إِذَا تَمَّ الْعَقْلُ نَقَصَ الْكَلاَمُ۔

As intelligence increases, speech decreases.



As intelligence increases, speech decreases.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #71)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be 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,

As intelligence increases, speech decreases.

This impactful Hadith emphasizes the importance of wisdom and restraint in our speech. Let us delve deeper into the meaning of this Hadith in light of the Quran.

The word (aql) "عَقْلُ" in this Hadith refers to intelligence or intellect. It is the faculty of reasoning and understanding that distinguishes humans from other creatures. As our intelligence grows and develops, we gain a deeper understanding of the world around us and the consequences of our words and actions.

The word (kalam) "كَلاَمُ" refers to speech or words. It encompasses both verbal and written communication. Our speech is a powerful tool that can be used for good or harm. It has the potential to inspire, educate, and bring people together, but it can also cause division, hurt, and misunderstanding.

The Hadith teaches us that as our intelligence increases, our inclination to speak unnecessarily or impulsively decreases. This is because a person with true intelligence understands the weight and impact of their words. They recognize that silence can be more powerful than speech and that speaking less often allows for more thoughtful and meaningful communication.

The Quran supports this concept of controlling our speech and using it wisely. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Isra (17:53),

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.

This verse encourages us to choose our words carefully and speak in a manner that is best. It reminds us that Satan seeks to create discord and division through our speech, and we must guard against falling into his traps. By exercising restraint and speaking with wisdom, we can avoid unnecessary conflicts and promote unity among Muslims.

Another verse that aligns with the Hadith is found in Surah Al-Qalam (68:4), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

And indeed, you are of a great moral character.

This verse refers to the character of the Prophet Muhammad (), who was known for his wisdom, patience, and measured speech. It serves as a reminder for us to emulate his example and strive for excellence in our own conduct and communication.

When we reflect on the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), we realize that it encourages us to cultivate intelligence and wisdom. It urges us to think before we speak, to weigh our words carefully, and to use our speech for positive purposes. By doing so, we can foster understanding, build bridges, and contribute to a more harmonious Muslim community.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the importance of intelligence and restraint in our speech. It reminds us that as our intelligence increases, our inclination to speak unnecessarily decreases. By aligning our speech with the teachings of the Quran and emulating the example of the Prophet Muhammad (), we can harness the power of our words for the betterment of ourselves and the Muslim ummah. May Allah (تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to speak with wisdom and the understanding to use our words for good.

. : . (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.)

Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.