Value of speech – Part 2
(Class notes from the sisters Halaqa, with Sheikh Adel)
On the Journey to the Heavens, Mairaj, the Prophet (SAW) saw many rewards and punishments being given out to people for their good deeds and for their sins. One that drew his attention deeply was about the dangers of the tongue or the words uttered by us.
He (SAW) saw a male calf come out of a small hole but could not go back no matter how he tried. Jibrael AS explained to the prophet that this is like the words coming out of the mouth, which can never be sent back.
He (SAW) saw someone eating the dead body of his brother. That was for backbiting.
He (SAW) saw some people have iron nails and scratching their chests, this was for speaking to give a bad image of a brother while in duniya. They were being made to eat of themselves.
The Prophet SAW said that we would be called to account for every single word that is uttered by us.
Muadh Ibn Jabl, Prophets companion, his ambassador to Yemen and most knowledgeable about halal and haram has said:
“ Nothing will put your face in the hellfire, more, than the Harvest of your tongue”
The Prophet (SAW) once asked, “Do you know who is a muflis (bankrupt)?” He then answered, “the one who comes on the Day of Judgment with mountains of hasanat or good deeds, but would be sent to hellfire because he may have insulted someone, hurt someone’s feelings, talked behind their back things they would not like others to know. To recompense these people, his good deeds will be given to those he wronged until all his good deeds are gone and when that’s not enough then their bad deeds would be given to this person. Thus being sent to the hellfire just because he was careless about the use of the tongue. The lesson being keep your good deeds for yourself by being watchful of what you say.
There is no good in any talk except where one asks to give sadaqa or to do good deeds or to bring reconciliation between two people.
The Prophet’s (SAW) Advice: Talk less because of one wrong word we may have to stay in the hellfire for 70 years. Talking excessively hardens the heart, where hearing the words of Allah does not affect it and the hardened heart is furthest from Allah. It is a hadith, do not make talk without Zikr Allah.
A man once asked the Prophet(SAW) how to be safe in this duniya and in the Akhirah.
The Prophet said: 1. Hold your tongue back.
- Let your house include you- spend time in your house with your people.
- Cry in repentance, for your mistakes.
The Prophet (SAW) said that every morning the limbs of our body talk to the tongue and say “fear Allah and do not put us in difficulty. We are behind you and follow you. If you do good, we do good and if you sin, then we sin.”
When asked by the Prophet (SAW), what do you fear most for us? he (SAW) held his tongue.
Surah Fussilat: regarding those who stick to the straight path, “The Angels descend on them and say do not be grieved or sad and receive the glad tidings of Jannat. We are your guardians and protectors in this life and the Akhirah.”
May Allah guide us all in following the Prophet’s advice. Ameen
Importance of Speech
Allah SWT says to speak only good words. There are two Angels, Raqeeb on our right shoulder and Ateed on our left shoulder writing every deed and word of ours. Allah SWT says, anyone who believes should only speak good words or keep silent.
You may receive Allah’s pleasure or his wrath until you meet him, only because of your speech. The Prophet (SAW)’s beloved wife Aisha (RA) once mentioned the prophet’s wife Saffiyah(RA) as a short woman in a simple gesture. He SAW did not like that and said to her that, what you said and gestured could change the water of the sea. We need to reflect how on how we talk and conduct ourselves. May Allah Guide us all.
It is said that if you trip with your feet you’ll probably only hurt yourself a bit and recover but if you trip with your tongue you could loose everything.
Gheebah means taking advantage of absence. Once Prophet SAW asked his companions what is gheebah? They said that Allah and his messenger know best, He (SAW) then replied, “to mention your brother with what he hates”. The Sahabah said, “even if it is true”, and the Prophet(SAW) said, “this is gheebah”. To say what’s not true is spreading rumors and that is even worse. You share in the punishment of gheebah even if you don’t say anything and are only listening to the other person doing so. Correct the person making gheebah by stopping them, if you protect the dignity of your brother or sister then Allah will protect your face from the fire on the day of judgement.
The Prophet (SAW) said, to leave argument with people even if you are right. He said that there is special place in Jannah for such people, who leave argument for the sake of Allah.
We should try to reduce our talk time and try to engage in Zikr of Allah.
However, it is also not allowed that a person should take an oath of silence for the day. An Islamic saying goes like this, “There is no orphan after puberty and no silence until the night”.
On one occasion the Prophet (SAW) was giving a khutbah and he saw one man standing outside in the heat, while everyone else was sitting. He inquired about him and was told that he is Israel, he has taken a wow to stand and never take shade. He had also wowed to fast and keep quiet. The Prophet(SAW) said to tell him to sit under the shade and speak as Allah is not in need for him to torture himself. That is not Islam. Allah SWT says that he does not make any difficulty in religion.
During the Battle of Tabuk, one of the toughest battles, the sahabah had to walk hundreds of miles leaving behind a harvest ready to be picked. Three people said that they are strong and have horses and would go later. They did not go. When the Prophet (SAW) inquired about one of them, someone spoke up and described him as probably being busy with his fine garments. Muadh Ibn Jabal, immediately corrected him and said not to say that about him. Imagine how careful the companions were with their speech and how they corrected the other. The three people were punished by Allah, the Prophet did not speak to them for 50 days. They repented even though a neighboring king offered them a good life as their Prophet stopped speaking to them. They refused and burnt that letter. Allah forgave them as related in Surah Taubah.