Says Allah Ta’ala: “And tell My servants (O Muhammed) to speak in a most beautiful manner.” (Surah Isra)
Nabi Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Whosoever has faith upon Allah and the Day of Qiyamah, should utter good (speech) or remain silent.”
Speech mirrors a person’s heart. Speech is a barometer of character. Speech is the shadow of personalities.
Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Rahmatullahi alayh said that good character is soft speech and kind words.
And good character is that which Nabi Salallahu alyhi wasallam was sent to perfect.
In the Holy Qur’aan, Allah has not only promised to make Islaah (reform) of the deeds of those who speak correctly, He has also promised them forgiveness. From this we deduce that speech is the first step in Islaah (reformation).
Speech consists of uttered words. One word is sufficient to change the direction of one’s life. Do we not see how the groom, by merely saying “Nakahtuha” (I have married her), is bound by the immense lifelong responsibilities of taking on a wife.
Just as all deeds are meticulously recorded by angels, so too is every word we utter documented by them. Thus we should exercise great caution when speaking.
1) Avoid ambiguous speech: The absence of clear speech is the source of many problems. A person may tell someone that “I will meet you tonight.” Tonight may mean anytime after dark. Because of the ambiguity, confusion may arise which could result in bitterness. Similarly, the wife may tell her husband to buy something without explaining the urgency for the item. The husband assumes that he should buy it at his convenience. Result: Big fight! Big problem!…………. Avoidable? Yes, if she had but just used the word urgently! Do we now understand why Allah Ta’ala warned us in the Holy Qur’aan to speak beautifully. Do we now understand how Shyataan uses ambiguous speech to sow seeds of discord and disharmony?
2) Avoid hurtful speech: There is an Arabic adage: “For the wound caused by the arrow there is a salve; for the wound caused by the tongue there is no salve”.
Words can cause tremendous hurt. Words pierce the heart more than a dagger. Words remain etched in the mind long, long after they are spoken. Words linger in the ocean of memories and remain afar from the shores of forgetfulness. Be careful of speaking hurtful words especially to the pious Auliya. Though they forgive readily, Allah does not forget the hurt of His pious servants. History has shown that such mindlessness leads to wretchedness in both this world and in the Hereafter.
3) Do not speak about that which we have no knowledge about: It is not obligatory to have an opinion on everything. One may appear to be stupid if one says he has no opinion on an issue. In fact, making it clear that one has no opinion is a much safer course – at least for those who fear accountability in the Hereafter. Rather appear to be stupid with humility than appear to be clever with pride.
4) Speak kindly: Soak the tongue in the syrup of sweet speech. Flavour it with kind words. Wrap it with the fragrance of soft tones. When Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Rahmatullahi alayh would say “Assalamu-alaykum” it would feel as if had showered roses upon one. Such was the ecstatic joy of his Salaam.
5) Firmness and anger in speech for the Pleasure of Allah is also part of good speech. Did Nuh alayhi Salaam not implore to Allah Ta`ala saying: “And do not leave any house of the Kuffaar intact on earth!” Did Nabi Salallahu alayhi wasallam not warn people about the horrors of Jahannam? From this we understand that kind speech is not only reserved to good news.
Once, whilst Moulana Thanvi Rahmatullahi alayh was discussing a certain Buzrugh, he said: “He is ALSO a pious person.”
Hadhrat suddenly stopped and exclaimed worriedly: “What did I say? I said he is ALSO a pious person. By using the word ALSO, it is clear that I consider myself to be pious. Innalillahi wa Inna ilayhi Ra-jeoen! May Allah save me from the evil of my nafs.”
Only a person who has his sight CONTINUOUSLY focused firmly upon Allah’s Divine Pleasure and the inherent nature of his own evil Nafs, will he be blessed with such insight into his soul.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to speak for His Pleasure. (Ameen)