GOOD WORDING

ِAny investigation of the social crises proves that the origin of most of such troubles is the initiatives of wording and the mutual obscenity that interrupt the social relations and arise hatred. On that account, it becomes very necessary, for the interest of individuals and societies, to control one’s wording and habituate on good wording:

“(Muhammad), tell My servants to say what is best. The Shaitan sows dissension among them; he is the sworn enemy of human beings (17:53).”

“… They should speak righteous words to people… (2:83)”

“Virtue and evil are not equal. If you replace evil habits by virtuous ones, you will certainly find that your enemies will become your intimate friends (41:34).”

“Be moderate in your walking and your talking. The most unpleasant sound is the braying of donkeys (31:19).”

“Believers, have fear of Allah and speak righteous words. Allah will reform your deeds and forgive your sins. (33:71-2)”

The Prophet (s) said: “Allah may have mercy upon the servant who utters righteous wording to gain its good result, or keeps peace against an evil to save himself.” ( 1 )

As a man asked him for an advice, the Prophet (s) instructed: “Have control over your tongue.” As the man asked for more, the Prophet (s) repeated the same instruction. In the third time, the Prophet (s) added: “You should know that nothing but the yield s of tongues will turn people over on their nsals in Hell.” ( 2 )

Imam as-Sejjad (a) said: “Good wording increases the wealth, grows up the sustenance, postpones time of death, endears to the family members –or the wife-, and takes to Paradise.” ( 3 )

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “Ebbad! Do you, because you have controlled your stomach and genital parts from haram, feel saved? In His Book, Allah says: ‘Believers, have fear of Allah and speak righteous words. Allah will reform your deeds and forgive your si ns. (33:71-2)’ Nothing of your good deeds will be accepted unless you utter good and just wording.” ( 4 )

“Habituate your tongue on saying the good only, and you will gain its good. Surely, a tongue will follow that on which it is habituated.”

A man asked Abu al-Hasan (a) for advice, the Imam said: “Have control over your tongue and you will be powerful. Do not let others lead you, lest you will be humiliated.” ( 5 )

Chaste wording has its great influence in the mentalities of both the friends and enemies. For the friends, it grows up love, perpetuates affection, and prevents devilish inspirations. For the enemies, chaste wording alleviates feelings of enmity and eases their mistreatments and trickeries. Thus, we find the great personalities practice control over their tongues so as to be protected from flaws.

It is related that four kings spoke in a meeting:

The king of Persia said: “I have never felt sorry for the word that I have not said, but I have many times felt sorry for things that I have said.”

King of Rome said: “I can control the word that I have not said, but I cannot control that which I have said.”

King of China said: “I possess the word that I have not spoken, but the word that I have spoken possesses me.”

King of India said: “How strange those who utter a word that harms them if they say it and does not benefit them if they do not say it are!” ( 6 )

Gossip, nonsense, and obscenity are the clearest evidences on stupidity.

As he passed by a man who was speaking nonsense, Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) stopped and said to him: “You are dictating to the Keeping Angels ( 7 ) a record that will be taken to your Lord. You therefore should say only that which concerns you and should leave that which does not concern you.” ( 8 )

“Much speech leads to much erring. Much erring leads to decreased pudency. Little pudency leads to decreased piety. Little piety deadens the heart. The dead-hearted will be in Hell.” ( 9 )

Imam al-Baqir (a) said: “Abu Tharr used to say: “Seeker of knowledge! Your tongue is the key to goodness and the key to evil. Hence, seal your tongue in the same way as you seal your gold and currencies.” ( 10 )

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “Silence is an abundant treasure. It is the adornment of the clement and the cover of the ignorant.” ( 11 )

It is related that Qiss ibn Sa’ida asked Aktham ibn Saifi ( 12 ) , “How many flaws have you found in man?” He answered, “They are too numerous to be counted. But, I found one trait that may cover all the flaws of man if only he keeps to it. It is control over t he tongue.”


1. Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; 15/2/192 (as quoted from al-Imama wat Tabssira).

2. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 85 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

3. Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; 15/2/192 (as quoted from al-Khissal and al-Amali).

4. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 85 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

5. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 84 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

6. Quoted from Mejani al-Adab.

7. There are two angels, with each human being, whose mission is to record his/her good as well as bad deeds. The angels are standing on the right and the left shoulders of each human being. The angel on the right is charged with recording the good deeds, while the angel on the left is charged with recording the evil deeds.

8. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 85 (as quoted from al-Faqih).

9. Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; 15/2/187 (as quoted from Nahj ul-Balagha).

10. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 85 (as quoted from al-Faqih).

11. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 85 (as quoted from al-Faqih).

12. Qiss ibn Sa’ida and Aktham ibn Saifi were the two Arab personalities well known of their wisdom.

Ethical Role-Models

By: Sayyid Mahdi as-Sadr

P. 160 - 162
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