THE EXPOSITION OF MUJAHADAH OF SPEECH

Allah Ta’laa says:


“He (i.e. man) utters not a word, but a ready guard is at hand.

QURAAN

Rasulullah ﷺ said:

“He who maintains silence has attained salvation”

Ahmad, Tirmidhi

Maalik Rahmtullahi Alayh said that it reached him that Eesa Bin Maryam Alayhis Salaam:

“Do not speak in abundance other than zikrullah, for your hearts will become hard. Verily, a hard heart is far from Allah, but you know not. And, do not look at the sins of people as if you are the overseers. Gaze at your sins as if you are slaves. People are of two kinds: the one who is involved (in sin) and the one who is saved (from sin). Have mercy upon those involved and praise Allah Ta’laa for protection (received).

Abundance of speech hardens the heart thereby eliminating humility and fear. This fact is established by experience. A person becomes distanced from Allah Ta’laa because of the hardness in the heart, but one fails to realize this drift from Allah Ta’laa. The reality of it will be discerned in the Aakhirat. Although the effects of such distance from Allah are detectable here as well, but due to unconcern one fails to realise this. One should not view the sins of others as if one has been appointed over others, but on the contrary one should be with one’s own sins so that compensation could be offered and rectification adopted. Some people are involved in on and others again have been protected from sin. One should have mercy upon those who have become involved in sin and not despise or criticize them. Admonish them with kindness and make duaa on their behalf. Protection against sin is a safeguard, hence one should not be vain and arrogant if one is saved from sin. On the contrary, one should consider such protection as a ni’mat (favour) of Allah a favour to which one is not entitled and be grateful.

Taqleel-e-Kalaam (Reducing Speech)

Man’s conversation apparently falls into three categories:

  1. Beneficial. In such speech is some worldly or Deeni benefit.
  2. Harmful. In such speech is some worldly or Deeni harm
  3. Neither beneficial nor harmful. The Hadith describes this third category of speech as laa-ya’ni (futile , useless). On closer examination it will be realized that this third class of speech belongs also to the second category, viz. harmful talk. If SUBHAANALLAH was uttered once during a time which was squandered in futile talk, then half the pan in the Scale of Aml (deeds) would be filled, If some advantageous or righteous act was done during the time spent in futile conversation, it would have become an expiation for sin and a medium of salvation in the Aakhirat. If not this, then at least such time idly spent could have been expended in some worldly benefit.

Rasulullah ﷺ said:

“A sign of one’s Islam being healthy is one’s shunning of futile acts and futile talks”

In Ihyaa-ul Uloom it is mentioned that a reckoning will be taken (in Aakhirat) of laa-ya’ni (futile) speech. There is therefore no certainty that one will be saved from something which will be submitted to reckoning.

The mujaahadah of reducing conversation is more difficult than the mujaahadah of reducing food and reducing sleep. In eating, preparation to a certain extent is involved, moreover there is a limit to food consumption. Indigestion due to excessive eating will in itself compel one to reduce eating. Similarly, there is a limit to sleeping. On the contrary, conversation requires no effort and no difficulty is experienced in maintaining the tongue in operation. Man resorts to pleasures so as to experience delight and joy. Besides conversation, all other pleasures (huzooz) decrease in enjoyment with greater indulgence. Eating with a filled stomach does not bring about any enjoyment in the food. Excessive sleep too is not enjoyable. But, the enjoyment derived from speaking is limitless. In fact, pleasure increases the more one speaks. Hence, taqleel-e-kalaam (reducing conversation) is most difficult. Inspite of this difficulty, freedom in it (i.e. in speech) has not been granted because of the evils involved in abundant speech. One becomes greatly involved in sin because of speaking much. Reducing speech has therefore been stipulated as a rukn (fundemental) of mujaahadah.

Reducing speech does not mean reduction in such talk which is necessary. But, it means shunning nonsensical or futile conversation even if such talk happens to be lawful. If this is inculcated then abstention from haraam talks such as falsehood, scandalling, slandering, etc. will be automatic.

Abstaining from unlawful discussion comes within the scope of true mujaahadah- mujaahadah which is compulsory. If one becomes accustomed to refrain from idle (althought it may be lawful) talk which falls within the scope of secondary mujaahadah then to a far greater degree will one practice true mujaahadah (i.e. compulsory striving against haraam talk. It is not permissible to shun talk which is necessary since this will result in problems or cause inconvenience and difficulty to the audience.

Explanation of “Necessary”

“Necessary” here means such a need which if refrained from will result in harm. Therefore, if by refraining from a certain conversation the result is some worldly or Deeni harm, then such talk will be necessary. Example of necessary talk is the conversation that a trader has with customers in order to promote his sales. As long as his talk is in the interests of his trade it will be regarded as necessary. Refraining from such talk will result in worldly loss, hence the Shariat gives permission for such discussion. Such necessary conversation has absolutely no detrimental effect of the heart. The heart does not darken the slightest by such necessary talk. The illustrious Auliyaa have experienced that even a full day spent in necessary talk will not adversely affect the heart. An auctioneer can spend the entire day in selling by means of talking, but such talking does not darken the heart one iota because such talk is regarded as necessary. On the hand, a single statement spoken unnecessarily will darken the heart.

The Shariat’s prescription of reducing speech does not mean sealing the mouth, but it envisages that the tongue be kept occupied with the tilaawat (recitation) of the Quraan Majeed or in Thikr (remembrance) of Allah Ta’laa. In this way the mujaahadah of speech reduction will be most beneficial. By means of this mujaahadah the tongue remains detached from sin; the habit of nonsensical discussion is reduced for (or eliminated), and along with it limitless thawaab (spiritual thawaab) is obtained. By constantly engaging the tongue in Dhikr such benefit is acquired, which is unobtainable by maintaining silence.

The Remedy

Prior to speaking, ponder for a few moments. Endeavour to understand whether Allah Ta’laa Who is Hearer and the Seer will be pleased or displeased with what you are about to speak. If this method of contemplation is adopted before speaking, then, Inshaa Allah, sinful talk will not emerge from your lips. If after adopting such contemplation, the nafs urges one to indulge in sinful or nonsensical talk, then confront it with courage and suppress the urge. If any unbecoming talk was spoken then contemplate immediately for it by making taubah (repenting). If the talk involved abuse to anyone, mockery of anyone, scandalling or gossiping about anyone, then after taubah obtain the pardon of the person concerned as well. If for some reason it is difficult to obtain the necessary pardon (e.g. the person concerned may be away or may have died) then make Istighfaar (seeking Allah’s Forgiveness) for the person concerned as well as for oneself. Such forgiveness could be asked in the following way:

اللهم اغفر لنا و له

Allahum-magfir Lanaa Wa Lahu

“O Allah forgive us and forgive him”

Hadhrat Sheikh Fareeduddin Attar (Rahmutallahi Alayh) explains more beautifully, perfectly and comprehensively the benefits of maintaining silence.

He says:

In my mind does not enter any topic nobler than silence. Silence contains so many benefits that they cannot be explained. Silence makes breasts the treasure houses of pearls of wisdom. I learnt this hidden secret from the oyster’s shell.”

The drop of water enclosed in the oyster’s shell is transformed into a pearl. Similarly, man’s breast becomes a treasure-house for pearls of wisdom by means of closure of the lips.

Source: Shariat And Tasawwuf by Hadhrat Maseehul-Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Muhammed Maseehullah Khan Rahmatullahi Alaihi

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