Value of Speech – Part 1
(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)
There are 100 Levels of Jannah and the distance between each level is like the distance between the earth and the 1st heaven. Only a privileged few will be with the Prophet (SAW) in Jannah. They will have 2 qualities Taqwa (god fearing) and Husnul Khuluq (good Manners &/ good behavior).
The Prophet (SAW) said that, the people furthest from him in the hereafter are:
- At Thirtharoon– Those who talk too much and there is no benefit in their talk.
- Al Matafayhiqoon– Those people who use words for arrogance. They talk to people with words that people do not understand. Showing that they are more knowledgeable. They speak in a loud and lofty manner.
- Al Mutashaddiqoon– Those people who use their words in putting others down or speaking excessively about others in a filthy manner.
A saying in Arabic goes: If a person’s mind is complete (he is knowledgeable) his speech is incomplete (he will talk less). The higher your spiritual state, lesser, you need to speak. One who talks less commands more respect. Al kalaam ad dava- Speech is like medicine, taking the right amount would cure and taking too much could harm or even kill. The tongue is like a wild animal, if let loose it would harm but if tied up it will not harm. Nothing needs to be imprisoned more than the tongue.
Abu Bakr Siddiq would try and pull out his tongue and used to say that, “this tongue always puts me in trouble.”
Luqman, the wise would say “when people are proud of their words and speech be proud of your silence.”
However, a person who keeps quiet when seeing injustice has the influence of the devil.
Exceptions to Gheebah:
There are six exceptions where we are allowed to talk about other people:
- To describe someone. For example if someone is blind or has one leg etc.
- Raising a complaint against someone to a Judge.
- To get a Fatwa. Once Hind (wife of Abu Sufyan) after she had accepted Islam, came to the Prophet (SAW) and said about her husband that, “indeed he is cheap, and a miser and he is not giving me enough to support his children and me.” She wanted the Prophets advice and fatwa; He (SAW) said “take whatever is enough for you and your children that which is Ma’roof (just and balanced).” The Prophet let her describe her husband but it was only for that monetary matter. She did not say any other bad things about him.
- Giving Advice. If someone asks for Advice about another person, you’ll have to talk about that person related to that matter. Once Fatima bint Qais came to the Prophet (SAW) seeking advice about two marriage proposals for her, one from Muawiyah and one from Abu Jahl. He (SAW) said to her that Muawiyah is nothing (as a fact of his monetary situation), and Abu Jahl never puts his cane down (beats women). He (SAW) told her to marry Muawiyah as marrying the righteous would enrich you. The Prophet talked about these people as he was giving sincere advice.
- Warning the Muslims against someone who is a criminal, thief etc., for the protection of the community.
- Talk about someone who openly sins and does evil, (Al Mujahir). However it is preferred to not gossip about it as you could fall into sin later.
One must be careful, however, not to misuse these exceptions.