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A Practical Guide to Guard the Tongue

Know that the tongue is one of the wonders of God’s handiwork. It is the representative of the intellect and is created so you can express what is in your mind. Praise God. Recite from God’s Book, and guide people to God’s Path.

All that is in existence is under His control. Guard the tongue against the eight things:

1- Lying

2- Breaking Promises

3- Dispute

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4- Self glorification

5- Cursing

6- Invoking evil towards others

7- Ridiculing and mocking others

8- Backbiting

The Worst Sin of the Tongue

Know that the definition of backbiting is that one says something about someone in their absence which would displease them even if it is true.

Backbiting is thirty times worse than adultery. However, if one doesn’t mention a name, it is not considered backbiting.

Know that the desire to backbite is one of the diseases of the heart. Its treatment is of two types: Theoretical and practical.

The theoretical treatment is to understand that the good deeds of the backbiter will be transferred to the victim. Reflect upon your own shortcomings.

The practical treatment is to address the root cause of backbiting, some are: anger, seeking approval of others, desiring self praise, and envy.

Know that since the harms of the tongue are many, and restraining oneself is difficult, there is no better policy than silence. Speak only out of necessity. The tongue mirrors the soul. When it speaks the truth, the soul becomes luminous; and when it lies, the soul becomes crooked.

The rectitude of a crooked soul is to rectify the tongue. True faith can only be attained with a true soul. A true soul can only be attained with a true tongue. So guard the tongue.

About Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) is one of the greatest Islamic Jurists, theologians and mystical thinkers. Al-Ghazali wrote many works on theology and philosophy like al-Iqtisad fi'I-i`tiqad (The Middle Path in Theology), al-Risala al-Qudsiyya (The Jerusalem Epistle), Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences)