Today, I woke up with a very sore throat, a croaky voice and a very dry, hoarse cough. I was dreading this, as I felt it coming for a day or so. Not that I haven’t had a cough or sore throat before, but more due to the fact that I was fasting today and there was a long day ahead of me; fourteen hours remaining to be precise.
I continued with my daily activities and was hoping that I wouldn’t need to break my fast due to the pain and extreme dryness in my throat, which could have been due to an infection.
During the day, it became extremely difficult for me to talk. I was just about managing short sentences, anything beyond that and I sounded ridiculous or wasn’t emitting sound at all.
I made a decision to keep my conversations to a minimum as my throat was now in some discomfort and pain.
We’ve all heard ‘think before you speak’ but many a times we brush it aside or justify what we have to say. But this incident with the sore throat made me think one step further… Towards the fact that we should be minimising the excessive talking and constantly remembering Allah. Each word and sentence that emits from our mouth should be weighed and assessed for its good and evil and as to whether our speech is one that will displease Allah سبحانه و تعالى or one that will please Him.
When I decided to speak less, I was constantly weighing up the necessity of conversing; ‘do I really need to say this, or can I do without it’, #will it make a difference if I say this or shall I just leave it’. Amazingly, it wasn’t only about eliminating speech with would displease Allah سبحانه و تعالى; moreover it was the reduction of speech in its entirety.
It felt to me as though at many a times we are such habitual speakers that we tend to forget the gift of speaking. More importantly, we are so quick and fluent in our speech that there is seldom any time to ponder over the content of that conversation; though it may not be sinful and displeasing it may be a diversion from the remembrance of He who gave us the tongue and speech… definitely to communicate… but at the same time to also remember him profusely.
There are numerous Ahadith from our Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم which mention the detriments of the uncontrolled tongue and how a person can speak a word and through it, either earn the please of Allah سبحانه و تعالى or as easily, earn the displeasure of Allah سبحانه و تعالى; thus earning himself a place in Jannah or Jahannam respectively.
However, in one Hadith the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has clearly mentioned:
وَعَنْ أَبِيْ هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ النَّبِيَّ صَلَى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَّلَمَ يَقُوْلُ:
إِنَّ الْعَبْدَ لَيَتَكَلَّمُ بِالْكَلِمَةِ مَا يَتَبَيَّنُ مَا فِيهَا يَزِلُّ بِهَا فِي النَّارِ أَبْعَدَ مَا بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ””
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه that he heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم saying:
“A person utters a word thoughtlessly and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.”
[Saheeh al-Bukhari & Muslim]
It is clearly evident from this Hadith that at times we speak profusely without realising the words that are coming out of our mouth and without concentrating or giving a though of their detrimental effects in both this world and the Hereafter. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى grant us all the ability to firstly recognise the harms of excessive talking and may He give us the ability to control our tongues and incline us towards His rememberance and refraining from all that is evil. Aameen.