As juvenile as it seems, I think one of the reasons for this trend is the classic "fitting in" phenomenon that we all experienced in high school. Once some people, who are seen as active, practicing Muslims are seen using foul language, it slowly becomes okay for others. Now, to clarify, I'm not talking about the "f word," but rather, the "lighter" foul language that Western society often ignores because it is seen as popular vernacular. Although some of these words have now found themselves in PG-13 movies in recent years, as people who supposedly live according some semblance of moral consciousness, Muslims should really know better.
In today's day and age of course, language is more prevalent in our facebook accounts, blackberry's, and status messages. Our boundaries should not change simply because the words are not uttered in person.
So, you say that words are just words, and don't really mean anything? There isn't an "intent" behind it? Here are some simple tests to figure out if you should really be using foul language:
- Would you use the word in the presence of your mom?
- Would you use the word in the presence of your most-respected shaykh/imam?
- How would you feel if Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) heard you speak? What words would you use then? What words would you not use?
If we truly believe that all of our speech is being recorded, and will be played back to us on the Day of Judgement, then we'd be more careful. Lets try and rise above the fray, and help bring some morality to this society, rather than flocking with the rest of the sheep.
Hadith (Prophetic saying) to contemplate:
Abdullah bin 'Amr mentioned God's Apostle saying that he was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish (person who uses bad language). Abdullah bin 'Amr added, God's Apostle said, 'The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.'
May Allah bless him and grant him peace.
And Allah knows best.