In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful

You should consider your speech part of your deeds to survive:

Dear brothers, the following Prophetic Hadith teaches us something we need. The Prophet PBUH said:

(A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.)

 

 

It is the importance of the word we utter. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high)* Giving its fruit at all times,﴿ 

[Ibrahim, 24-25]

﴾And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth having no stability.﴿ 

[Ibrahim, 26]

He, who considers the words he speaks part of the deeds he does will survive.

(The faith of a man cannot be straight unless his heart is straight, and his heart cannot be straight unless his tongue becomes straight. "He will not enter Jannah whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct.)

[Ahmad, on the authority of Anas]


Hence:

(A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.)

The word is very influential:


Dear brothers, it is not only the word we speak, for sometimes it is a gesture, a node, an eye rolling or a face we make which may be as harmful as the word we say.

A man once was engaged to a woman, and upon knowing so, his friend made a gesture (indicating that she is not that good), so he divorced her. That friend might not have meant for that to happen, but the divorce was due to his gesture.

(The Prophet PBUH said, "A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.")

[Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Abi Hurairah]

I read once in an article this statement "Being moral indicates your weakness, and sticking to morality reflects your weakness". These are just words, but they are destructive like a lethal weapon. This is the twisted logic of the powerful people. Therefore, the word leaves an influential effect. The Prophet PBUH said:

(Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Many a person with shaggy and dusty hair, dusty and driven away from doors (because of their poverty and shabby clothes) were to swear by Allah (that something would happen), Allah will certainly make it happen".)

[Muslim, on the authority of Abi Hurairah]

These words sooth the hearts:

(Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Many a person with shaggy and dusty hair, dusty and driven away from doors (because of their poverty and shabby clothes) were to swear by Allah (that something would happen), Allah will certainly make it happen".)

[Muslim, on the authority of Abi Hurairah].

﴾O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious)]. ﴿ 

[Al-Hujuraat, 13]

O man control your tongue, 
or it bites you like a snake
How many people were killed by their tongues 
although many heroes used to fear these tongues

 

Man learns orally or by following a role model:


The word is part of man's deeds. One word might bring together what is disunited, and another might disunite what is combined. Thus, the believer should control his tongue. In some Islamic households, 40 years might pass, and you never hear swearing, badmouthing, calling names or dirty jocks. When a child is raised in such a disciplined environment, he will learn from his parents how to control his tongue. If the father sets a good example before his children, he does not need to say a word, for his and his wife's righteousness is enough to teach their children. Man learns from texts:

﴾And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)﴿ 

[Al-Hashr, 7]

Besides learning from texts, man learns from following a good example:

﴾Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad PBUH) you have a good example to follow﴿ 

[Al-Ahzab, 21]

You are at liberty to learn from texts or from a good example. If a man intends to travel from Jordon to Damascus to collect a big sum of money, but upon leaving Jordon, he reads a sign on the road that says, "The road is closed due to accumulated snow", he will go back to Jordon.

This leads us to ask this question: What controls the man with reason? The text he reads does. On the other hand, where do you think the animal on the same road will stop? Will it stop at that sign? Not at all, for it does not read, and it has no reason, so it will keep walking until it reaches the snow, and it will realize then that the road is closed. This leads us to ask: What controls the animal? The reality does. 

Being a man with reason means that you learn from texts, and both the Noble Quran and the Hadith are texts. You are honored by Allah since you have been given this Revelation, and you are honored a second time since the Prophet PBUH explained this Revelation in his Noble Sunnah. When man deals with texts, this reflects how much reason he has.

Take for example the man who smokes, if he reads an article about the harmful effects of smoking (given I am a member of Anti-Smoking Association of Syria), and he realizes that there are more than 3000 toxic substances in one cigarette, he will stop smoking due to the reason he has, so what controls him if he stops smoking? The text does. Other people might stop smoking after they are afflicted with a chest cancer, so those are controlled by reality, and they have no reason. In fact, success lies in realizing the results before reaching them, for the man who has reason reaches these results with his mind and acts upon them before he is involved in those results in reality.

