collections khutbah Being Accountable for Our Own Speech
Being Accountable for Our Own Speech

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore

Friday Sermon

25 August 2023 / 8 Safar 1445H

Being Accountable for Our Own Speech

My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,

Let us continue our efforts to elevate our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.), by obeying all His orders, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions. May Allah accept all our good deeds, and grant us His mercy and forgiveness. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.

My fellow Muslims,

Allah (s.w.t) says in the holy Qur’an:

Which means: “Not a word does a person utter (or something a person does) without having a vigilant observer (an angel) ready to write it down.” [Surah Qaf: 18]

This verse encourages every individual to be accountable for all the words that they utter. Consider this, my brothers: Everything we say, every word we utter, will be recorded by the angels. Our words will then bear witness for us, or against us in the Hereafter. If we are mindful of our speech, then alhamdulillah, and hopefully such good words will bring us closer to Allah's pleasure and forgiveness. But remember, the opposite is also true. That is why we must be very careful with what we say.

SubhanAllah. This is indeed a very heavy responsibility that we bear, and it should motivate us to be more careful in our choice of words in expressing our opinions, as well as in our speech. Are the words and opinions expressed true, or false? Are they beneficial, or otherwise? Will they unify, or lead to enmity and strife?

It is worth emphasising that there is no shame in choosing to remain silent when we are uncertain of the facts, or we lack sufficient knowledge on a particular matter. In fact, choosing to remain silent during such times reflects wisdom on one’s part. Indeed, this was exemplified by Imam Malik (r.a) himself when he was posed with 40 religious questions and responded 36 of those questions with: "I do not know".

By admitting that he did not know the answers to the questions, Imam Malik’s rank was not diminished in any manner. It was indeed the truth that he did not know the answers to the questions asked, and that he needed to conduct further research and study before he could answer them.

Indeed, doing so did not negatively impact the rank of Imam Malik, but in fact, even until today he remains famous for his wisdom and knowledge. Furthermore, the books that he wrote remain as crucial points of reference for scholars and students of religion, even to this day.

These are the exemplary manners as taught by our Prophet (s.a.w), as narrated in a hadith:

عن عُقْبَة بن عامر رضي الله عنه قال: قلتُ: يا رسول الله ما النَّجَاة؟ قال: أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ لِسَانَكَ وَلْيَسَعْكَ بَيْتُكَ وَابْكِ عَلَى خَطِيئَتِكَ

Which means: “Uqbah bin 'Amir reported: ‘I asked: O Messenger of Allah, what will save us? He replied: Guard your tongue, let your house be enough for you, and weep over your sins.’" [Hadith narrated by Imam Tirmizi]

As such, guarding one’s speech is an important part of maintaining good manners and etiquette that were emphasised by the Prophet (s.a.w).

My brothers and sisters,

The rapid development of information technology has enabled every individual to have easy and ready access to information. All sorts of information are available online, including information related to an individual's personal life. Additionally, anyone can share their opinions online, and on various social media platforms. The internet gives freedom for its users to express his or her opinion without any limits.

We can see how some individuals then choose to express their opinions freely, without respecting and considering the perspectives of others, as if their opinions are the ultimate truth.

There is no denying that it is an individual's right to express and share an opinion or perspective. However, in our enthusiasm to share our opinions, there are religious principles that we should hold on to - namely, the sense of accountability.

Think first about the soundness and the potential impact of our opinion before speaking or posting online. Remember that our words have the power and effect to influence others. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, by being sensitive and careful with our words, it brings benefit to both individuals and society, inshaAllah.

May Allah (s.w.t.) bless all our efforts to improve ourselves and instil the values of Islam. May we become those who are responsible in spreading the truth, and speak with love in every word that we utter. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.

أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم


Second Sermon

الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.

أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.

وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ. 

عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ  يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.