Words and Statements That We Must Avoid
Question: What are the words and statements that we must avoid uttering?
1. It is not permissible to say, for example, "The toddler fell from the seventh story of the apartment. It survived the fall as a mu'jizah."Mu'jizah (miracle) is something related to prophets. By saying so, one has made the toddler a prophet. Instead, one should say, "It survived the fall by the power Allah."
2. It is not permissible to call a sinner or a disbeliever a scapegoat.
3. It is permissible for a person whose parents are disbelievers to recite the Qur'anic verse "Rabbanaghfir lee waliwalidayya … " as an additional sura (after the Fatiha) in salat. But it is not permissible for him to recite it as a prayer after the prescribed prayers "Allahumma salli …" and "Allahumma barik …"
4. It is haram, not disbelief, to say "It is haram but I like it" to mean something haram.
5. Saying "If Allah has written such and such, May He change it" is permissible, if it is said with the intention of making a du'a.
6. It is permissible to use family titles for a disbeliever, such as "uncle" or "my uncle," or to say to him "You are welcome to …" because such things are customary.
7. It is not permissible to say, "Allah has bestowed eyes upon us because He thinks of us." Thinking of something is a matter related to creations.
8. It is not appropriate to say, "Allah did not neglect to create wings for birds." Neglecting something does not apply to Allahu ta'ala. Such a statement should not be used because it may have the implication that He might have neglected it. However, it is not disbelief to use it in the meaning that He does not neglect.
9. It is not permissible to say to someone, "He who sees your face will go to Paradise," or "He who sees your face will become a pilgrim." One does not go to Paradise or become a pilgrim by seeing someone else. For this reason, it is wrong to say so.
10. Describing a Muslim as "a man like Satan" is not permissible. It is permissible to describe him as "a man like a genie."
11. It is not permissible to say "May his soil be plenty" for a Muslim who has died. This expression is used for non-Muslims.
12. Though it is permissible to say, "While Allah was drawing the design for birds on the book of qadar, He took account of their need for fuel," it is not appropriate to use such statements.
13. It is permissible to say, "Allah bonded the construction of man with the bricks of cells. Nevertheless, it is better not to say so.
14. When a disbeliever does good, it is permissible to say to him, "May Allah be pleased with you!" with the intention that he become a Believer or that Allah turn him to a state He is pleased with.
15. It is bad manners to say, "Allah have not forgotten." One should not say so lest it might suggest that there are times when He forgets.
16. It is not disbelief to say, "I will beat you, disregarding the fact that Allah created you" or "It is the attribute of Allahu ta'ala to give without taking." But using the name of Allahu ta'ala unnecessarily is an act of disrespect. It is like swearing an unnecessary oath.
17. It is not permissible to say, "I am honorless if I am not telling the truth." A Muslim does not say so.
18. It is not disbelief to say, "May my mother be my wife." But it does not befit a Muslim to speak like that.
19. Outside acts of worship, it is permissible to address Allahu ta'ala as "O the Padishah, whose mercy is boundless" instead of addressing Him as ilah.
20. It is not permissible to say "an old Qur'an" because a Mus-haf may be old, but the Qur'an cannot be old. Qur'an means "the Word of Allah." A Mus-haf is a copy of the Qur'an al-karim written on pages. Similarly, it is not permissible to say "a big Qur'an" or "a small Qur'an."
21. Some people call the Qur'an "the antivirus software"; the Messenger of Allah "the Walking Qur'an" or "the Prophet of war"; Allah "an architect or an artist." Such expressions are not permissible because Allahu ta'ala's names are tawqifi; that is, they are dependent on the dictation of the Owner of Shari'ah. Names that are dictated by Islam should be used. Those that are not dictated by it cannot be used. They cannot be used no matter how perfect and beautiful they are. One should not give rise to renovations in the religion. So is the case with the other expressions. We should be respectful toward Allahu ta'ala's Messenger and Word, and we Muslims, falling for the tricks of missionaries, should not utter such things.
22. Some people claim, "Insulting someone, saying 'O you pig, son of a pig' or 'You are looking like a pig' or 'O you donkey, son of a donkey' causes disbelief because they go back to even Hadrat Adam through a backward chain when one utters them. One who has uttered them should renew one's [Islamic marriage contract called] nikah and faith." These claims are not true. They do not go back to Hadrat Adam. Such statements are not appropriate, but they are not disbelief. A Muslim does not say such things.
23. It is not appropriate to say, "I could not get your point. May I be an Arab if I am lying." It causes disbelief if one's intention is to speak ill of Arabs and our Master the Prophet.
24. It is not permissible and is very dangerous to take an oath by saying, "May Allah not call me His servant!"
25. It is not permissible to say that Allah has reason. Reason is something created, and Allahu ta'ala is the Creator of it.
26. It is not permissible to say, "There were perfect spiritual guides (murshid-i kamils) in the past, but they were not knowledgeable about worldly affairs." In fact, they were knowledgeable about both worldly and other worldly affairs. Some other people claim, "The Awliya' are different from Islamic scholars." That is, they mean that the Awliya'have nothing to do with 'ilm (knowledge). The Awliya' are pious people who abstain from forbidden and reprehensible things. How can one abstain from forbidden things and renovations in the religion without having knowledge?
27. It is not permissible for a mother to express her love for her child, saying, "May I be sacrificed for you." Instead, she should say, "May I be sacrificed for the Creator of you."