Al Laghw and the Jihad in modern times
One of the side effects of advancement in technology is innovations in the arena called al laghw.
The emerging trends in al laghw has brought drastic changes in the lifestyle of the contemporary society.
If you want to go against the flow, you have to take it as a jihad.
Coming from the root letters “Laam-Ghayn-Waw” or “Laam-Ghayn-Yaa”, the word ‘Laghw’ means useless, idle talk, chatter, nonsense, outrageous talk, frivolity, offensive, dirty, false, evil or obscene talk.
Islamically, Laghw is defined as every word and action that is useless, without purpose, in vain and brings no good to the doer.
Laghw in the Qur’an carries four meanings:
1. Talking without thinking;
2. Statements of indecency;
3. Meaningless and purposeless actions;
4. Speaking loudly to drown out another person’s voice so he or she cannot be heard.
Time wasting activities that are neither beneficial from the worldly point of view nor from the perspective of Hereafter falls under the larger definition of the word ‘laghw’.
Not adopting discretion in the use of internet, YouTube, FB etc. or addiction to TV serials or mindless chatting with friends, or using modern gadgets to distract and dominate someone – all falls under the category of laghw.
Qur’anic Guidelines with regard to Laghw:
1. When you hear laghw, turn away from it:
وَإِذا سَمِعُوا اللَّغوَ أَعرَضوا عَنهُ وَقالوا لَنا أَعمـٰلُنا وَلَكُم أَعمـٰلُكُم سَلـٰمٌ عَلَيكُم لا نَبتَغِى الجـٰهِلينَ
“And when they hear ill speech, they turn away from it and say, “For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. Peace will be upon you; we seek not the ignorant.” (Surah al Qasas 28:55)
“If some foolish person speaks to the Believers in a foolish manner and says something to which it does not befit them to respond, they turn away from him and do not respond in kind with ugly speech. They never say anything but good words” explains Ibn Kathir.
Turning away from laghw is one of the noble qualities of successful believers:
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
“Successful indeed are believers….who turn away from ill speech“ Surah al Mu’minoon 23: 3
Just ponder over the phrasal verb ‘turn away’.
When do you turn away from something?
You turn away from something, when you want to avoid it.
You want to abstain from something, so you keep yourself away from doing that thing.
You turn away from a particular thing when you don’t like it.
When you are invited to do something, you turn away by refusing and not indulging in it.
2. When you pass by al laghw, pass by with dignity!
Here is another beautiful ayah highlighting the quality of a true believer with regard to laghw:
وَإِذا مَرّوا بِاللَّغوِ مَرّوا كِرامًا
“and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity” (Surah al Furqaan 25: 72)
When you encounter laghw, for example obscene advertisements, useless mails, mindless forwarded messages, a dance programme, gossip media, ugly friend request, you ignore and carry on your work with dignity.
If a laghw event or opportunity passes you by, you do not take advantage of such ‘events and opportunities’. You are a man of dignity, you value dignity so you pass by with dignity.
Just pause over the verb ‘pass by’ and ponder over what we are actually doing in our day to day life. Allah says “When ibaadur rahman (servants of Allah, the Most Merciful) pass by laghw, they pass by with dignity”.
Are we not actually bringing in laghw in our living rooms when we are told to pass by it with dignity? What an irony!!
We are using our prime time making laghw operational in our very bedrooms!
Television and soap operas, for example. FB and students and youth is another example.
Laghw activities of today’s younger generation is a big hindrance towards creativity and time management. Many parents complain that their children are addicted to FB and they don’t concentrate in studies. Laghw is a distraction and turning away from it is the key to success!
One meaning of laghw is utterance of foul language. In schools, we witness students commonly and so casually using the word *F…..k*. Hollywood, Bollywood and western civilization are the forerunners in providing continuous and consistent doze of filthy language and action.
Bikini cartoons is another example. Kids who are innocent and doesn’t know anything of sex etc. are being hijacked to the laghw zone.
Where the world is heading to? If you ask this question, people look at you with disdain. This man is unfit for the modern world!!
People think you are a stranger because you talk of morality in a world that has taken immorality as a way of life!
Please be reminded that laghw is not just something that is restricted to sinful or evil matters. As the definition goes, every word or action that is useless, without purpose, in vain and brings no good to the doer is laghw! That’s the precise reason why I said it is jihad against laghw for a Muslim in the contemporary world!
3. Laghw is a form of test:
One of the delights of Jannah will be that the inmates will have nothing of any sort related to laghw:
“No ill speech will they hear therein or any falsehood” Surah Al Naba
“They will not hear therein ill speech or commission of sin” Surah al Waqi’ah
“Wherein they will hear no unsuitable speech” Surah al Ghaashiyah
From the above verses it is clear that the presence of laghw in this dunya is only to test the believers. So when they pass the test, they will be rewarded with amazing delights of perpetual happiness in a place free of laghw of all sorts! Subhanallaah!
Staying away from laghw is good for our deen, dunya and aakhirah!
May Allah help us all so that we refrain from laghw activities. May Allah make our tongue, our eyes, our ears, our minds free of laghw. Aameen.