لاَ تَجْعَلَنَّ ذَرَبَلِسَانِكَ عَلَى مَنْ أَنْطَقَكَ، وَبَلاَغَةَ قَوْلِكَ عَلَى مَنْ سَدَّدَكَ۔
Do not try the sharpness of your tongue against Him Who gave you the power to speak, nor the eloquence of your speaking against Him Who set you on the right path.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #411)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he advises us against using our tongues to harm or belittle others. He reminds us not to test the sharpness of our tongues against those who have spoken to us, nor to use our eloquence to undermine those who have guided us.
Let us delve into the key words of this Hadith to gain a deeper understanding. The word (darabalisanika) "ذَرَبَلِسَانِكَ" refers to testing or trying the sharpness of one's tongue. It implies using one's speech to hurt or harm others. The word (antaqaka) "أَنْطَقَكَ" means the one who has spoken to you, indicating someone who has communicated with us. On the other hand, the word (balaghat) "بَلاَغَةَ" refers to eloquence or the power of expression. It signifies the ability to articulate one's thoughts effectively. Finally, the word (saddadaka) "سَدَّدَكَ" means the one who has set you on the right path, someone who has guided us towards truth and righteousness.
To understand the wisdom behind Imam Ali's advice, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of using our tongues for good and avoiding harm to others. In Surah Al-Hujurat (49:11), Allah says,
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. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Isra (17:53), Allah reminds us,
And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.
These verses highlight the importance of using our speech to promote unity, respect, and kindness towards others.
Imam Ali's advice also reminds us of the significance of gratitude and humility. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has blessed us with the power of speech, and it is our duty to use it wisely and responsibly. We should not use this gift to belittle or harm others, but rather to express gratitude to Allah and to spread goodness and guidance.
Imam Ali's words also serve as a reminder of the consequences of our actions. When we use our tongues to harm or undermine others, we not only hurt them but also damage our own character and reputation. Our words have the power to shape our relationships and leave a lasting impact on others. Therefore, it is crucial to exercise caution and mindfulness in our speech.
Reflecting on this Hadith, we realize that Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) possessed immense knowledge and wisdom. He understood the importance of using our tongues for positive purposes and the detrimental effects of using them to harm others. His words serve as a timeless reminder for all Muslims to be mindful of their speech and to strive for kindness, respect, and unity in their interactions with others.
In conclusion, this Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the importance of using our tongues wisely and responsibly. It reminds us to be grateful for the gift of speech and to avoid using it to harm or belittle others. By following Imam Ali's advice, we can cultivate a culture of kindness, respect, and unity within the Muslim community and beyond. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us to speak with wisdom and compassion, and may He grant us the ability to use our tongues for the betterment of ourselves and others.
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