How dangerous is the tongue of man, that it has the capacity to ruin him and others. How easy it is for negative words to slip from our mouths in a state of anger. In fact, it doesn’t even take anger to incite the invoking of such harmful and irrelevant words. Our Creator knows this well and states in the Qur’an:
“And were Allah to hasten for mankind the evil (they invoke for themselves while in a state of anger), as He hastens for them the good (they invoke), then they would have been ruined.”[10:11]
Ruined, Allah says. Not damaged, not hurt, but ruined. Do we not realize the magnitude of the words we utter? My dear brothers and sisters, we forget that we do not have the ability to see the hearts of the people around us – that we wouldn’t know if our speech has offended anybody unless he or she speaks up, and guess what? Not everybody does. And we are at their mercy should they remember our words and the hurt we’ve caused in their hearts.
We also know that man has a tendency to seek revenge. Wal iyaazu billah. So let’s seek refuge in Allah from this.
Also under the category of everyday speech, sadly, are complaints. As servants we are constantly being tried and we are no strangers to the need to let it all out – to be heard, let someone know of the burden on our shoulders, that it may give us rest and temporary relief from our worries. We tend to overdo this, don’t we? When we get so caught up in talking that it mixes with feelings like exasperation and ungratefulness towards the tribulations that we are facing, that we forget Who is really listening to us and the One whom, with wisdom, faced us with such a calamity.
So once we’re done complaining, we feel obliged to seek from Him. Usually, only when we are tried, we are reminded of Allah’s Greatness, thus we pray to Him day and night to lift the burden, hoping and begging for His mercy, as stated:
“And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when we have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him!” [10:12]
And once Allah has mercy on us, we thank Him a little, and we move on, forgetting, as usual, His favour on us. Are we not familiar with this?
As dangerous as the human tongue can be, it has its capacity to be a beautiful gift, to earn rewards by the tenfold. To recite the Qur’an and to teach what is right. We were given the ability to choose, so choose good words, even when you are confronted by a situation that incites disagreement and aggression – like what our Prophet mentioned : “whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment, then he shall utter that which is good, or not say anything at all”[Sahih Bukhari], and this supports the verse:
“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.” [41:34]
Thus Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and excuse those who treat them badly. Allah knows best. J
This last bit I’d like to touch on before I end the entry is based on my own experience as a youth of this modern day and age – our lives revolve around friends, social networking sites and so on, and more often than not we are surrounded by negative words and utterances, swearing and cuss words that unwittingly escape our lips, with us unaware of the weight that our words carry. And as youths it is too easy to be influenced by our surroundings, Allah teaches us how to deal with this in the following verse:
“and when they (the believers) hear Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk), they withdraw from it and say: “to us our deeds, and to you your deeds, Peace be to you, we seek not (the way of) the ignorant”” [27:55]
J Peace be to you.