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Purification of the tongue
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 04 - 2017

Saudi Gazette
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) carried the weight of the duty to deliver the Message of the Oneness of Allah, and to preach about Islam. Along with teaching the pillars of Islam and the acts of worship, he (peace be upon him) also showed the best of character so that we may follow him.
The yardstick which we use to measure our character should be up to the standards that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has set. Just because everyone else is doing one thing or the other does not make it right.
Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "I have been sent to perfect good character." (Al-Muwatta)
It is not becoming of a Muslim with good character to use foul language, yet we are surrounded by it. We hear obscene and vulgar language in movies, music, conversations between friends, on social media, and while driving on the road. Cursing and swearing to some has become second nature. It causes one to wonder how this degradation in language became so common. It should be unacceptable to us and it should not be considered something trivial.
Guarding our tongues from foul language is part of perfecting our character. When frustrated or angry, we should not let our temper get the better of us and use ugly words, especially in the presence of our children.
And for some strange reason, foul language is also found in almost every other joke. Can't we tell jokes and enjoy humor with decent language?
Purity is central to our faith, and that includes both physical and spiritual: purity of the body, tongue, heart, and thoughts. Vulgar language is the opposite of purity; it is filth.
In several sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), he tells his companions to abstain from using bad language.
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "It is not befitting the truthful that they curse others." (Sahih Muslim)
Aisha, the Prophet's wife, narrated that he (peace be upon him) said, "Your duty is to be gentle and beware of harshness and bad words." (Sahih Bukhari)
The closest companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) described that he would not abuse others, he would not use obscene words, and he would not curse others.
The current state of our society is far from what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) tried so hard to establish.
Abdullah ibn Mas'ud reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The believer does not taunt others, he does not curse others, he does not use profanity, and he does not abuse others." (At-Tirmidhi)
For some people, they do not intend to use profanity, but it may have become a bad habit, and unfortunately, bad habits stick. We have a few ideas here that may help you break this bad habit.
1. EnlEnlist the help of a friend. Let your friends know that you are cutting back on foul language so they can remind you when you slip up.
2. Identify your triggers and learn to avoid them.
3. Use a swear jar, put a riyal in it every time you swear.
4. Wear a rubber band on your wrist, and ping your wrist every time you swear.
5. Pretend your mother is always within earshot; you are less likely to swear if your mother is around.
6. Avoid listening to music or watching movies that are loaded with cursing and ugly language.

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