The Tongue is King! (MUST-READ!!! SubhanAllah!)

18 09 2009

Enjoy Your Life

The art of interacting with people…as deducted from a study of the Prophet Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam’s life.

-A product of more than twenty years of research

By Sheikh Dr. Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Rahaman Al-‘Arifi

© Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2008

Buy Enjoy Your Life: Here!


Chapter 76: The Tongue is King

I was thinking about factors that cause hatred and arguments between people and make them cumbersome for each other, such that one may not even like to see or be in someone’s company, or travel with him, or even attend his wedding. I discovered that it is the tongue that causes a man to stoop to such a level. How often brothers or couples quarrel all because of verbal abuse, backbiting or insults!

When we are able to deliver our thoughts to others with beautiful manners, why then resort to horrible ones?

There was once a king who saw in a dream that all his teeth had fallen out. He called a dream-interpreter, told him what he saw in the dream, and asked him to interpret it.

When the interpreter heard the dream his complexion changed and he began to repeat, “Allah’s refuge is sought! Allah’s refuge is sought!”

The king became worried and asked, “What is the interpretation of my dream?”

The interpreter said, “After many years pass, your wife and children will die and you will be all alone in your kingdom!”

The king screamed, became furious, and began to hurl abuses and insults. He then ordered the interpreter be imprisoned and called another interpreter; related to him what he saw in the dream and asked him for its interpretation.

The dream interpreter smiled and said, “Glad tidings, dear king!”

The king said, “What is the interpretation of the dream?”

The interpreter said, “It means that you will live for very long-so long that you will be the last of your family to die, and you will remain a king your entire life.”

The king became very pleased, showered him with gifts and remained content with him whilst angry with the first dream interpreter. If you contemplate, you will realize that both of the interpretations were the same, the difference was in the way in which the interpretation was conveyed. Hence, the tongue is the master.

The Prophet Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam said: “When the son of Adam wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts humble themselves in front of the tongue and say, ‘Fear Allah with regards to our rights! Our well-being depends on you. If you remain upright, so shall we. If you become crooked, so shall we.” (Ahmed and at-Tirmidhi, Hasan)

Yes, by Allah, the tongue is master. It is master as it delivers the Friday sermon. It is master as it rectifies people’s relationships. It is master as it bargains in the marketplace. It is master as it debates in a court of law.

However; this does not mean that if a person loses his tongue his life ends. Rather; those with strong determination remain heroes, no matter how many faculties they loose.

My friend, Abu ‘Abdullah, is no different to the rest of my friends, but he is-and Allah bears witness to this-the most eager from them all to do good works. He is involved in a number of daw’ah projects, including the da’wah work he does during his work. He works as a translator in an institute for the deaf and mute.

One day he called me and said, “What do you think if I bring to your mosque two men from the institute of the deaf to deliver a lecture to the people?”

I became surprised and said, “The deaf delivering a lecture to those who hear?”

He said, “Yes! Let us come this Sunday.”

I impatiently waited until Sunday. When it finally came, I stood by the door of the mosque waiting for them, until Abu ‘Abdullah arrived in his car and parked it near the main doors of the mosque. He then got out of the car along with two men.

One of them was walking next to him, whilst the other was being held by Abu ‘Abdullah and being led by his hand.

I looked at the first of them to notice that he was deaf and mute. He could not hear or speak, but he could see. I looked at the second one to notice that he was deaf, mute and blind. He could neither hear, nor speak, nor see. I stretched forth my hand and shook Abu ‘Abdullah’s hand. The man to his right-later I found out his name was Ahmad-was looking at me with a smile, so I stretched forth my hand to shake hands with him.

Abu ‘Abdullah then said to me pointing to the blind man, “Great Fayiz too.”

I said, “As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum, Fayiz!”

Abu ‘Abdullah said, “Hold his hand, as he can neither hear nor see you.”

I placed my hand in his, and he grabbed my hand firmly and shook it.

They then entered the mosque. After the prayer, Abu ‘Abdullah sat on a chair with Ahmad sitting on his right and Fayiz sitting on his left. The people were watching in amazement. They were not accustomed to a deaf person sitting on a chair and delivering a lecture!

Abu ‘Abdullah then turned to Ahmad and said something in sign language. Ahmad responded to him in sign language. The people watched but did not understand anything, so I suggested to Abu ‘Abdullah that he translate what he said, as no one is able to understand sign language except the deaf or someone well-versed in sign language. Abu ‘Abdullah brought the microphone close and said, “Ahamd is relating to you the story of how he was guided.” He said, “I was born deaf and raised in Jeddah. My family would neither cater for me nor pay any attention to me. I used to see people going to the mosque, but I wouldn’t know why! I would often notice my father laying down a prayer mat, prostrating and bowing, but I wouldn’t know what he was doing. Whenever I asked my family about it, they would belittle me and never answer my questions.”

