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Offensive English Words

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Sibghat Ullah


I know it is haram to swear and I am trying to stop, but I tend to say a lot (forgive me in advance for writing this) ‘holy crap’ or ‘holy shit’ when something bad happens. I’ve seen on a Salafi website from a mufti (i believe) named Sheikh Assim who gave some fatwas saying that this is a statement of kufr but it is only minor kufr to say this if you don’t mean it. However in the English language, holy has 2 different meanings and I know this Salafi brother lives in the middle east and may not understand the English language much. One meaning of course relates to religion, however, the 2nd meaning is used to express amazement, not believing that something is actually holy and sacred to a religion. If intended to use in this way, would this still be something that is kufr, or just a bad sin? I am not trying to justify myself in using these very bad terms as I know it is at least haram however I am struggling to believe that this could be a statement of kufr that can take someone out of the fold of Islam as the word holy can have lots of interpretations.

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The Messenger warned us about the seriousness of guarding our tongue. It is narrated from Abu Huraira that the Prophet  said:

“A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.[i]

We as Muslims should control our tongues and use words that are best and not abusive. Allah says in Quran:

And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best. (Because) Shaitan(Satan) verily, sows disagreements among them. Surely, Shaitan (Satan) is to man a plain enemy. Sura Isra, Verse 53

Lastly, you will not leave the fold of Islam by using such words but having said that why use such words which can be harmful to eeman and which seek the displeasure of Allah.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Sibghat Ullah

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

[i] Sahih Bukhari, Book of (how) To make the Heart Tender (Ar-Riqaq), Chapter: To protect one’s tongue

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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