Fruits for the Week

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I was thinking about factors that cause hatred and arguments between people and make them cumbersome for each other,

such that one may not even like to see or be in someone’s company, or travel with him, or even attend his wedding. I discovered that it is the tongue that causes a man to stoop to such a level. How often brothers or couples quarrel all because of verbal abuse, backbiting or insults!


When we are able to deliver our thoughts to others with beautiful manners, why then resort to horrible ones?


There was once a king who saw in a dream that all his teeth had fallen out. He called a dream-interpreter, told him what he saw in the dream, and asked him to interpret it.

When the interpreter heard the dream his complexion changed and he began to repeat, “Allah’s refuge is sought! Allah’s refuge is sought!” The interpreter said,” After many years pass, your wife and children will die and you will be all alone in your kingdom!”


The king screamed, became furious, and began to hurl abuses and insults. He then ordered that the interpreter be imprisoned and called another interpreter, related to him what he saw in the dream and asked him for his interpretation.


The dream interpreter smiled and said,” Glad tidings, dear king!” The king said,” What is the interpretation of the dream?” The interpreter said,” It means that you will live for long – so long that you will be the last of your family to die, and you will remain a king your entire life.”


The king became very pleased, showered him with gifts and remained content with him whilst angry with the first dream-interpreter. If you contemplate, you will realize that both of the interpretations were the same, the difference was in the way in which the interpretation was conveyed. Hence, the tongue is the master.


The Prophet (saw) said in a hadith,” When the son of Adam wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts humble themselves in front of the tongue and say, ’Fear Allah with regards to our right! Our wellbeing depends on you. If remain upright, so shall we. If you become crooked so shall we.’” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi) Yes, by Allah, the tongue is master. It is master as it delivers the Friday sermon. It is master as it rectifies people’s relationships. It is master as it bargains in the market places. It is master as it debates in a court of law. However, this does not mean that if a person loses his tongue his life ends. Rather, those with strong determination remain heroes, no matter how many difficulties they lose.


A person may utter a callus word that displeases Allah for which He will be angry with him until the day He meets him. This is why the Prophet (saw) warned people from uttering something callously without contemplating its consequences. Not controlling the tongue may lead one to his own destruction. Guard your tongue, O man! Do not let it nip you, for it is a serpent! How many victims of their tongues rest in their graves, whom even the bravest of men, would dread to meet! How many women have been divorced by their husbands merely due to the tongue! A man falls into argument with his wife, and she begins to repeatedly challenge him,” Divorce me! I challenge you to divorce me! Divorce me if you are a man!” He would order her to be silent, and perhaps shout at and scold her. When things get out of hands, he destroys his own household by eventually telling her that she is indeed divorced.


For this reason, the Prophet (saw) advised that when a person gets angry, he should observe silence, because he otherwise would not be able to control his tongue.

Ibn Jauzy said,” It is amazing how many people are strong enough to abstain from consuming unlawful wealth, fornication and theft and yet are unable to abstain from moving their tongues. You will see such people speaking ill of others and unable to prevent themselves from doing so.”


(By Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rahman Al-Arifi)

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