What does the Qur’an mean when it says “vain talk” (23:3)? What is ‘vain talk?’
The Arabic word “Laghw”, translated by Yusuf Ali as ‘vain talk’, actually implies all such useless and meaningless activities which waste one’s time and does not provide one any good or benefit in return. In the referred verse, the Qur’an has mentioned refraining from all such useless activities as an inseparable quality of true believers.
A true believer, who knows that he shall have to face the Almighty and be held answerable for the use of all the privileges and resources, which he enjoys during the life of this world cannot be unmindful towards the wastage of these privileges and resources. Time, indeed, is one of our most precious resources during the life of this world. It is only the time that we have utilized for our benefit that is properly utilized. The remaining hours and minutes stand wasted. After having realized this fact, no true believer can even like to spend a minute in any such activities which are neither beneficial to him in the life of this world, nor in the hereafter.
I hope this helps.
January 19, 2002