Can the use of vulgar language be considered haram according to Islamic law? Modest Muse investigates.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
Swearing is considered a debauchery and an immoral act and is a sin.
"Obscene words and foul language belong to the devil. These two draw close to the fire and away from the paradise." [Tabarani]
“Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones (i.e. his mouth and tongue) and what is between his two legs (i.e. his private parts), I guarantee paradise for him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
“A slave (of Allah) may utter a word, which pleases Allah, without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-fire” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Bukhari and Muslim reported that Ibn Massaoud narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Swearing to a Muslim is a debauchery and an immoral act, and killing a Muslim is an act of Kufr.” Such behaviour (swearing) contradicts the complete Iman of the person who does it.
Imam Ahmad and Tirmizi reported that Ibn Masoud narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “A Muslim is not a person who slanders, curses, speaks obscene words or is abusive.” Bukhari also reported that Abdullah Bin Omar narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “A Muslim is a person whom all Muslims are safe from his tongue and hands.”
In a long Hadith reported by Tirmizi, Ahmed, and Ibn Majah; Mu’adh narrated that “The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) mentioned to him what brings him closer to Paradise and what makes him be farther from the Hellfire, and then he told him:“Shall I not inform you of what controls all that.” Mu’adh said: “Please tell me O! Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam)”. So the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) took his tongue (with his fingers) and told him: “Restraint this one.” Then Mu’adh said: “O! Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam), are we held accountable for what we say.” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “How are you asking this question?” People are not thrown into the Hellfire on their faces or noses except due to the result of their tongues.”
Cursing a great deal is criticized, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The believer is not a slanderer, one who curses a great deal, one who indulges in obscenity or who in engages in foul talk.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1977); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
And Muslim (2599) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: It was said: O Messenger of Allah, pray against the mushrikeen. He said: “I was not sent to curse, rather I was sent as a mercy.”
And Muslim (2597) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not appropriate for a sincere believer to be given to cursing.”
Source: Fatwa 87671
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