Wednesday 9 September 2015

Guard the Tongue

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana AbdulHamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

The tongue is a great Ni'mat (bounty) and favour of Allah Ta’ala if used correctly; otherwise it becomes a curse if used wrongly.

The tongue, out of control, is worse than a car or plane which is out of control.  That car or plane may crash and life or lives are lost. However, when the tongue is out of control, then it causes such crashes and such havoc and such devastation, that Imaan is lost, marriages come to an end and innocent ones have to contend with suffering and untold hardship.

The word that comes out of the mouth is really no different from the bullet that leaves the barrel of a gun. Once the bullet leaves the gun, there is no way it can return. Similarly, when a word leaves the tongue, there is no possibility of it being taken back. Whilst a bullet hits and causes harm to the physical body, a wrong word uttered hits and injures the heart.

Some people fire the bullets of three Talaaqs at once. One bullet is sufficient to kill a person. One Talaaq is sufficient to end a marriage – but they bring in their own kind of "comparative" and "superlative" and make the marriage, ‘deader’ and ‘deadest’ - with three Talaaqs, all at once.  …And then they seek a "birth certificate" from the Muftis because they want to give life to a dead Nikah – because they want to reconcile with their wives.

No matter how regretful and remorseful the person may be, if the three bullets of Talaaq were fired, the marriage is over.

In handling guns, the basic lesson and the first rule is to consider the gun loaded at all times. We are told to treat a gun as though it can fire at any time.

Even though the gun has a “safety” that prevents the gun from discharging accidentally, a person will be told not to be careless in handling the gun, thinking that the safety is on. Similarly, Allah Ta’ala has also given us a "safety" in the form of our lips.

Despite this measure of protection, we cannot be confident that we have full control of the tongue and can say as we like. There is a need to think before we speak – something which many people don’t do these days. As a result, the tongue is constantly firing words of abuse, vulgarity, gossip, slander, mischief, etc.

On one occasion, when advising Hadhrat Mu’adh ibn Jabal (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), took out his own tongue, held it with his fingers, and said: “Guard this.” – emphasizing that we have to watch our words.

When the tongue is left unguarded, then the consequences in the Hereafter are also very severe.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) related that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e. without thinking whether it is good or not) and, as a result of this, he will fall into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.''[1]

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) mentioned:When the son of Aadam gets up in the morning, all the limbs humble themselves before the tongue and say: `Fear Allah for our sake because we are with you (i.e., we will be rewarded or punished as a result of what you do). If you are straight, we will be straight, and if you are crooked, we will become crooked.”[2]

When a person uses his tongue to swear, abuse or accuse another person, then that person does not grab hold of the tongue and hit, punch or kick the tongue. If the person swears him, it is his ears that have to contend with listening to swearing and vulgarity. So the damage was caused by the tongue but it is the other body parts that are the recipients of the harm and consequences.

We should endeavour to exercise control over the tongue since excessive talk is a general weakness of people and excessive talking causes great, great harm to one’s spirituality. 

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: "Do not indulge in excessive talk except when remembering Allah. Excessive talking without the remembrance of Allah hardens the heart; and those who are the farthest from Allah are those whose hearts are hard."[3]

We should keep before us that we are constantly in the attendance of Kiraaman Kaatibeen, who are taking note of every word and every deed. This reality will assist us in weighing our words before we utter them:

"Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready
(to record it).'' 
[Surah Qaaf : 50:18]

When the tongue is restrained and disciplined, then goodness and righteousness comes forth from it, in the form of Zikrullah, Amr bil Ma’roof, Nahy anil Munkar, Tilwat of the Qur’aan Sharief, putting happiness in the hearts of parents, spouse, children and others. All of which becomes a cause for great, great rewards.

The one who masters control of his tongue and guards his tongue secures for himself Jannah, if he also safeguards his chastity. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whosoever gives me a guarantee to safeguard what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I shall guarantee him Jannah."[4]

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of speaking less and when we speak, we speak only good.

[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
[2] At-Tirmidhi
[3] Tirmidhi
[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari