18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Fast of Tongue

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Fasting is not (abstaining) from eating and drinking only, but also from vain speech and foul language. If one of you is being cursed or annoyed, he should say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’” [Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban. Sahih according to Imam Muslim’s criteria.]

Fasting is an act of worship that draws one closer to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Allah has prescribed it to purify the soul and to train it in good deeds. The fasting person must be on guard against any act that may cause him to lose the benefits of his fast. Thus, one must not use foul speech even in retaliation. If one is being cursed or annoyed he should nevertheless practice self restraint and respond to the provocation by saying, “I am fasting.”

While the fact that a Muslim will be fasting in Ramadan should be evident to all, saying so is a reminder to the other person that he too is fasting and should not spoil his fast. Saying “I am fasting” is also a reminder to oneself that he/she is engaged in something too precious to waste by careless words.

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah does not need the fast of one who does not abandon false speech or acting according to his false speech.” [Sahih Bukhari]

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