Man's success lies in having people surrounding him: 


Dear brothers, Allah the Almighty says:

﴾There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah (charity in Allah's Cause), or Ma'ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind﴿ 

[An-Nisa', 114]

In another Ayah, He says: 

﴾Secret counsels (conspiracies) are only from Shaitan (Satan)﴿ 

[Al-Mujadilah, 10]

Some people stay late at night with their friends backbiting, slandering and showing off. A merchant may brag about the trip he takes to Europe, and if there is a public servant in this assembly, his heart will break upon listening to the huge amounts of money that are spent on that trip which might equal his salaries for a whole year. Hence, your success is to talk about Allah the Almighty to  bring people around you, but when you talk about yourself, people will break away from about you. 

Pay attention to the following Ayah, please:

﴾And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently.﴿ 

[Aal-'Imran, 159]

Every person who is in a position of leadership, starting with the parents, and ending with the teacher or the manager needs this Ayah in his daily life:

﴾And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently.﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 159]

This means: O Muhammad, Due to this mercy in your heart, and to your connection with Allah, you were kind to them, and because of this kindness, they gathered around you. On the other hand, even though if you are the Prophet, the Messenger of Allah and the best of mankind, they would have been broken away from you had you been severe and harsh hearted: 

﴾And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you;﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 159]

Every father, mother, teacher, professor and manager is in dire need of this Ayah:

﴾And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you﴿ 

[Aal-'Imran, 159]

When mercy settles in the heart, it will be manifested in kindness towards others, and this kindness brings people to you. On the other hand, being away from Allah and being disconnected from Him will leave man with a ruthless heart which will drive people away from him.

Enjoining Ma'ruf and forbidding Munkar is the way for our nation’s excellence:

Muslims are proud of the following Ayah, and it is carved in the Headquarters of the  League of Arab States:

﴾You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad  and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind﴿ 

[Aal-'Imran, 110]

Scholars said, "The word 'were' here indicates that you have become like that due to this Revelation." Why is that?

﴾You enjoin Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah.﴿ 

[Aal-'Imran, 110]

This means: if you relinquish enjoining Ma'ruf and forbidding Munkar, you will lose this privilege, and you will become like any other nation created by Allah. This is the interpretation of the following Ayah:

﴾Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created﴿

[Al-Ma'idah', 18]

When you abandon enjoining Ma'ruf and forbidding Munkar, you will be a nation with no privilege just like any other nation created by Allah. In a Prophetic Hadith, the Prophet PBUH said:

("How will you be if you do not enjoin Ma'ruf (goodness) and do not forbid Munkar (evil)?" They said: "O Messenger of Allah is this going to happen?" He said: "Yes, and worse than that. How will you be if you enjoin Munkar and forbid Ma'ruf?" They said: "O Messenger of Allah is this going to happen?" He said: "Yes, and worse than that. How will you be if you perceive  Ma'ruf as Munkar and Munkar as Ma'ruf?)

[Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya and Abu Ya'la Al-Musilly in his Musnad, on the authority of Abi Umamah]

The gravest matter which might afflict this Ummah is shifting in values. A man during Umar's succession said in a satire: 

Let the virtues, and do not seek them 
Relax as long as you are fed and well-clothed

 
These lines of poetry are considered the worst defamatory one said by an Arab, and the one who said them was locked up in prison on Umar's command. Can you imagine what may happen in the world if these lines are adopted by every Muslim? When man's needs are met, and he owns a house and a good income, and he adopts these lines, he will be trouble  free, and he will not be part of this Ummah. Not to mention, he will lose the feeling of affiliation to the group of Muslims, and eventually he will be self-centered just like Nero who said arrogantly, "After me, the flood". I repeat the Hadith:

("How will you be if you do not enjoin Ma'ruf (goodness) and do not forbid Munkar (evil)?" They said: "O Messenger of Allah is this going to happen?" He said: "Yes, and worse…)

[Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya and Abu Ya'la Al-Musilly in his Musnad, on the authority of  Abi Umamah]

There will be time when Ma'ruf will become Munkar and Munkar will become Ma'ruf.

