لِسَانُ الْعَاقِلِ وَرَاءَ قَلْبِهِ، وَقَلْبُ الاْحْمَقِ وَرَاءَ لِسَانِهِ۔

The tongue of the wise man is behind his heart, and the heart of the fool is behind his tongue.



The tongue of the wise man is behind his heart, and the heart of the fool...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #40)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

The tongue of the wise man is behind his heart, and the heart of the fool is behind his tongue.

This impactful saying highlights the importance of wisdom and self-control in speech. Let us delve deeper into the meanings of the key words in this Hadith.

Firstly, the word (wise man) "عَاقِلِ" refers to someone who possesses intellect, understanding, and wisdom. It is someone who thinks before speaking, considers the consequences of their words, and strives to speak only that which is beneficial and true. The wise person understands the power of words and uses them judiciously.

On the other hand, the word (fool) "اْحْمَقِ" refers to someone who lacks wisdom and understanding. This person speaks without thinking, often uttering words that are harmful, false, or devoid of wisdom. Their heart is not in control of their tongue, and they speak impulsively, causing harm to themselves and others.

To understand the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Qalam, verse 4:

And indeed, you are of a great moral character.

This verse describes the Prophet Muhammad () as having excellent character, which includes the wise use of speech. The Prophet () was known for his wisdom, kindness, and eloquence in his words.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 11, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) advises the believers,

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them.

This verse emphasizes the importance of refraining from speaking ill of others, as it can lead to ridicule and harm. It encourages us to be wise in our speech and to avoid causing harm to others.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us that the tongue of a wise person is behind their heart. This means that a wise person thinks carefully before speaking, ensuring that their words are in line with their thoughts and intentions. They consider the impact of their words on others and strive to speak with wisdom, kindness, and sincerity.

In contrast, the heart of a fool is behind their tongue. This means that a foolish person speaks without thinking, allowing their words to be guided by their base desires and emotions. They do not consider the consequences of their words and often end up causing harm and discord.

Reflecting on this Hadith, we can see the importance of cultivating wisdom and self-control in our speech. We should strive to be like the wise person, who speaks with wisdom, kindness, and sincerity. We should think before we speak, considering the impact of our words on others. By doing so, we can avoid causing harm and instead contribute to a positive and harmonious environment.

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to control our tongues and speak with kindness and sincerity. May He bless us with the ability to emulate the noble character of our beloved Prophet Muhammad () and the Ahl al-Bayt (عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ). Ameen.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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