Between Silence and Speaking, Speaking is a Responsibility
The main axes of the subject:
– Speaking is the best of issues as it is the ugliest.
– The soul’s mirror
– Speaking necessitates accountability
– The most effective weapon
– Words are parts of deeds
We will explain the high gravity that words can cause to man’s soul and society in this world and the accountability behind in the afterworld.
Exporting the Subject:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “The nursery of the words is the heart; their storage is the thought; their corrector is the mind; their demonstrator is the tongue; their body is the letters; their jewelry is the grammar; and their system is rightness.”1
The best of the issues and the ugliest:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was asked: “What is the best thing that Allah created? He (a.s.) replied: Utterance. And was asked: What is the ugliest thing that Allah created? He (a.s.) replied: Utterance, and added: Words caused faces to turn white; words caused faces to turn black.”2
Some words can represent a beacon lighting for the minds, clear confusion, soften the hearts, comfort the souls, help the wronged, prove the truth, gain knowledge, and conquer the arrogant with the rightful words.
Some words can cause doubt, deviate the simple minded people because of their weak faith, reject the calls of the prophets, support the unjust, break the heart, trouble the feelings, frighten the secure, create animosity, cause sedition, and spell innocent blood.
The soul’s mirror:
Now we know that speaking is an expression of feelings, love, passion, loyalty and joy as well as grudge, envy, and vengeance quest.
We also learned that speaking is an expression of thoughts and that which wonders the mind such as wisdom, adopting the truth, embracing the true belief, following polytheism, denial, deviation, straying from the right path, accepting false beliefs and other similar issues.
Now we know that speaking is the soul’s mirror; it speaks on its behalf. Therefore, the best part of the soul is mirrored by words likewise the ugliest part.
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “The nursery of the words is the heart; their storage is the thought; their corrector is the mind; their demonstrator is the tongue; their body is the letters; their jewelry is the grammar; and their system is rightness.”3
He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “A man’s image lies in his speech.”4
Speaking necessitates accountability:
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Your words will hold you accountable, immortalized in your register. Hence, say only that which will heighten your grade.”5
He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “When someone believes he will be blamed for his words, he must make a short speech.”6
As a result, now we know that words will necessitate a grave responsibility as it will also necessitate a responsibility for such action. Words will also fill the sheet of deeds for which man will be accountable on the Day of Judgment. Therefore, man must truly give attention to that which comes out from his mouth equally like his given attention to his work. This means he will be seeking salvation and the mercy of Allah (The Exalted) who says: “To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it.”7
The most effective weapon:
The tension that speaking can cause makes from it a deadly weapon, the gravity of which is not lesser than the enemy arrows. Its damage can also affect the enemies during the fields’ assaults.
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Words can be more effective than attack.”8
All that we see nowadays such as the media campaigns, the writings of the columnists in the newspapers and on the network, the presented false reports and fabricated films, the distortion of the truth and falsification of the facts – which all can penetrate the hearts and incite the souls – are nothing but a proof that the word can penetrate more effectively and is a greater peril than any weapon.
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Some words can be me more penetrating than arrows.”9
He (a.s.) was also quoted as saying: “Some words are like the sword.”10
The psychological war is another proof, which we experience nowadays and is being launched by the enemy and world haughtiness against our values and beliefs, our customs and traditions, our leaders and symbols, and is being launched against the deterring weapon that deters the assailants in the media, politics and other methods.
On the opposite bank, there is the task that our media means and rostrums perform with our leaders of the resistance against the ferocious campaigns on one hand and on the other, they fill enemy souls and their groups and inner fronts as well as the lines of their soldiers and war systems coupled with their confusion, and feeling of disappointment and loss against the force of right and the logic of rightness.
All this is nothing but conclusive evidence that the word can achieve a greater effect than any killing or destructive machine.
Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Some words talk for themselves.”11 In other words, they can penetrate the hearts and souls causing wounds in an unprecedented way.
Words are parts of the deeds:
From the aforementioned we can find that words cannot be less effective than deeds. They can even excel regarding influence in many situations. We also mentioned that they will be registered in the sheet of deeds.
Therefore, anyone who knows that his words will hold them accountable must make a short speech and be more attentive.
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “He who sees his words as being deeds will talk less and say only that which concerns him.”12
Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “He who knows when to speak will talk less if it is not of his concern.”13
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “He who knows no when to speak will increase his sins and his hell will come nearer.”14
For these reasons, we must learn that speaking can be more favorable than silence in some situations. That is, silence can also be more favorable than speaking in other situations. Imam Zein al Abideen (a.s.) was magnificent when he replied to a question about which is better, speaking and silence. He said: “Each has its own harm. Therefore, when both are free of harm speaking is better.”
Therefore, he (a.s.) was asked: How can that be O son of the messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.)?
He (a.s.) said: “This is because Allah (The Exalted) did not send the prophets and their deputies with silence; rather, he sent them with words. Moreover, the heaven cannot be earned by silence; the hell cannot be avoided by silence; and Allah’s authority was not obliged by silence. Rather, all these issues were achieved by words.”15
Moreover, regarding the favoritism of silence against speaking, Allah’s messenger was quoted as saying: “Silence is better than dictating evil whereas dictating goodness is better than silence.”16
1- Ghorar al Hikam, by al Qadi al A’midi, Vol. 9830.
2- Tuhaf al Uqul, P. 216.
3- Ghorar al Hikam, by al Qadi al A’midi, Vol. 9830
4- Al Bihar, by scholar al Majlisi, Vol. 71, P. 293, H. 63.
5- Ghorar al Hikam wa Dorar al Kalam, H. 7246.
6- Same source, H. 8124.
7- The Holy Quran: Surat Fatir, verse 15.
8- Nahjul Balagha, short wisdoms, 394.
9- Ghorar al Hikam, H. 5322.
10- Same source, H. 5273.
11- Ghorar al Hikam, H. 5272.
12- Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 71, P. 279, H. 19.
13- Same source, P. 289, H. 54.
14- Same source, P. 304, H. 79.
15- Al Bihar, Vol. 71, P. 274, H. 1.
16- Al Bihar, Vo. 71, P. 294, H. 64.