The terms cussing - “sabb” (سبّ), swearing - “shatam” (شطم), and ­malediction - “laʿn” (لعن), in their truest forms, represent the totality of enmity, and the appreciation of these terms [and their usage] has been present right from the initial stages of human existence and historically speaking, there have been individuals, who in order to show their enmity in regards to events which transpired in the past, or individuals who lived in long-ago times, who have demonstrated these terms vividly in their lives.

Even after the introduction of Islam, the usage and real-world practice of these terms was common and there were some individuals, who in order to express their aversion and detestation for the acts of others resorted to cussing - “sabb” (سبّ) and ­malediction - “laʿn” (لعن).

As these practices were commonplace, it is important for us to analyse these terms from an Islamic perspective and to carry out an in-depth investigation into them.

In this article, what we seek to do through our study is to explore the phenomenon of cussing and malediction and its status from the Islamic point of view by delving into the relevant sources: the Qurʾan, the Prophetic traditions (ahadith) and the conduct of the Muslims.

In addition, through reviewing the historical evidences and by means of a psychological analysis, we will seek to prove that cussing - “sabb” (سبّ) and swearing - “shatam” (شطم) are absolutely forbidden (haram) in the sacred teachings of Islam; however as for ­malediction - “laʿn” (لعن), it is something which is essential from the societal point of view.

We will see how the permissibility of malediction - “laʿn” (لعن) is something which all of the Muslim scholars agree upon and that what we see today from the Wahhabi sect and those who follow this particular group which has become prevalent in the world in which they categorize malediction alongside cussing and swearing and claim that all of these go against the teachings of Islam, is nothing other than baseless and futile claims which lack any form of evidence.