Correction: A-cuss-tomed to Profanity

Posted on March 10, 2012

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I quoted the following hadith in the post ‘A-cuss-tomed to Profanity’ and, may Allah forgive me, I misunderstood its meaning. The hadith was:

“Four things! He who possesses them is a pure hypocrite. And he who possesses one of them, has one peculiarity of hypocrisy till he gives it up. (These are) when he is trusted he betrays the trust, when he speaks he lies, when he promises he goes back on his word and when he disputes he resorts to abuse.” (Muslim 59:107)

I thought the underlined words implied the person who has characteristics of hypocrisy uses abusive, profane language. But the actual Arabic text is:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : أربع من كن فيه كان منافقا خالصا ومن كانت فيه خلة منهن كان فيه خلة من نفاق حتى يدعها : إذا حدث كذب , وإذا عاهد غدر , وإذا وعد أخلف , وإذا خاصم فجر

The meaning was explained to me by a dear friend more knowledgeable than me and is as follows:

“And when he disputes he resorts to abuse (the exact wording is خاصم disputes فجر licentiousness). Meaning he deviates from the truth to lying, and deviates from the true intent.  It also means to intentionally deviate from the truth until the truth becomes a falsehood, and the false becomes truth. And this is what lying leads to. As the Prophet peace be upon him said: “Lying leads to licentiousness (immorality) and licentiousness leads to hell fire.” So as I understand it, it does not mean the use of bad language, rather lying and immorality.

The use of profanity in itself is not one of the identifying characteristics of a hypocrite that the Prophet (saws) informed us about. My sincere apologies for the mistake. May Allah forgive me, and may I not be called to account for it.

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