When this topic popped up, I wanted to talk about how there’s been a connection between Quran and tongue. For example, when I recite, the Quran wouldn’t let me continue the rest of the recitation if I make a mistake. Somehow, it’ll make me realize that I pronounced a specific letter or word wrong, so I’d go back and recite again. To my dismay, this has happened to quite a few people I know. It made me wonder about the mysterious relationship Muslims have with the Holy Quran.
The more I reflected on this topic, the more I learned about the connection between the Quran and the tongue. In this post, we’ll talk a lot about what the Quran says about the tongue and why we have to safeguard it.
Tongue Can Make or Break You
Imam al-Ghazali said: The tongue is an excellent endowment from Allah; though small in size, its crime is enormous.
You don’t have to think about it to realize how powerful the tongue is. Unless you use it in a good way, it will definitely push you off the cliff. It takes a lot of courage and effort to stop your tongue from uttering the wrong words in today’s society. It’s not as if you shouldn’t speak when needed. Of course, you should. But getting into unnecessary arguments drains not only your energy but also increases the chance of earning demerits.
In the Quran, Allah says:
Indeed successful are the Believers, those who in their prayer have Khushoo’ (concentration and mindfulness of Allah) and those who refrain from vain talk. (Quran 23:1-3)
If Allah has mentioned guarding our tongue in the same verse where salah is mentioned, we should realize its importance. It is stated as one of the traits of successful believers. Aren’t we all trying harder to become a better version of ourselves? Maybe you have not been controlling the tongue as yet, so weren’t I. But it is never too late to pick up a good habit that’ll pay us now and in the hereafter.
Here are a few things that we can do to control our tongues:
- Think before you say anything. I know it’s going to be hard when you are angry. I’m no saint, I have the same issue, but I’m going to practice to overcome it. Simply, if you don’t find anything good to say, it is better not to say anything at all. Initially, this can be hard, but if you follow it like a habit, maybe you’ll master it before you know it.
- Don’t hesitate to apologize. Many of us don’t like to apologize when we are wrong, and it is not something to be proud of. Being humble and taking responsibility for your mistakes are wonderful traits that every human being must-have. I found it hard to apologize, but the more I understood its importance, the more I realized what a simple word like “sorry” could do.
- Try to avoid surrounding yourself with pessimistic individuals. It is super easy to find negative, narrow-minded people, but it takes time and effort to find people with optimism and broad-mindset. If you surround yourself with people who speak good and share fruitful information, it will eventually influence you.
- Dhikr is one powerful weapon that we can never overlook. If you engage yourself in remembrance of Allah, you are less likely to get entangled in unnecessary things. The more you engage your tongue in Dhikr, the clear and cleaner it becomes.
You don’t have to spend hours and hours to tame your tongue. You have to be mindful of the above four points. With time and practice, you will get there, and you’d be happy that your tongue is in your control.
It is a Blessing But…
While you have to put a lot of effort into controlling your tongue, we must accept that it’s a blessing. It helps us communicate and get our work done. But a blessing becomes a blessing only if we use it that way, so if you use your tongue in a good way, then it is a blessing.
Sahl ibn Sa’ad (radiAllahu’ anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah mentioned, “Whoever guards what is between his jaws and legs, I shall guarantee him paradise. [Saheeh al-Bukhari]
One of the main reasons that most of us lose this blessing is backbiting. The following hadith will provide us a clear perception of backbiting.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) inquired his Companions, ‘Do you know what is backbiting?’ They replied, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, ‘To mention about your brother that which he hates.’ They replied, ‘What if that which we say about our brother is true?’ Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘If there is in him what you say about him, then that is backbiting, and if you say of him that which is not true, then you have slandered him.’ [Saheeh al-Muslim]
And in the Quran, Allah says:
“Do not backbite each other. Would any of you wish to eat the flesh of your dead brother, no rather you hate it!” [Surah Hujarat:12]
In a world where backbiting gets more attention and interest, it could be tough to refrain from doing it. Sometimes, when you engage in a conversation with a group of people, it could be hard to say that you don’t like speaking ill about others. Or, if you say so, they might not find you as an “interesting” person to enter their conversation.
Whenever you get judged for saying “NO” to backbiting, remember that Allah (SWT) has your back. After all, all these judgments and opinions are for the worldly life, whereas your goal is Akhira (Hereafter).
To wrap up, silence is a jewel that you can proudly wear. Speech has three forms: laghw (vain), khayr (good), and sharr (evil). You can decide the form of speech that you want to engage in. The more we talk unnecessarily, the less importance our speeches gain. When we remain quiet and speak only when necessary, people tend to show more interest and respect.
Indeed, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearl, and their garments therein will be silk. And they had been guided [in worldly life] to good speech, and they were guided to the path of the Praiseworthy. [Quran, 22:23-24]