17:36

The Tongue, They Eye, The Heart

Allah, The Exalted says in The Qur’an;

وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا

“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart, each of those one will be questioned (by Allah).”

Excerpts from Tafsir Ibn Kathir about this ayah:

Do not speak without Knowledge

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “This means) do not say (anything of which you have no knowledge).” Al-`Awfi said: “Do not accuse anyone of that of which you have no knowledge.” Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah said: “It means bearing false witness.” Qatadah said: “Do not say, `I have seen’, when you did not see anything, or `I have heard’, when you did not hear anything, or `I know’, when you do not know, for Allah will ask you about all of that.” In conclusion, what they said means that Allah forbids speaking without knowledge and only on the basis of suspicion, which is mere imagination and illusions. As Allah says:
﴿ ٱجۡتَنِبُواْ كَثِيرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعۡضَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِثۡمٌ۬‌ۖ ﴾

(Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins.) (49:12) According to a Hadith:
« إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّ فَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيث »

(Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech.) The following Hadith is found in Sunan Abu Dawud:
« بِئْسَ مَطِيَّةُ الرَّجُلِ: زَعَمُوا »

(What an evil habit it is for a man to say, `They claimed…’) According to another Hadith:
« إِنَّ أَفْرَى الْفِرَى أَنْ يُرِيَ الرَّجُلُ عَيْنَيْهِ مَا لَمْ تَرَيَا »

(The worst of lies is for a man to claim to have seen something that he has not seen.) In the Sahih it says:
« مَنْ تَحَلَّمَ حُلْمًا كُلِّفَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَنْ يَعْقِدَ بَيْنَ شَعِيرَتَيْنِ وَلَيْسَ بِفَاعِل »

(Whoever claims to have seen a dream (when he has not seen) will be told on the Day of Resurrection to make a knot between two barley grains, and he will not be able to do it.)
﴿ كُلُّ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ﴾

(each of those ones) means these faculties, hearing, sight and the heart,
﴿ كَانَ عَنۡهُ مَسۡـُٔولاً۬ ﴾

(will be questioned.) means, the person will be asked about them on the Day of Resurrection, and they will be asked about him and what he did with them.

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

In this ayah Allah is advising the Muslims to beware of the pitfalls that their speech, sight, and heart may lead them into. For if the senses are not tempered to perceive and act on true knowledge (i.e., knowledge of Allah, His Speech, and The Sunnah) then they can easily be swerved into the lanes of misguidance, oppression, and sins. Allah عزوجل also warn his servants that all this- the hearing, the sight, the heart, will surely be questioned.

How many men and women spend try to delve into matters of the unseen through false interpretations of dreams?! How many mislead themselves and follow their enemy (Shaytan) away from the path of Allah عزوجل through suspicions and other evil whispers?

The one who is endued with knowledge, knows his/her Lord, recognizes His Subtleness in signs, and is ever weary of the Shaytan and his tricks, and also keenly aware of the evil inclinations of their own souls. This is one of the jihads of the righteous that (if Allah grants Tawfeeq) leads to closeness with one’s Lord in this life, a goodly stay in the grave, and the blessed occurrence of seeing Allah’s عزوجل Face. May Allah عزوجل grant us those extreme pleasures. Ameen.

Speaking excessively is a sign of ignorance. For a person who always has too much to say often listens very little to gain any wisdom. Wisdom is granted to the sincere seeker(who asks from Allahعزوجل) ,who pray, who fast, who studies, who has patience, who observes, and who consults those with knowledge (and all this can only be attained by The Mercy of Allah,عزوجل).

In Surah Luqman we find beautiful instructions on how we should guard our speech from falsehood;

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, or the Verses of the Qur’an) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).”

(Surah Luqman, 31:6)

Excerpts from Tafsir Ibn Kathir about this ayah:

The Doomed are preoccupied with Idle Talk and They turn away from the Ayat of Allah

When Allah mentions the blessed — who are those who are guided by the Book of Allah and benefit from hearing it, as He says:
﴿ ٱللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحۡسَنَ ٱلۡحَدِيثِ كِتَـٰبً۬ا مُّتَشَـٰبِهً۬ا مَّثَانِىَ تَقۡشَعِرُّ مِنۡهُ جُلُودُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخۡشَوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمۡ وَقُلُوبُهُمۡ إِلَىٰ ذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ ﴾

(Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah) (39:23). He connect that with mention of the doomed, those who turn away from the Qur’an and do not benefit from hearing the Words of Allah. Instead, they turn to listening to flutes and singing accompanied by musical instruments. As Ibn Mas`ud commented about the Ayah:
﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَشۡتَرِى لَهۡوَ ٱلۡحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ﴾

(And of mankind is he who purchases Lahu Al-Hadith to mislead (men) from the path of Allah), he said, “This — by Allah — refers to singing.”
﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَشۡتَرِى لَهۡوَ ٱلۡحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ ﴾

(And of mankind is he who purchases Lahw Al-Hadith to mislead (men) from the path of Allah without knowledge,) Qatadah said: “By Allah, he may not spend money on it, but his purchasing it means he likes it, and the more misguided he is, the more he likes it and the more he prefers falsehood to the truth and harmful things over beneficial things.” It was said that what is meant by the words
﴿ يَشۡتَرِى لَهۡوَ ٱلۡحَدِيثِ ﴾

(purchases idle talks) is buying singing servant girls. Ibn Jarir said that it means all speech that hinders people from seeing the signs of Allah and following His path. His saying:
﴿ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ﴾

