Tongue is a very small part of our body. Scientifically, tongue is a boneless muscular tissue which is responsible for two vital functions. One is of taste and other is of speech. Tongue, is in one’s own control and at times moves faster than limbs. Whatever is there in a person’s heart and mind can be expressed by tongue. The proper use of it differentiates the good and virtuous from bad and impious. It is the ability to speak which separates human beings from animals.
Much is said in Islam about tongue. Misuse of tongue lands an individual in hell fire. Prophet PBUH said: “Most people will be thrown into Hell—face down—because of the transgressions of their tongues”. The grave sins of tongue that can lead a person to hell fire are lying, backbiting, cursing, slandering, vain talks and many more. Prophet PBUH said “Most of the sins of children of Adam are from tongue“. There is a popular saying that ‘the wounds caused by tongue are deeper than the wounds caused by the sword’.
One of the hallmarks of upright behavior is good speech which helps one to attain highest desire i.e. paradise. The finest book on the face of the earth says,”Indeed successful are believers those who in their prayer have fear of ALLAH and those who refrain from vain talk“. (Al Muminoon 23:1-3). Prophet said “Whoever believes in ALLAH and the last day should say something good or keep quiet.” [Bukhari]. ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul-’Aziz popularly known as fifth khalifah once said: “whoever knows and realize that his words, which he utters, are part of his deeds, he, surely will speak only with what concerns him”.
Hadith explains the importance of tongue in a very unique way. It says that all the actions of limbs are in reciprocation with tongue hence Prophet PBUH said “Every morning all the limbs of a person plead with his tongue: ‘Fear ALLAH for our sake, for our fate is tied to yours. If you follow the straight path so shall we. And if you go astray so shall we’”. This hadith of prophet PBUH clearly mentions that the actions of limbs are indirectly influenced by the tongue.
A believer should be very watchful while speaking. He/She should think twice before each word they utter. Most of our talking will surely put us into serious trouble. Religious scholars advice Muslims to keep three things in mind while speaking, they are as follows:
• Will this saying of mine please ALLAH?
• Will this saying of mine me bring closer to ALLAH?
• Do my talk, reflect obedience to ALLAH?
One of the companions of the prophet would address his tongue by saying “O tongue, say what is good and you will gain, and keep silent about what is bad before you regret it”. I heard the Messenger of ALLAH saying: ‘Most of the human’s sins are from his tongue.’ [At-Tabaraniyy]
Prophet warned his followers on a number of occasions to control their tongues from harming others. He PBUH said “Guard your tongue, stay in your homes and weep on your sins“.
‘Abdullah al-Khaiyâr one of the Salaf predecessors used to say when he sits with people: “O ALLAH save us and protect us and save the believers from the evilness of our tongues”.