by Fudia Muhammad
Those of us of a certain age remember when the only way to bully someone was in person. We did not own cell phones and there was no internet. We can recall being at our school playgrounds or in neighborhood streets instigating, watching or participating in all-out fist fights; or at the very least “riding” (insulting) one another to the point of no return. We may also remember a certain chant circulating about – ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ This was a childlike way of saying that using words to demean, insult or humiliate someone will have no physical effect on the body. Well, today we know this may not necessarily be true. Harsh words certainly hurt us emotionally and psychologically; but they may also be hurting us physically.
In her book, Weapons of Self-Destruction, Dr. Ava Muhammad wrote, “When the sound of filthy words travels through the physical realm, its effect is similar to the AIDS virus. It weakens the immune system. Every word we speak is reabsorbed into the subconscious mind where it originated. We cannot say a word unless we think it, which means it begins as a thought residing in the mind…This type of language is deadly, like bullets from a gun. It is disruptive to the universal order of things. It can injure the person it is aimed at or strike anyone within hearing range. When someone uses these names [b*tch, m*tha f-word, etc.] or is called such names repeatedly, the nervous system is worn down because they don’t produce anything useful to humanity. We all know the Creator does not acknowledge profanity, so we don’t connect with His power when we use it.”
The nervous system is very complex. It controls every part of the body. It is so complex that neurologists anatomize it as two major systems in one – central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (arms, hands, legs and feet). The nervous system also includes two subsystems; autonomic nerves (lungs, heart, intestines, bladder, sex organs and stomach) and cranial nerves (eyes, mouth, ears, and other parts of the head). Our nervous system is our body’s electrical grid, wired with over 45 miles of nerves, 60,000 miles of blood vessels and over 100 billion neurons (nerve cells). It has three primary functions: 1) to collect sensory input from the body and external environment; 2) to process and interpret the sensory input; and 3) to respond appropriately to sensory input. Sensory data in the form of words not only send messages, but they carry energy (electricity) and vibrations with them. Negative energy and vibrations cause discord instead of harmony, which stresses the nervous system – stresses the brain.
There is a direct link between our brain and our immune system. The primary function of the immune system is to defend the body against invaders (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.) which can cause illness and disease. A weakened immune system leaves every part of the body vulnerable to sickness. Our brains were created to think right by a Creator, Whom we just stated, does not acknowledge profanity. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “Falsehood, which is untruth or deception produces a spiritual and chemical imbalance in the brain. And since the nine (9) systems of the human body all rely upon the brain, its imbalance results in a malfunctioning of the entire health system. Even though there may still be a regular heartbeat, normal blood pressure, etc., there is a very real dysfunction that ultimately shortens life – because Allah (God) intended for us not to be nearly balanced, but we are made to achieve exquisite balance.”
There was a time when “shut-up” and “stupid” were the worst of words that parents reprimanded their children for using. But today, we’ve all seen it – that little two or three-year-old child who curses like a grown drunk sailor. Our first impulse is to reprimand the child until we remember that profanity is not hereditary like one’s skin color or height. Profanity and the use of vulgar language is learned behavior – the culprit almost always being the parents. So, our next instinct is to stare down the parents with a piercing look of indignation and disgust. I guess we believe this will somehow shame them into correcting their child; and it does, but only for a moment. Many parents continue to curse freely and proudly because to them, words are just words and carry no measurable consequence. The hypocrisy in this scenario is that most are only disturbed when young children let one go, but not at all offended when adults regularly spew foul obscenities during casual conversations – not to mention when they are angry or frustrated.
Our first exposure to language begins in the womb of our mothers. And it continues to be mother’s voice and language that we hear the majority of our early formative years. We say the body is the real temple of God; but do we really believe that? When we behold any house of God – a mosque, temple, synagogue or church – defiled with graffiti, swastikas, offensive language, debris or any intentional damage, Believers take this as a personal affront. We become livid with anger. But these beautiful structures were built by the hands of man – the human body was created by the hands of Allah (God); so shouldn’t any defilement of the body garner the most outrage?
Allah (God) created the human form with 75% of its composition being water. Studies like Emoto’s Water Experiment, have been done to show the effects that negative and positive words have on water molecules. The study proves that words are alive! What we say and what we hear can either purify or corrode 75% of our being. If corroded, we are left susceptible to illness and disease.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “The misuse of language and/or the harshness of language in rebuke can hurt the emotional and psychological development of the child.” As a parent, the greatest misuse of language is profanity (curse words) directed towards our children in conjunction with personally degrading, belittling and humiliating them. We have to be so careful with our tongue because it is one of the strongest muscles in our body and it can be used for good or for evil. Speech does not have to be directed at our children to be harmful; they just have to be within earshot. Words are used every day to heal and to harm.
The quality of speech and language that comes from our children is influenced by environmental factors and people; but none is more influential than parents. So, when we allow the uncivilized, lower reptilian mind to rule our thoughts and behaviors, profane language is the natural byproduct of this way of life. A regular dose of obscene, profanity-laced speech in the home from parents, music, video games and film will beget foul-mouthed children. Profanity weakens the immune system; but the highest form of communication – divine revelation, offers an opportunity to energize the brain, thereby energizing the entire being so we may be like The Father and continue to produce gods.
(Sister Fudia Muhammad is a member of Muhammad Mosque No. 64 in Austin, Texas. She is married to Student Minister Robert L. Muhammad and they have been blessed with four children. Sister Fudia holds a Master’s degree in Education – she is a writer, an educator and an advocate for God-centered child-rearing.)