We need to Apply Allah’s Method in order to reap its fruits:

Dear brothers, let me break to you the bitter truth, but before that listen to what the Jews and the Christians said in the following Ayah:

﴾"We are the children of Allah and His loved ones."﴿ 

[Al-Ma'idah', 18]

What does the Muslim say? He says, "I belong to this great religion", but  without acting upon it, these words are meaningless, simply because what is mentioned in the Quran is the absolute truth which will never change no matter what man says. Hence, these words said by Muslims are like the words said by the Jews and the Christians:

﴾"We are the children of Allah and His loved ones."﴿ 

[Al-Ma'idah', 18]

The Divine Respond is as follows (whether to them or to Muslims who do nothing but say words):

﴾Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" ﴿ 

[Al-Ma'idah', 18]

If Allah had loved them as they assumed, He would not have punished them. Ash-Shafi'i deduced a law from this Ayah; he says, "Allah will not punish the ones He loves."

﴾And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: "We are the children of Allah and His loved ones." Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created,﴿ 

[Al-Ma'idah', 18]

When Muslims brag about being the Ummah of the Quran, the Ummah of Al-Adnan (i.e. the Prophet PBUH) and the Ummah which is honored with the Divine Revelation, they should know that all these words are meaningless if they do not apply the Divine Method:

﴾Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created, He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and to Him is the return (of all).﴿ 

[Al-Ma'idah', 18]

This Ayah completes the Ayat that precedes it.

Following the Prophetic Sunnah protects man from punishment:

When you ask someone for example, "Are you hungry?" He will say, "No, I am not", but if you ask a very respectful person,  "Are you a thief?" He will not be satisfied with answering "No, I am not", but he will add to it, "I am not a guy who takes what does not belong to him." This form of negation is stronger than the first one, and it is called by linguists "the negation of status", whereas the first form of negation is a negation of isolated incident.  

The negation of status implies that it is thousand times impossible that this respectful man could be a thief, and that he never accepts it, never covers it and never allows it to happen. Linguists counted 10 deeds which are negated in this form. Accordingly, the following form of negation in the Ayah belongs to this pattern: 

﴾And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad PBUH) are amongst them﴿ 

[Al-Anfal, 33]

Of course when the Prophet PBUH was alive, Muslims would have never been punished, but how about after his death? 

﴾And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad PBUH) are amongst them﴿ 

[Al-Anfal, 33]

The interpretation is that "As long as your Sunnah (O Muhammad PBUH) is acted upon and applied, it is thousand times impossible that Muslims will be punished." This Divine Promise is only to the righteous:

﴾Nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah's) Forgiveness.﴿ 

[Al-Anfal, 33]

The Muslim is given two shields from the Divine Punishment: The first one is when he applies Allah's Method in his life, and the second is when he seeks Allah's Forgiveness. 

When man is afflicted with a calamity, and he sees it from the perspective of Tawheed, this will be a grace. It is said, "When man does not learn from the calamities that befall him, the serious calamity is within his soul".

Some people utter meaningless words like, "This woman has a bad luck in her marriage", but there is no such a thing as "bad luck", and she should review her manners, for she may mistreat her husband or there may be something wrong with her righteousness. Thus, clinging our mistakes to luck is a rejected logic in Islam. Luck in Islam is mentioned in the following Ayah:

﴾But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of the happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise and in this world of a high moral character).﴿ 

[Fussilat, 35]

Luck here means that the one who gets help from Allah (upon seeking it from Him) to draw close to Him and to know Him is privileged (lucky in that meaning). 

Very impressive supplications:

Before I end this lecture, I would like to refer to one last point. I read a book once wherein the author mentioned three Du'as (supplications), and they were very impressive. 

The first one is: 

"O Allah, I seek refuge with You from someone who may become happier than me because of what You have taught me."

This means that you may interpret a Prophetic Hadith to others, but you do not apply it, then a man listens to it and applies it and survives thereupon. So, this Du'a (singular of Du'as) is very impressive:  

"O Allah, I seek refuge with You from someone who may become happier than me because of what You have taught me."

You should be the happiest person because of what Allah the Almighty has taught you. 

The second Du'a is: 

"O Allah, I seek refuge with You from saying something that pleases You while I am seeking someone else's pleasure."

The third Du'a is: 

"O Allah, I seek refuge with You from making me a moral lesson from which others learn their mistakes."

I beseech Allah to protect your faith, families, children, health, wealth, countries' peace, and I invoke Allah the Almighty to stop blood-shedding in Syria and to make the righteous victorious over their enemies.
 

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations