Monday, 13 June 2011

Save Your Tongue From Talks Other Than Good

The tongue is the thing that deserves imprisonment most.”___

Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi WA wasallam) said:

“You shall be saved as long as you are silent, for if you speak, it will either be in your favor or stand against you.”

Among the eminent ‘Ullama of Islam who were compelled to write extensively about it, was Imam al-Ghazali’ Rahmatullahi, who said about the tongue:

“The tongue is a great endowment from Allah; though small in size, its crime is enormous.”

A person on the one hand may utter words of hamd and Shukr [praise and thankfulness] for which he earns reward. While on the other hand one might utter words of kufr that takes them outside the pale of Islam, thereby loosing the reward of all his previous good deeds.

It is very important and necessary to safeguard the tongue against improper use since most corruptions and vices are from misuse of the tongue. Sometimes an informal talk and backbiting spoils years of worship, good deeds and devotion to Allah Ta’aala, which is why many Awliyâ Allah have stated, “There is nothing more deserving of prolonged imprisonment than the tongue.” Hazrat Sufyan bin Abdullah (Radiyallaahu Ta’aala Anhu) has narrated that once he asked Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) as to what was the most harmful for him. Beckoning to his tongue, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “This.”

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi WA wasallam) saying, "A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e., without thinking about its being good or not) and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.'' [Imam Bukhari].

This Hadith shows the disadvantages which can be caused by the improper use of the tongue. It is, therefore, essential that one should think before he speaks.

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (Radiyallaahu Ta’aala Anhu) is reported to have said, “When a man gets up in the morning from his sleep the limbs of the body address his tongue saying, “Pass the day in truthfulness and righteousness; refrain from nonsense and loose talks. If you go aright we too shall go aright. On the other hand if you take the wrong path we too shall follow the same path.” What the tongue utters affects rightly or wrongly the other limbs of the body. Pure and nice words take the speaker nearer to Allah but heinous and nasty words cause him dishonor and disgrace.

Imam Ash-Shafi (Rahmatullahi), in addressing his companion, ar-Rabi’, said:

“Do not haphazardly speak without a need. Once uttered, you no longer control the words, but they control you.”

That is, once you speak a word it will be to your benefit if it is good, but if it is sinful, then it will be written against you unless Tawba [repentance] with sincerity is performed.

Sayidina ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud Radiyallaahu ‘anhu said:
Abu 'Abdur-Rahman Bilal bin Al-Harith Al-Muzani (Radiyallaahu Ta’aala Anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi WA wasallam) said, "A man speaks a good word without knowing its worth, Allah SWT records for him His Good Pleasure till the day he will meet Him; and a man utters an evil word without realizing its importance, Allah records for him His displeasure till the day he will meet Him.''
[Imam Malik].

This Hadith tells us a fact which can be observed in our everyday life. Sometimes a person utters a good sentence which pleases an individual and he reforms himself or holds himself from doing something wrong. Such a sentence or utterance is highly rewarded by Allah SWT. Similarly, sometime a person utters a mischievous sentence, the ruinous effects of which he does not realize. This utterance hurts someone's feelings and leads him to sin and evil. Almighty Allah is displeased with such a person. The lesson that this Hadith has for us is that one should strictly guard his speech and weigh his words to avoid Allah's Wrath.

'Uqbah bin `Amir ((Radiyallaahu Ta’aala Anhu) said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi WA wasallam), "How can salvation be achieved?'' He replied, "Save your tongue from talks other than good,

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) stated, “Save your tongue from talks other than good, you can then defeat the devil. Allah Ta’aala is near every utterance of a man. So let him take care of what he utters.” Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) further said, “He who talks too much commits blunders. He who blunders much commits many sins. For one whose sins are great, the hell-fire is good.” Hazrat Isa (Alaihi Salaam) stated, “There are ten portions of divine service, nine of which are in silence and the remaining one is in loneliness.” Hazrat Abu Dharr (Radiyallaahu Ta’aala Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) once asked him, “Shall I not tell you about such an action which is light for the body but heavy in the Balance?” Hazrat Abu Dharr (Radiyallaahu Ta’aala Anhu) replied, “Yes,” upon which our Beloved Rasool (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Silence, good conduct and giving up unnecessary things.”

Narrated Muadh ibn Jabal (Radiyallaahu Ta’aala Anhu) I said to Allah's Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi WA wasallam): Inform me about an act which would entitle me to get into Paradise, and remove me away from Hell-Fire. He (the Prophet) said: You have asked me about a matter (which ostensibly appears to be) difficult but it is easy to those for whom Allah, the Exalted, has made it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him, establish prayer, pay the Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan and perform Hajj to the (sacred) House (Ka’ba). He again said: Should I not direct you to the gateways of good?

