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The Fast of the Tongue

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

27 July 2012 Burton, Michigan

Jumu`ah Khutbah at As-Siddiq Mosque

Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah nasta`eenahu wa nastaghfirahu wa nastahdih. wa na`oodhu billah min shuroori anfusinaa wa sayyi`aati `amaalina. alhamdulillah alladhee hadana li ’l-islam wa maa kunna an nahtadee law laa an hadanaa-Allah. Alhamdulillah, Who guided us to be of the followers of Sayyidina Muhammad (s)....

In order to save us from any punishment, Allah (swt) gave Ummat an-Nabi (s) Ramadan, this blessed month that will take away all the sins we have done previously. “Ramadan” means yarmud adh-dhunoob, “cleans the sins,” because in this time you don't know from where the sins come.

Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

Yaa ayyuhaalladheena aamanoo in ja’akum faasiqun bi-naba’in fatabayyanoo an tuseeboo qawman bi-jahaalatin fatusbihoo `ala ma fa`altum naadimeen.

O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, unless you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.

(Surat al-Hujurat, 49:6)

Allah asks those who have imaan, because not every Muslim is a mu'min, but every mu'min is Muslim. Allah said, “Don't say, ‘we are believers,’ say ‘we are Muslim,’ until imaan enters your heart,” as it is second level of Islam, defined by Prophet (s) when Sayyidina Jibreel (a) asked, “What is Islam?” and the Prophet (s) said, “The Five Pillars.” And then Jibreel asked, “What is imaan?” and Prophet (s) replied, “The Six Pillars of Imaan.”

Anyone who has imaan must not just fast from food and water, but he must hold his tongue from speaking wrong. Anyone can fast from food, even non-Muslims; you can fast on a diet, also sick people fast, but (genuine) fasting is for the angels to say, “Yaa Rabbee! You don't need food nor to eat and Your Servants are following what You tell them! They give up their food to fast, in order to be like You, Yaa Allah!” Awliyaullah say this is a very high level, for mu'mins to fast not only from food, but to also fast from speaking against anyone and spreading false rumors in order to bring the respect of that person down. Islam and imaan doesn't like that!

Allah (swt) said, “tabayyinoo,” check what that person said. You cannot even believe an informer said this or that, and you are not allowed to bring that up. So anyone fasting in Ramadan must fast from speaking badly about people, or what is benefit of the fast? Who does that loses his fast, and those who listen and accept the bad rumors also lose their fast! In a strong hadith recorded by Imams Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (s) said, “On the day of your fasting, you must not do something that Allah does not like, or sleeping with his wife, and if someone cursed him or spoke bad about him on his back (backbited him), or if someone began to fight with him, he must say to that person, ‘I am fasting, innee saa’im.’”

Because if you don't answer (respond with arguing) they will stop as they are like a dog that barks, barks, barks, and then at the end he blows up. This is Ramadan and we don't like to speak bad about anyone. Allah (swt) said in Holy Qur'an:

وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ

Wa laa tajasassoo wa laa yaghtab b`adakum b`adan ayyuhibbu ahadukum an yaakulu lahma aakheehi maytan fa-karihtumooh.

And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it. (Surat al-Hujurat, 49:12)

You will be disgusted to eat raw flesh with blood coming out! Therefore, how are you going to lead Taraweeh prayer and be imam while you are trying to spread false rumors for no benefit? Don't you know that Islam takes all sins when someone converts to Islam? Whatever sins a convert did, taking Shahadah takes them away. Do you remember that old man who came to our Naqshbandi Center in Mt. View, California, who was 95 years of age? He was not Muslim, and he was so happy to come and sit with us and do dhikrullah, one day, two days, then the next week, he sat on a chair and did dhikr. Then the third week he said, “I want to be Muslim like you,” and we gave him Shahadah. the week after that, he said, “I want to learn how to pray.” So he said, ash-hadu laa ilaaha illa-Llaah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasoolullah,” and he began to learn to pray. The following week and the week after that he did not come, so we sent someone to check on him and found out he died.

He was ninety-five years old and non-Muslim, but just before he died he became Muslim! What do you think Allah will do with him? He goes to Paradise! al-Islam yajib ma qablahu. “Islam waives what came before it.” So respect those who converted to Islam as they are better than you! They came to Islam for the Sake of Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s), and they left their parents and family members who boycotted them. Therefore, you cannot come and attack them. That is why you see Mawlana always respects the converts, as we must. So if someone speaks bad about you or about converts, what do you say? “Innee saa'im. I am fasting and I don't want to speak about anything.” Allah (swt) is hearing and the Prophet (s) is hearing what Allah wants him to hear; he reaches the ummah, and Allah is The Best Judge.

When you say, “laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa billah,” Allah will take the revenge (on your behalf), so don't take it with your hand; you tried your best and Allah will take revenge from those (who wronged you). Simply say, “I am fasting.” That is advice for me and you, especially in this month.

Abu Hurayrah (r) related that the Prophet (s) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan believing in the fast, (meaning he is also fasting from talking, from spreading bad rumors, and makes sure he is doing that), Allah (swt) will forgive him for all sins that were before Ramadan. Whatever sins he did, even from childhood, will be forgiven.” That hadith is from Bukhari and Muslim, and so there is no way to say there is doubt in it!

So for those who say, “I am fasting, I am not going to answer you or backbite you, nor go to coffeeshops in public to socialize and talk about people because this is Ramadan.” When (someone approaches you with backbiting), back up and say, “When I finish praying Taraweeh, I go home and sleep until Fajr, or I get up and eat suhoor and then pray Fajr, and then go to work: I am not participating in discussions.” No discussions; try to hold your tongue from discussion. Especially mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, because in this month they fight a lot. So don't let Shaytan come, although he is chained in this month, and the Prophet (s) mentioned that Allah (swt) chains Iblees and all his soldiers in Ramadan. Do don't allow the Iblees within yourself to come out! We know Iblees is chained and he cannot come after us, but we are coming after each other and therefore, we are the ones who have to improve ourselves in this month.

O Muslims! Wake up for sahoor and eat a bit, but don't eat early, sleep too soon and then don't wake up to pray Fajr. Wake up and pray Fajr; don't follow your desires and not pray.



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