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Tame That Tongue Of Yours

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.

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

Also, it is important to 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 empathetic 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 have 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?


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