Speak Only When Your Words Are More Beautiful Than Silence


By Shireen Husain

Amazing Gift

The gift of speech is one of Allah (swt)’s most amazing gifts, but one for which we rarely feel the need to thank Him.  Some of us feel grateful when we see beautiful images or signs of nature and are thus reminded of the gift of sight.  Similarly when we hear something beautiful we’re reminded of the gift of hearing.

There’s a little piece of flesh in our mouths that’s often taken for granted, yet it’s the one thing that we need to think most about before using it; it can lead us either to hellfire or to the gardens of Paradise.

World Without Speech

Try to imagine a world without speech. Perhaps you’ll be reminded of old caveman movies wherein communication was comprised of grunts and groans, not words. Without words we’re deprived of Allah (swt)’s greatest gift— guidance.

Allah(swt)’s guidance has come to us through the language of the Quran and the  words of His Prophet (saws).  Keeping this in mind, we can only begin to appreciate the blessings attached to our ability to speak.

Beneficial Speech

It’s the capacity to speak that allows us to communicate with our Creator in dua, in repentance, and in remembrance (dhikr). It allows us to recite the Quran, to communicate with our loved ones, to give good advice, to soothe and comfort those in pain, to warn others of the consequence of sin.  It’s through our ability to speak that we’re able to spread the Islamic greeting of assalaamo alaikum and to practice good manners, an essential part of our Deen.

Misuse of the Tongue

However, just as we tend to misuse other blessings bestowed on us by Allah (swt)— using our eyes to see haraam things, for example, or our ears to hear haraam things— we tend to misuse the tongue, without thinking.

We lie, we criticize, we backbite, we use vulgar language, we exaggerate, we falsely accuse others, and we mimic and make fun of people.  This kind of irresponsible speech sometimes has far-reaching consequences on the lives of others and can cause great harm and pain.

Just as we’ll be held accountable for all our actions, big or small, so too will we be held accountable for each and every word that comes out of our mouths, whether it’s just an “uff” or a detailed session of backbiting. Allah (swt) warns us, saying, Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]. [Quran, 50:18]

This is a frightening prospect indeed; during the course of the day, we say so many things without realizing how harmful they are, passing remarks about people being ugly, fat, stupid, or idiots. We use abusive language.

Worse still are the remarks some people make about Islam, the  Quran, about Islamic scholars and Hadith and sometimes about Allah (swt) Himself, never stopping to think that it’s all being recorded and will be presented to us on the Day of Resurrection.

There are also numerous Hadith on the subject.  Sahl ib Saad (ra) reported that Allah’s Messenger (saws) said, Whoever can guarantee for me (that he will guard) what is between his jaws (tongue) and what is between his legs (private parts), I will guarantee him Paradise. [Bukharee]

In another Hadith Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said, Indeed the servant will speak words that are pleasing to Allah (swt) due to which he will be given a condition in which Allah (swt) will raise him many levels.  And indeed the servant will speak words that are displeasing to Allah, due to which he will not be given a good condition but (instead) be thrown into the Hellfire. [Bukharee]

In  yet another Hadith, the Prophet (saws) asked one group of his companions, Do you know who the bankrupt person is? They said, A bankrupt person amongst us is the one who has neither money nor property. The Prophet (saws) said, The bankrupt person of my nation is he would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayer and fast and giving great amounts in charity.  And at the same time, he would come having abused this one and slandered that one and consumed the wealth of the other unlawfully, and shed the blood of yet others and having beaten others.  Then any person whom he has wronged will be given from his good deeds on that Day.  And if his good deeds are exhausted until he clears the account concerning all of the people he has oppressed, the sins of those people whom he has wronged will be thrown unto his account and after that he will be thrown into the hellfire. [Muslim]

The Kinds of Speech Prohibited in Islam

The contents of this Hadith tell us that it’s quite possible that our good deeds may not be enough to save us from Allah(swt)’s punishment, if we have used our tongue irresponsibly. So it becomes essential for us first to acquaint ourselves with the kind of speech prohibited by Islam  and second to train ourselves to think before we speak.

