The excellence of a good word

poppy-in-street

(As in my previous post, these are notes from the tafseer class I attend. May Allah reward our teacher and keep her firm upon the truth. Ameen.)

Allah says:

وَإِذۡ أَخَذۡنَا مِيثَـٰقَ بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ لَا تَعۡبُدُونَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ وَبِٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ إِحۡسَانً۬ا وَذِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡيَتَـٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَـٰڪِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسۡنً۬ا وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُواْ ٱلزَّڪَوٰةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيۡتُمۡ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬ مِّنڪُمۡ وَأَنتُم مُّعۡرِضُونَ (٨٣)

{And remember when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, saying: Worship none but Allah Alone and be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and the poor, and speak good to people […]}

[Surah al-Baqarah 2:83]

وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسۡنً۬ا (“wa qooloo lin-naasi husna”): Allah commands to speak well to the people. This includes reminding the good and forbidding the evil but also addressing and treating people in the best way. If you notice something good about a sister, say good words to her: “Allahummah baarik, you look good today.” Say encouraging words and say them in a pleasant way. When you do so, your face must also convey it with a friendly expression.

It is a fact that this is disappearing from society: What is prevailing is mockery, sarcasm and ridiculing people. The media and social media are encouraging it, giving endless ideas and opportunities to make fun of and degrade people. So much so that it has become the default attitude and we are forgetting how to relate to others with kindness and husna, we are forgetting we shoul try to make people happy. Social media teach to highlight any fault that is accidentally exposed or discovered, expose it, make fun of it and make people feel bad. This is not Islam! We are not even allowed to do something seemingly inoffensive as a sign with one’s hand to to signify a person is short or fat. Like when ‘Aishah (rady Allahu ‘anha) did a sign with her hand about Safiyah (rady Allahu ‘anha) meaning “short” (Safiyah the wife of the Prophet – salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam – was beautiful but short) the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) became angry and said : “You have indeed uttered a word which would pollute the sea if it were mixed in it.” She asked Allah’s forgiveness for that.

So وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسۡنً۬ا qooloo lin-naasi husna: Fill your house with good words. Say good words to your husband; say good words to your mother. People have learned that – if they feel a good feeling and are inclined to say a good word – they become embarrassed about that, because it has become very strange; they fear people may be suspicious of them and wonder “what does she want from me???” No, for Allah’s sake, I will try to spread good words and be the first to set the example.

We describe ourselves as following the Qur’an and the Sunnah, then let’s make sure we follow it: “wa qooloo lin-naasi husna”. By realising the commands of Allah present in this ayah you will find the blessings in your life. By realising tawheed you will find the blessings in your life, by being good to your parents you will find the blessings in your life, by speaking gently to your children, by helping needy people… more and more blessings. Your life can change if you abide by these commands. Your life can change for the better.

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