothers and drew an analogy between gossiping one’s brother and eating his flesh after his death to show the ugliness of this sin. There are many hadiths of the Prophet highlighting the unlawfulness of gossip one of which is related by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim from the route of Abu Musa al-Ash^ariyy.
The hadith refers to one of the companions who asked the Prophet about the best among the Muslims, to which the Prophet replied: <<He whom the Muslims are safe from his hands and his tongue.>>
The Prophet defined gossip as mentioning something about your Muslim brother that he hates such as to say; He is short, he is cross-eyed, he is rude, he likes to sleep a lot, he eats too much, his house is messy, his son is rude, he is controlled by his wife, and the like.
As for tale-bearing, (namimah) it is defined as spreading words among the believers with the purpose of stirring up enmity and problems between them. This matter is unlawful and sinful. Allah dispraised such people in the Qur'an. Also in the hadith related by al-Bukhariyy, the Prophet said what means: <<The one who commits tale-bearing (namimah) shall not enter Paradise with the first group.>> That is, the Muslim who died without repenting of his sin of tale-bearing deserves to be tortured in Hellfire before entering Paradise.
Lying is also among the sins of the tongue. It is to utter false information while knowing that what one is saying is not the truth. It is sinful (haram) whether done seriously or jokingly. Moreover, swearing by Allah to a lie is one of the major sins.
It is also unlawful to swear at, curse or ridicule a Muslim. The Prophet, sallal-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said what means: “Swearing at a Muslim is a major sin” (al-Bukhariyy).
Also among the sins of the tongue is any statement that attributes someone to adultery or fornication.
al-Bukhariyy and Muslim related from the route of Abu Hurayrah, that the Prophet said: <<Let the one who believes in Allah and the Hereafter utter good words, otherwise be silent. >>
In a hadith narrated by At-Tirmidhiyy, the Prophet answered the question of Mu^adh Ibn Jabal, confirming what makes the people fall into Hellfire on their faces is the reaps of their tongues.
Hence, wisdom entails that one uses his tongue in praising Allah, performing obedience, ordering the lawful, and forbidding the unlawful.
Imam al-Ghazaliyy, said about the tongue: "The tongue is a great endowment from Allah; though small in size, its crime is enormous."
I ask Allah to protect us from falling into gossip, tale-bearing and other sins. May Allah make us among those who soundly prepare themselves for the Day of Judgment, Ameen .