Then Abu ‘Abdullah became quiet and said something to Ahmad in sign language. Ahmad then continued with his speech in sign language and suddenly his complexion changed, as if he had been emotionally affected. Abu ‘Abdullah lowered his head as Ahmad began to cry profusely. Many among the audience were affected by this although they had no idea why he was crying. He continued to speak in sign language until he stopped.

Abu ‘Abdullah then said, “Ahmad is now relating to you the period of his life when he changed: how he came to know about Allah and prayer due to a person on the street who taught him out of pity for him, and how, when he began to pray, he felt closer to Allah by imagining the great reward awaiting him due to his condition as well as how he got to taste the sweetness of faith.”

Abu ‘Abdullah continued to relate the rest of his story as the people listened in amazement.

However, I was busy thinking about something else! I would look at Ahmad and then at Fayiz and say to myself, “Ahmad can see and knows sign language, which is why Abu ‘Abdullah is able to communicate with him. I wonder how he is going to communicate with Fayiz knowing he can neither see, hear nor speak?”

Ahmad finished delivering his lecture and began wiping away his tears. Meanwhile, Abu ‘Abdullah turned to Fayiz.

I asked myself, “What is he going to do?

Abu ‘Abdullah struck Fayiz’s knee with his fingers, and there he was delivering a moving lecture. Any idea how he delivered that lecture? Did he speak? How could he, for he was mute! Did he use sign language? How could he, for he was blind and have never learnt sign language! He delivered his lecture by ‘touch language’.

Abu ‘Abdullah, who was the translator, placed his hand between Fayiz’s hands. Fayiz wold then touch his hand in particular ways by which Abu ‘Abdullah knew what Fayiz was trying to say. He would then relate to us what he understood from Fayiz. Sometimes it would take up to a quarter of an hour to understand what he was trying to say.

Fayiz would then sit still, not knowing whether the translator had finished translating or not, as he was of course neither able to hear nor see. When the translator would finish speaking, he would strike Fayiz’s knee once again. Fayiz would then stretch out his hands and grab hold of the translator’s hand and touch it in particular ways to convey his message.

The people remained seated, watching Fayiz and the translator communicating with amazement. Fayiz was encouraging the audience to repent to Allah for their sins. He would at times hold his ears, then his tongue, and then place his hands over his eyes. We would not understand what he meant until Abu ‘Abdullah translated for us. He was advising the people to guard their ears and eyes lest they fall into the forbidden. As I looked at the people, I noticed some people sigh, “SubhanAllah”, others whispered to the person sitting next to them, others were watching with great interest and still others were crying.

As for me, my mind had wandered off very far indeed. I began to contemplate on the faculties Fayiz had in comparison to what the audience were blessed with, and contrasted that with Fayiz’s services for the religion in comparison to that of the audience.

Surely the concern that this blind, deaf and mute person had for Islam was greater than the concern in the hearts of all the audience combined!

Although the man had a very limited number of faculties, he was exhausting himself in service to this religion. He felt as if he was a solider of Islam, responsible for anyone who sinned or fell short. He was constantly moving his hand, as if he was admonishing. For how much longer will you abandon the prayer? For how much longer will you continue to look at the Haraam? For how much longer will you continue with your disgraceful acts? For how much longer will you continue to consume Haraam? For how much longer will you continue upon Shirk? For how much longer? Is it not enough that its enemies are waging a war against our religion? Why do you have to join the war against our religion?”

The poor man’s complexion would often change as he shared what he had in his heart with the audience, who were in turn greatly affected. Although I did not turn around to look at the people, I could still hear people crying and sighing “SubhanAllah!”

Fayiz eventually finished his lecture and got up, as Abu ‘Abdullah held his hand. The audience came to him to greet him. I saw him greeting them and it was obvious to me that he treated everyone equally. He greeted everyone and did not distinguish between rich and poor, leaders and followers. I thought to myself that if only all people were like Fayiz!

Abu ‘Abdullah took Fayiz out of the mosque. I walked by their side as they made their way to the car. I saw Fayiz and the translator joking with each other and thought to myself how insignificant this world was! How many people have not been afflicted with a quarter of Fayiz’s problems, and yet they are still unable to overcome their sadness and sorrow!

How about those who have chronic illnesses, such as kidney failure, paralysis, thrombus, diabetes or other impediments? Why don’t they enjoy their lives and learn to live with the reality?

How wonderful it is when Allah afflicts His servant and then looks into his heart to find that he is still thankful, pleased and yearning for his reward from Him!

Many days have passed, and yet Fayiz’s picture is still embedded in my memory. If Fayiz can be so successful in life and earn the love of people being blind, mute and deaf, then how about the one who has been blessed with a tongue, sight and hearing?

Use your tongue to gain people’s love!


A man’s flesh is not fit for eating nor is his skin fit for clothing-there is nothing in him except the sweetness of his tongue.




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