Islam came to bring people, not just to the correct beliefs, but also to the best behaviors. Whoever was accepting Islam was transforming into a much better individual than how they were before Islam. The prophet (SAW) kept a watchful eye on this transformation that his followers were going through, and whether they were going through a complete transformation or there was some things left over from the days of ignorance. Once, he passed by Abu Dharr (RA) and observed that he was having some very harsh words with a slave of his. The swear that he used mentioned the name of the slave’s mother. The prophet (SAW) heard him and verified what happened. Abu Dharr (RA) said, “Yes, this is what happened. I cursed at him.” The prophet (SAW) noted, “You are a person who still has remnants of those old behaviors in you.” Behaviors of ignorance included foul language, swearing and vulgar talk. This was not tolerated by the prophet (SAW); rather, the Qur’an wanted Muslims to have the best and most noble speech. “Tell my slaves to speak in the best way possible. Indeed, Shaytan will come and provoke them and instigate things against each other, but tell them to control themselves and maintain a beautiful and noble language.” The prophet (SAW) told us that the heaviest thing on the scale of deeds on the Day of Judgement is conduct. “There is nothing heavier on the scale of deeds than good conduct, good behavior and nice characteristics.” At the same time, he warned in the same hadith, “Allah (SWT) despises someone who is vulgar and someone who uses foul language.” In another hadith, we learn, “Modesty and the ability to pull back from that which brings shame ends up in Jannah.” In contrast, “Foul language is from rudeness, and rudeness ends up in Jahannam.”
The thing that holds you back from rudeness is a characteristic of Iman, and Iman will take us to Jannah; but to be foul mouthed is a characteristic of rudeness, and rudeness takes us to Jahannam. We learn from what the prophet (SAW) said, “A true believer will never curse things, use bad language, be vulgar or be foul mouthed.” What happens with us when we listen to certain people, watch certain things or be in the company of certain people who use a certain type of foul, vulgar or filthy language? We also get inclined in the moments where we are going through similar moments to use similar language. A believer will never let themselves fall into that trap. If you think of all bad words, it is exactly that – a bad word. Think of what it means. Think of what it implies. All these bad words are speaking of filth and dirt, and speaking of something that is very low. Why would a person talk about such things? Every word we say is documented. Imagine, on the Day of Judgement, someone opens up their book of deeds, and they find all this swear words and curses, and their sahifa of deeds is filled with it.