When the Prophet guided the one who was seeking salvation to control his tongue, this was an indication of the grave dangers of the tongue, particularly when one gives it free rein. Getting used to abusing and cursing is one of the greatest dangers of the tongue. Many people think too lightly of this and therefore curse their children, transportation, those who contradict their views, and even those with whom they are joking. Hence, we will state some of what was reported in warning against the dangers of cursing and making a habit of this.
The Meaning and Dangers of Cursing
Cursing means the deprivation and exclusion of goodness or of the Mercy of Allah The Almighty, and this can never be the habit of the believers. The Prophet said, “The believer does not slander, curse, or speak in an obscene or foul manner.” In a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah the Prophet said: “It does not befit a man of truth to be a curser.”
Cursing a Believer is a Great Crime
Cursing a believer is a great crime that a Muslim should never dare to commit. To illustrate the enormity of this crime, it is enough to mention theHadeeth where the Prophet said: “Cursing a believer is like killing him.” Commenting on this Hadeeth, An-Nawawi said, “According to the apparent meaning of the Hadeeth, both killing and cursing are equal in prohibition, however, killing is graver.” Other scholars said, “Cursing a believer is like killing him with respect to prohibition, guilt and deprivation. This is because cursing is deprivation of the mercy of Allah The Almighty, and killing is deprivation of life.”
Beware of the Rebounding of the Curse!
When a person curses something that does not deserve to be cursed, the curse rebounds and comes back onto him, even if that which is cursed is the subjugated wind. In a Hadith on the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas it was mentioned that the wind blew away a man’s outer garment and, thereupon, he cursed the wind. The Prophet said to him: “Do not curse the wind because it is commanded [by Allah to blow]. Whoever curses something and it does not deserve the curse, the curse will turn back upon him.”
Do Not Curse an Animal or a Mount
People often think of this as something trivial and they curse animals as well as their means of transport. Such people are heedless of the fact that doing so, they themselves mix with cursed things. It was narrated that the Prophet was on a journey on which there was also a woman from the Ansaar riding a she-camel. The she-camel annoyed her and so she cursed it. Having heard her, the Messenger of Allah said: “Take off the load on its back and set it free because it is cursed.”'
Cursing a Specific Person
According to the consensus of the scholars, cursing is prohibited. Imam An-Nawawi said,
There is a consensus among the scholars that cursing is prohibited. Linguistically, cursing means to deprive or expel. In the Sharee'ah, it means deprivation of the Mercy of Allah The Exalted. For a person whose status and end are not decisively known, it is not permissible to deprive him of the Mercy of Allah The Almighty. Therefore, they [the scholars] have said, ‘It is not permissible to curse a specific person, whether he is a Muslim or a disbeliever, unless there is a Shari'ah text that tells us that a specific person died or will die as a disbeliever, like Abu Jahl and Satan; and it is impermissible to curse a mount. However, cursing by general description is permitted such as cursing women who artificially lengthen their hair or those who have their hair artificially lengthened for them, women who tattoo or have themselves tattooed, the two parties of a Riba [interest] transaction, those who produce images, evildoers, oppressors, disbelievers and those who misappropriate the limits of their land. This is general cursing that does not specify someone in particular.
Cursing is from the Gravest of the Grave Major Sins
The Muslim Ummah (nation) has been afflicted by some of its youth who joke with each other only by sending curses and abuse, as they recklessly curse fathers and mothers. They do this despite the fact that this is one of the grave major sins as the Prophet said: “One of the gravest of grave major sins is when a person abuses his parents.” It was then asked,“O Messenger of Allah, is it possible that one could abuse his own parents?”The Prophet replied: “Yes, when he abuses the father or mother of another person and the latter returns the insult.”
Parents are the cause behind one's existence in this life and so they should not be harmed, even by as little as being shown the signs of tedium and annoyance in front of them by using the word "uff". Therefore, what about those who curse their parents? These people are in fact committing a grave major sin and deserve the supplication of the Prophet against them as in the Hadith where he said, “May Allah curse the one who slaughters for the sake of anything other than Allah, the one who shelters a man who causes mischief upon the earth, and the one who curses his parents.”
Purify Your Tongue from Cursing
If cursing is dangerous, obscene and offensive to that extent, then the believer, who seeks salvation on the Day when neither wealth nor children will be of benefit to him, must refine and purify his tongue from this disaster. He should recall the prohibition of the Prophet in theHadeeth where he said: “Do not curse one another invoking the curse of Allah, the wrath of Allah, or the fire of Hell.”
We ask Allah The Almighty to purify our tongues, hearts and bodies from everything that stirs His wrath.