Blessed Friday congregation,
Let us increase our faith and taqwa of Allah s.w.t. by abstaining from His prohibitions and obeying all His commands. We ask Him to grant us good manners and virtue; and we seek His help so that we may continue serving society to the best of our abilities.
Among the many blessings bestowed upon us by the Almighty is the blessing of speech; with it we possess the ability to communicate with one another. Allah s.w.t. gave us this ability regardless of our cultural backgrounds, traditions, languages and physical capacities. Even our hard of hearing brothers and sisters are able to communicate, by Allah’s grace, through sign language. It is thus important that each of us preserve this blessing by trying our best to speak good words - whatever the circumstance. Let us internalise verses 70-71 of Surah Al-Ahzab, where Allah instructs us:
Meaning: “O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.”
How immense is this blessing that Allah has bestowed upon us, that we can easily communicate with one another. By virtue of this ability, we can achieve and fulfil so many of our needs and necessities as human beings. For example, parents can express sense of love and affection towards their children and these children can seek advice from their parents. Similarly, husbands and wives can mutually discuss various issues when managing their family, and teachers are able to impart knowledge to their students.
That being said, there are times when this beautiful blessing is being misused to incite hatred, anger and hostility amongst us. It also has the potential to influence people to disobey Allah through the acts of mocking, insulting, backbiting and lying against others. Our beloved prophet Muhammad s.a.w. tells us:
Which means: "A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing." [Narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi]
These behaviours have no place in Islam as they go against the moral values and disrupt the peace and harmony within any given society.
It is common knowledge that the act of lying is forbidden in Islam. Should this become the norm, it could lead to a widespread circulation of falsehoods and untruths which would inevitably cause chaos within our society. It is therefore critical that we guard our tongues from spreading lies, even in jest. Rasulullah s.a.w. once said:
Meaning: "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." [Narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari]
This hadith teaches us the significance of utilising our speech in the best manner, as it is actually a tool by which we can reap goodness and attain the love and mercy of our Creator. This is the trait of a believer; he either says good words or keeps silent. As the Prophet once said: “And let he who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good words, or remain silent.” [Narrated by Imam Muslim]
Imam An-Nawawi mentions that this hadith contains many learning points. When a person wishes to speak, he must consider whether or not his speech is pleasant, true and favourable in the eyes of his Creator. If he realises that there is nothing to be gained by speaking up, then he must refrain from it.
Thus, it is of utmost importance to be very careful when communicating, so that when we speak up, we only say that which is accurate, true, and beneficial for all.
We must bear in mind that it is upon every one of us to ensure that every word that comes from us, spoken or written, brings about goodness. As people of faith, we must enjoin that which promotes goodness, peace, harmony and happiness. This is, in fact, a way of displaying our gratitude to Allah. Allah s.w.t. says:
Meaning: “But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].” (Surah Ad-Dhuha, verse 11)
We ask Allah s.w.t. to guide us in our attempts to preserve each and every blessing He has bestowed upon us. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.