Just think how many years have we possessed a faculty
as important as speech. How many years have you been able easily to say
a word without effort, or to form any sentence you wanted to? Without
a doubt, you will answer, "It has been many years." However, it probably
will not have occurred to most people to ask themselves such a question,
because speech is a faculty most of us are born with, and therefore, often
merely taken for granted.
Most are able to speak as much or as little as they want, thanks to this
God-given ability, and, it would seem, in general, people have become
so accustomed to it that they fail to take into account the importance
Rather, it is of an importance that everyone should recognize; that is,
that being able to speak is a blessing, and that Allah granted such an
ability for a specific purpose. On the Day of Judgment everyone will be
held responsible for every word they have uttered.
Allah created humanity to serve Him. He gifted human beings with intelligence
in order that they might grasp and believe in His greatness; as also eyes
for them to see and appreciate the sublimity of that which He created;
ears that they would listen to His verses being recited, and tongues for
them to exalt His glory and communicate His message. As stated in the
following verse of the Qur'an, "No indeed! We will
write down what he says and prolong the punishment for him. We will inherit
from him the things he is talking about and he will come to Us all alone,"
(Surah Maryam: 79-80) every word a person utters is kept in a record
in Allah's sight. Therefore, just as all are responsible for that which
they choose to believe, and for every act they do, so, too, will they
be held responsible for every word they speak, and receive their due recompense
on the Day of Judgment.
However, most never venture to consider that they will be called to account
for everything they have done on the Day of Judgment: for every word,
and every phrase they uttered. As a result, they are careless in their
speech, speaking without thinking and without recognizing the responsibility
under which they have been placed. Nevertheless, Allah's promise, as He
has related in the Qur'an, will definitely be kept; and, while people
may indeed have forgotten much of what they once said, their words will
be brought before them on the Day of Judgment. With this verse of the
Qur'an: "Standing over you are guardians, noble,
recording, who know what you do," (Surat al-Infitar: 10-12) Allah
points out that the angel scribes write every word that spills from a
person's mouth. In another verse, Allah advises us that, just as He has
given everything the ability to speak for itself, on the Day of Judgment,
He will give people's skins the ability to speak and permit them to bear
witness to what they had done:
They will ask their skins, "Why did you testify against
us?" and they will reply, "Allah gave us speech as He has given speech
to everything. He created you in the first place and you will be returned
to Him." (Surah Fussilat: 21)
Thus, no matter the extent to which some people would want to conceal
what they were responsible for saying, or how much they hope to avoid
confessing to them, their ploy will not be of any use. Though they do
not want to give account of what they had done, their skin will, on their
behalf, confess to each of their deeds, one by one. Therefore, in the
life of this world, our goal should be to not utter even a single word
that we will regret in the presence of Allah, or pronounce a single phrase
which we will be unable to account for, and only fill us with remorse.
Surely, it is those who arrive at a full understanding of the importance
of these matters, also living by it, who are true believers. Because their
belief is sincere, the faithful speak in all instances, and at all times,
while being conscious of Allah. In consequence, they will be able to say,
as is stated in the Qur'an "come and read my book,"
as one "who is given his Book in his right hand"
with a clear conscience (Surat al-Haqqa: 19). That is because believers
are those who, being always mindful of Allah, live as Muslims in this
world, and therefore, also speak as Muslims.
The Muslim way of speaking is possible only by submitting oneself to
Allah and the message of the Qur'an. After fully experiencing faith in
one's heart, as well as sincerity and a sense of submission, one will
come to recognize that it is Allah Who grants speech. Allah will inspire
a person to speak in the way of the Muslims, and lead him or her to speak
in the sincerest, most wise, effective and appropriate manner. As long
as people are not sincere in faith in their hearts, they will not be able
to achieve sincerity in their speech through superficial means, such as
by simply paying attention to their words. To be able to speak in the
way of the Muslims, it is necessary to live at all times with a faith
and consciousness of Allah in one's heart.
In this book, we will seek to encourage all to use the power of their
speech in such a way as to be pleasing to Allah, by exploring the importance
of Muslim way of speaking as outlined in the Qur'an. By establishing the
ideal of a Muslim's manner of speaking, as well as the apparent differences
between it and that used by those who live according to a type of spirituality
distant from Allah's true religion, we call upon all people to speak in
a manner that is in compliance with the morality taught in the Qur'an.