Listen to me: The fasting is a shield against evil; the charity extinguishes (the fire of sin) just as water extinguishes fire, the prayer of a person during the middle of the night. Then he recited: 'Who forsake their beds... (Up to)....they used to do.' Then he said: Should I not direct you to the highest level of this matter, to the pillar on which (it rests) and it’s top?
I said: Allah's Messenger yes, (do tell me). He said: The uppermost level of the matter is Islam. Its pillar is the prayer and its top is Jihad. He then said: Should I not inform you of the sheet anchor of all this? I said: Allah's Apostle (of course do it). He took hold of his tongue and said: Exercise restraint on it. I said: Apostle of Allah, would we be held responsible for what we say with it? Thereupon he said: Muadh, may your mother be bereaved. Will anything else besides (irresponsible) talk cause the people to be thrown into the Hell-Fire upon their faces or on their nostrils?
Hadith No. 2 Ahmad,

Protection of the tongue guarantees protection of righteous deeds. This is because those who leave their tongues unbridled remain uttering nonsense and unworthy words including the grievous sin of backbiting. Backbiting is a sin which destroys good deeds as lightning destroys cultivation and turns everything into ashes.
A man once told Hazrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi) that such and such a person had backbitten the Sheikh. Hazrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi) sent this man to the backbiter with a bag of dates as a gift. For the reward, which he had transferred to the account of the Sheikh by backbiting him?
It can therefore be seen that the Prophets and the Awliyâ Allah have placed great emphasis on controlling the tongue and talking as less as possible as this would bring us closer to our Creator and will be a means of salvation for us. We should therefore take heed of their words of wisdom and try to remain silent as much as possible while at the same time not engaging ourselves in lying, slandering, backbiting, swearing, arguing, useless talks etc. when we do talk. And the best way to do this is to think before we say anything, if what we are about to say is useless and unnecessary or not. In fact if we can do that and say “Subhan’Allah” for every time we stop ourselves from uttering useless talks, imagine how much it would benefit us in this world and in the hereafter.

"I said: 'O Messenger of Allah Which of the Muslims is best?' He said: 'He whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe from.'"
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam Malik’s student ibn Wahb asked him about backbiting a Christian, so he replied, 'Aren't they people?" He said, "Of course." He then said, Allah ta’aalau says, "And say that which is good to the people." (Al-Baqarah: 82) He did not say, 'Say to the Muslims…' and people includes the Muslim, the Kafir, and the people of the Book, from amongst them.

Abu Hurairah reported that he heard the Prophet say:

"Indeed, the servant will speak a word, while being unaware of (its consequences), and due to it, he will be cast into the Hellfire, farther than the distance between the east and the west."-- [Bukhari].--.

"I looked at all friends, and did not find a better friend than safeguarding the tongue. I thought about all dresses, but did not find a better dress than piety. I thought about all types of wealth, but did not find a better wealth than contentment in little. I thought of all types of good deeds, but did not find a better deed than offering good advice. I looked at all types of sustenance, but did not find a better sustenance than patience."
--- (Hazrat Umar R.A.)--

Among Allah's blessings upon man is that He made him a thoughtful and sane being and created a tongue for him. He made him able to utter sounds and clarify what he wants through the words which he speaks. He has only to speak to let people know what he wants.

Thus, we should thank Allah for the blessings which He bestowed upon us. We should use our speech in useful ways; not to speak but goodness. For example, if we are in a meeting or a gathering and want to speak with people, or any discussion comes up then we should first think what we want to say and choose which words to use. If we can offer useful counsel to people or offer advice, we should speak in such a way to make others want to listen.

Time is precious. Recognize its value and spend it in the remembrance of Allah, because what is uttered with the tongue other than this remembrance, is generally useless and nonsense and thereby you are laying waste your precious capital of life i.e. time.

Ghufraanaka Rabbanaa WA ‘alaika masiyr

WA sallallaahu Ta’aala ‘alaa Sayidina WA Mawlana Muhammadin WA Alayhi WA Sahabihi wasallam

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Mama Mia said...

My mother has always told me: If you don't have anything good to say, then it's best not to say anything at all.

So yes. I agree with your post 100%!

By the way, I've tagged you here:

You may or may not want to write a blog post about it. I just wanted to show your link there as a way of thanking you for following my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

MashALLAh brilliant brilliant!!!

Mishkash zindabad!!

jeevay jeevay Mishkash!! :-)

fantastic blog!! this is one thing i find tremendously hard to control.. i do dua ALLAH give me tawfeeq to control this.. pls do dua 4 me .. thanks...