Here are some kinds of speech that Islam prohibits:

  1. Lying
  2. Backbiting (forbidden for the speaker as well as the listener)
  3. Biddah (spreading innovation in religion)
  4. Talking about things that don’t concern us
  5. Spreading gossip
  6. Mentioning the defects of others
  7. Vulgar language
  8. Verbal abuse
  9. Making fun of or mimicking others
  10. Breaking promises
  11. Denying or making fun of Islam, the Quran, the Prophets, scholars and religious personalities
  12. Ridiculing men who wear beards, trousers above the ankles, and women who wear hijab

Abu Hurairah (ra) reports that the Prophet (saws) said, Whoever believes in Allah and the last day, should speak good or remain silent. [Bukharee]

May Allah (swt) accept our repentance for the irresponsible use of this precious gift, the tongue, and may He (swt) make us among those from whom the Muslims are safe.  Ameen.





  1. Muhammad Alauddin May 29, 2013 Reply

    May Allah help us not to use our tongue irresponsibly.
    Jazakallah khair for this excellent post.

  2. Saadia May 29, 2013 Reply

    May Allah Almighty help us to use this precious blessing wisely and may we think before speak amen

  3. nazma May 29, 2013 Reply

    jazakallah for making us realize.i think only the sins which we do using are tongue are enough for us to make way to hellfire.may everyone of us sincerely repent to our lord the almighty.He is Gafoor ur Raheem

  4. Ahsan Khaja May 29, 2013 Reply

    As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
    ALLAH AZ-ZAWAJJAL help us to spread this message far and wide and at every three months interval. Of-course, this is the price of, receiving such a nice message, free of any charge. YA ALLAH, bless the parents of writer with Jannah and forbid them from fire, aameeen. Peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon our dearest prophet, salle ALLAHU alayhi wa sallam. Thank you so much, beti (daughter) Shireen Husain.

  5. shahida May 30, 2013 Reply

    Jazak Allah khair for this reminder,may Allah SWT keep all of us on the right path with proper use of our tongue

  6. Saami May 30, 2013 Reply

    Jazakillah Sister there are lot of things in that which I have never thought about.

    May ALLAH (SWT) bless you and accept our Repentance.

  7. fauza May 30, 2013 Reply

    Mashaallah, makala ni nzuri na inamafunzo kwa wenye akili

  8. fathima zahan May 30, 2013 Reply

    maashaa Allah every article here is an enlightment, may Allah give good health and long life for those people who enlighten us about things that we dont know, alhamdulillah.

  9. amina remmy May 30, 2013 Reply

    Subhana ‘Allaah may Allaah guide us to the right path always and protect our tongues and private parts in life. Shukran jazillah team for the good elaborative nasaha on our TONGUES…

  10. Tajudeen Omotoso May 30, 2013 Reply

    Illaliamaan,may Allah guid and quad our speech action and deed,Jazakum

  11. naziakader May 30, 2013 Reply

    mashaallah great y cant u add this in malayalam language

  12. shirin May 30, 2013 Reply

    Jazak Allah khair sis for the beneficial advice. These articles are a great inspiration to increase eman. May Allah bless you and all muslims. Ameen

  13. Huma May 31, 2013 Reply

    Jazakallah sister most of them they know about these things but never try to follow these things which is prohibited in Islam , there are so many who practice Islam very well but never concentrate on this topic but for whom Allah gives hidaya they are protected inshallah we will try our best to follow these rules ameen

  14. Laila June 2, 2013 Reply

    I loved this article for it is a great reminder, I did know this but it has been a good thing for me to be reminded again. It frightens me how easily we talk bad words without noticing it, how easily we talk bad without remembering the hard punishement we will get. I’m sharing this!.
    Jazaja Allahu Khairan.

  15. zul-ayb July 31, 2014 Reply

    Jezakumullahu kheyren…!

    My coment so when is the timing to talk…? I’ve read a hadith that will advice to give the chance of talk to better aurators and the knowledged one to speak, and evaluate its beneficery.

    May Allah swt healp us improve our personality

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