(to mislead (men) from the path of Allah) means, he does this to oppose Islam and its followers.
﴿ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا‌ۚ ﴾

(and takes it by way of mockery.) Mujahid said, “This means mocking the path of Allah and making fun of it.”
﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّهِينٌ۬ ﴾

(For such there will be a humiliating torment.) Just as they showed no respect to the signs and path of Allah, so they will be shown no respect on the Day of Resurrection, and they will be subjected to a painful, ongoing torment. Then Allah says:
﴿ وَإِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِ ءَايَـٰتُنَا وَلَّىٰ مُسۡتَڪۡبِرً۬ا كَأَن لَّمۡ يَسۡمَعۡهَا كَأَنَّ فِىٓ أُذُنَيۡهِ وَقۡرً۬ا‌ۖ ﴾

(And when Our Ayat are recited to such a one, he turns away in pride, as if he heard them not — as if there were deafness in his ear.) means, when these Qur’anic verses are recited to one who is fond of idleness and play, he turns away from them and does not want to hear them. He turns a deaf ear to them as if he can hear nothing, because it annoys him to hear them since he gains no benefit from them and has no interest in them.
﴿ فَبَشِّرۡهُ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ ﴾

(So announce to him a painful torment.) i.e., on the Day of Resurrection, which will hurt him just as much as listening to the Book of Allah and its verses hurt him.

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ

“And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower you voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of asses.”

(Surah Luqman, 31:19)

أَلَمْ تَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً ۗ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُّنِيرٍ

“See you not (O men) that Allah has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent (i.e. Islamic Monotheism, and the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.) and hidden [i.e. One’s Faith in Allah (of Islamic Monotheism) knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise]? Yet of mankind is who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or a Book giving light!”

(Surah Luqman, 31:19)

In his work; “Akhlaq Hamalah Al Qur’an wa Ahlih (Characteristics of the Bearers of The Qur’an)”, Imam Ajurri رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ, gives us beneficial insight on how a bearer of Qur’an should speak;

“The first matter that it befits him to employ is taqwa of Allah secretly and openly, by exercising caution (wara’) with regards to the sources of his food, drink, dress and earnings. He is perceptive about his time and the corruptions of its people, that he may beware of them regarding his religion. He concentrates on his own situation, having the aspiration to reform whatever is corrupt in his affairs, guarding his tongue and choosing his words. If he speaks, he speaks with knowledge when he sees speech to be correct. If he remains silent, he remains silent with knowledge when he sees silence to be correct. He rarely delves into that which does not concern him. He fears from his tongue things more severe than he fears from his enemy. He imprisons his tongue the way he imprisons his enemy, so that he may be safe from its evil and bad consequences. He rarely laughs at the matters at which people laugh, due to the bad consequences of laughter. If he is pleased by something in accordance with the Truth, he smiles. He dislikes joking, fearing frivolity: if he jokes, he speaks truth. He is accommodating in countenance, pure in speech. He does not allow himself to be praised for qualities he has, how then for qualities he does not have? He is wary of his self, that it should overcome him for what it desires, of the things that will anger his Master. He does not backbite anyone. He does not look down upon anyone. He does not abuse anyone. He is not happy at the affliction of others. He neither transgress upon anyone, nor envies him. He does not think the worst about anyone, except for one who deserves it. He loves with knowledge, and hates with knowledge. He speaks about a person’s faults only with knowledge, and remains silent about a person’s real nature with knowledge.”

(Akhlaq Hamalah Al Qur’an wa Ahlih, pg. 19)

It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira رضى الله عنه that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) observed: He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should either utter good words or better keep silence; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should treat his neighbor with kindness and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest.

(Sahih Muslim)

Abu Hurairah رضى الله عنه reported: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, “A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e. without thinking about its being good or not) 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.”

(Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn ‘Umar رضى الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Do not indulge in excessive talk except when remembering Allah. Excessive talking without the Remembrance of Allah hardens the heart; and those who are the farthest from Allah are those whose hearts are hard.”


(Tirmidhi)

In his work; “Spiritual Disease and its Cure”, Ibnul Qayyim رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ states;

“Speech should be preserved and used only for what is
beneficial. One should say only that which is beneficial to
one’s Deen (religion). One should think twice before
uttering a word, and whether it is useful for one’s religion or
not; if there is no gain in saying it, one should abstain from
uttering it; but if there is any benefit in it, one should not
waste the opportunity of saying it. If one wants to give
evidence about what is inside the hearts ( of others), one
should consider their expressions. In fact, the tongue reveals
the condition of the heart, whether its owner likes it or not!”

Yahya bin Mu’adh رضى الله عنه said: “Hearts are like cooking pots with
their boiling contents, and tongues are their ladles. When a
man speaks, his tongue scoops up what is inside his heart;
sweet or sour.”


Anas bin Malik رضى الله عنه reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “A
man’s Iman (faith) is not straight until his heart is straight;
and his heart is not straight until his tongue is straight.”


Abdullah bin Mas’ud رضى الله عنه reported that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, a man is not a Muslim
till his heart and tongue are submissive.”

(“Spiritual Diseases and Its Cure, Ibnun Qayyim, pg. 186)

O those who believe! I admonish myself as well as you to fear Allah in regards to our senses as Allah عزوجل says in The Holy Qur’an:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).”

(Surah At-Taubah, 9:119)

Published by Umm Nadia Taliah Muhammad

Striving to be a faithful servant of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ. Mother of six. Forever a student, In shaa Allah- in the areas of Qur'an, Sunnah, and Islamic Herbal Herbal Medicine.

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