Guarding the Tongue

Author: Imaam Yahyaa Ibn Sharaf an-Nawawee

Source: Al-Manhaj
Translator: Abu Maryam Isma’eel Alarcon

Published: Monday 3rd August, 2015

How Does One Prevent Himself From Backbiting?

Know that this section consists of many evidences from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, however, I will shorten it to mentioning only a few of them. So whosoever is granted success by Allaah, he will benefit from them. And whosoever is not granted success, then he will not benefit from them, even if he were to see volumes filled with these proofs.

The main focus of this chapter is to let each individual (reading) apply all the texts we have stated concerning the prohibition of backbiting to himself and then to reflect on the statement of Allaah:


“Not a word does one utter, except that there is an (angel) Watching, Ready to record it.” [Surah Qaaf: 18]

And His statement:


“And you perceived it (the statement of slander) to be something small, while in the sight of Allaah, it was an enormity.” [Surah An-Noor: 15]

And the authentic hadeeth that we mentioned previously:

"Indeed, the servant may say a word from which Allaah's Displeasure is gained, while he does not realize it. And due to it, he will be thrown into the Hellfire." [1]

He must also reflect on all the other evidences we have stated in the previous chapters on guarding the tongue and backbiting, as well. It is upon each individual to attach and apply these (texts) to all of his statements, such that (he says to himself before speaking):

"Allaah is with me”, “Allaah is witnessing me”, “Allaah is watching me".

A man once said to Al-Hasan Al-Basree:

"You have backbitten me." So he said: "Who are you, so that I may know to whom my good deeds are going?"

And 'Abdullaah Ibn Al-Mubaarak said:

"If I were to backbite someone, I would surely backbite my parents for they have the most right to (receive) my good deeds."


[1] Saheeh – Stated previously.


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