In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Tongue, a Two Sided Sword
Bani Umayyah and Bani Marwaan committed many of atrocities in the name of Islam during the time of Imam Sajjad (PBUH). At the time when the Umayyad caliphs called themselves after the Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HP), Imam Sajjad (PBUH) illuminated the right path by explaining core concepts of Islam in the form of prayers. Many of these prayers have been recorded in the book of Sahifah Sajjadiyah.
One of Imam Sajjad’s (PBUH) valuable works is the book of Rights. This book consists of 51 rights in which each has vast meanings.
As an example the third item mentioned in this book is the rights of tongue, which we will take a brief look at it based on the narrations:
According to words of Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) the factor that distinguishes mankind from other creature is his wisdom and power of speech.(1) Mankind can solve many troubles in the society by using a good language and can change animosities to friendship. On the contrary, bad language can ruin a society and change friendships to enmities.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) has said, “What other throws people in hell face down, other than their tongues?” (2)
Despite the tongue’s small size, it can carry the greatest and heaviest activities. Controlling one’s tongue can create comfort and peace from divine punishment on the Day of Judgment. If a person fails to control his own tongue, and lets it free, he will create ground for worldly and spiritual catastrophes for his other body parts.
Imam Sajjad (PBUH) has said regarding the rights of this important part of the body:
“It is the right of the tongue to save it from bad talk, and make it accustomed to good and polite use. Speak none other but in times of need, and the times of gaining benefits for this world and the hereafter. Refrain from speaking in vain and redundancy which its result is nothing other than loss. Know that (your) tongue is proof of your brain and thoughts. The reflect of your beautification and adornment with wisdom is your fair and eloquent tongue.”(3)
The Man should consider this organ higher than to apply it for bad words. Allah (SWT) has not bestowed this organ to us so that we use it for rude or offensive language, backbite, scandal and similar prohibited and nonsense issues, rather the responsibility of tongue is to form sympathy, sincerity, and good interaction according to wisdom and religion.
To think of it, if a person’s tongue can be the cause of his success or failure, to which direction is our tongue pulling us towards? Is it a fire that burns all our actions, or is it a lifesaving water that puts out all the other flames?
(The above is a selection taken from, ”A Journey into the Path of Right”, by Ayatullah Yathrebi)
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1. Tasnif Qarar al-Hakam, p. 50, Hadith 330
2. A man came to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Give me a piece of advice. The Prophet said, “Control your tongue.” The man repeated his request. The Prophet replied, “Hold your tongue.” The man asked a third time, to which the Prophet said, “Hold your tongue. Woe on you! Is it other than people’s tongue that throws them face down in hellfire?” (Usul Kafi, vol. 2, P. 115, Hadith 14.)
3. Tuhaf al-Uqul, p. 255.