A seeker inquired regarding the criteria for ascertaining what speech is useless.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘This is an issue that requires mental reasoning (ijtihad).
Access mentally that if I do not say this thing is it going to harm me or another in religious or worldly matters to any extent (tiny or big).
If it is then say it. Otherwise don’t.
This is the criteria, especially in the beginning. ‘
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 185