There is an organ with which we have been gifted and we use it regularly to get through our daily lives. Despite our constant usage, we often underestimate the powerful impact it is capable of producing. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has instructed us to restrain it. For it carries so much more weight than we perceive.
That organ is our tongue. Small in size, yet it can determine one’s fate. How often do we utter phrases which hurt others? How often do we engage in backbiting thinking it’s just a few harmless sentences uttered in secrecy? Do we even realize the benefits reaped by reciting dhikr?
Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“A man speaks a word pleasing to Allah, not realizing that it is worth so many rewards, for which Allah records for him His Good Pleasure till the Day he meets Him, and a man speaks a word displeasing to Allah All-High, not realizing that it leads to so many sins for which Allah records for him His Displeasure till the Day he meets Him.” (At -Tirmidhi, rated it as authentic)
The tongue can drag a person deeper into the Fire as our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that:
“A man speaks a word without considering it of any importance, yet for it he will sink down into Hell further than the distance between the East and the West.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The above hadith stress the importance of taking heed to the words we utter. With the help of Allah, we can control our tongue and steer it towards the right direction through motivation, constant practice and dua. A simple 3 step process can get us started.
Firstly we must guard our tongue. This requires us to secure it from speech which displeases Allah. This is done by leaving the sinful habits linked to our tongue such as backbiting, lying, slandering, engaging in arguments, ridiculing, excessive and useless talk.
Once we have guarded our tongue from sins, we must engage in actions that please Allah swt using our tongue. For instance, by engaging in dhikr that carry heavy rewards.
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Who-ever says ‘Subhan Allahi wa bihamdi hi’, one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea.” [ Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Other actions include expressing gratitude, reciting istighfar, praising others, speaking the truth and phrases that reflect good manners and character.
A phrase which I cannot stress enough – never underestimate the power of dua. Duas can change our lives. And unfortunately many of us find ourselves stumbling across the problem of not making enough dua. Along with our ongoing efforts, we must make dua! We must supplicate that Allah swt enables and makes it easy for us to utilize our tongue in a manner that pleases Him. Do not let the shaitan wither away your hope.
May Allah make it easy for you and I to purify our tongues so that we can worship Him better. Ameen.