Please expand on: 1. what is meant by singing, in what context 2. intense debate 3. praising someone in their presence (sometimes this is done intentionally to show appreciation) 4. the list on the slide and on the pdf are different

For more detailed explanation of each sin of the tongue one can invest time to study there. Here are two free resources:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPEzNqC6gh-GogwpdzEu9CyhyEP6POjN9 – Prohibitions of the Tongue (محارم اللسان) Parts 6 Part Series by Mohamed Gilan based on the work by the great Mauritanian Scholar, Imam Muhammad Mawlud.

https://seekersguidance.org/show/31-content-of-character/  – In this episode Shaykh Yahya Rhodus explains how the majority of man’s sins are committed by the tongue, as was taught by Prophet Muhammad. He then highlights the extent of the dangers of the tongue and provides key tips on how to guard one’s tongue.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/constitutes-slander-backbiting-avoid/ – Q&A Answer

https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophet-muhammad/imam-ghazali-guarding-tongue/

All of the above is not necessary to know before you start – you just need to know the basic and start today.


To answer you question directly in brief:

1. Singing is in the context of seeing lyrics which have content or association to what, as Muslims, we would consider unlawful (haram). For example lyrics which are have profanity, misogynistic, violent etc.

2. Argumentation and Intense debate usually refers to acting in this way on matters of deen but, in our context, is when we engage in a “back-and-forth” where there is no real outcome or purpose to that exchange. It’s more about proving yourself right. We also observe this behaviour on WhatsApp conversations where two people try to make a point. Formally organised debates and discussions are fine and these require pre-agreed conditions which help to avoid falling into argumentation and sin. Imam Shafi rahimahullah is reported to have said that he would hold discussions and debates but internally he would wish and pray that the truth came out of the words of his opponent.

3. Praising someone in front of them. There is a difference between praising and thanking (e.g. the difference between saying to your friend: “Thank you for helping me” VS “You are the most helpful person I know”).

Our teachers explained that this is usually disliked in our Shari’a (as per many narrations from the Holy Messenger ‘alayhi salatu wa salaam), however there are always exceptions. For example when someone has low self-esteem, it is actually needed to praise them in their presence. Another example is a teacher using praise for children as positive reinforcement for their learning.

We are all aware of the negative effect public praising has (e.g. changes your intention, may lead to pride and arrogance etc) – however this is to be applied with wisdom and if unsure specific questions can be asked. This is not directly related to the question but I will include additional guidance on praise here for everyone to benefit insha Allah:

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