Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrates that Nabi (S.A.W) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good, or keep silent.”
Imam Shafi (R.A) understood the above Hadith to mean that if a person wants to say something, he should think about it; if it seems to him that it will not do any harm, then he should speak, but if he thinks that it will do some harm or he thinks that this is most likely, then he should refrain from speaking.
This is like when you’re getting shouting for not completing a chore, and plausible excuses frantically start darting through your mind in vain because out of nowhere, a sibling pops up to say that they reminded you but “she told me to get out of her room and close her door.” Said sibling should kindly keep quiet because they didn’t even close my door fully. Not like they had anything good to say, the tattler.
Then there’s the good-old classic insult for siblings: “You’re adopted.” Not me. I subtly checked for a form of some sort when I was younger, because my 3 elder siblings can be exceptionally convincing, and my parents found it hilarious to add to my trauma. On top of that, I read a lot- My imagination had no bounds. Now I’m all grown up so I do the same to my younger brother (No, but really xD). It’s a cycle.
This is the funny side of it, but really … One comment. That’s all it takes for you to bring persons self-esteem crushing down. It doesn’t even have to be intentional. Our Nafs thrive on foolishness. Thoughtless, impulsive, brash speech; all lead to foolish behaviour.
Abu Hurairah (R.A) reported that he heard Nabi (S.A.W) saying, “A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e. without thinking about its being good or not) and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the East and the West.” [Bukhari]
Al-Tirmidhi also narrated that Nabi (S.A.W) said to Mu’adh (R.A), after teaching him some of the laws of Islam, “Shall I not tell you what is the foundation of all that?” I [Mu’adh] replied: “Of course, Oh Messenger of Allah.” He (S.A.W) took hold of his tongue and said, “Control this.” I said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, will we be held responsible for what we say with it?” Nabi (S.A.W) answered, “May your mother be bereft of you, Oh Mu’adh! Will the people be thrown into Hell on their faces or on their noses for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?”
On the flip side, one should not react to individuals that exhibit such unsightly conduct with equivalent senselessness. Nabi (S.A.W) said: “A Muslim is (such a person) that other Muslims are protected from his tongue and hand.”
Hazrat Moulana Shah Maseehullah [RA] gives an example: “A thief stole the horse of a certain person. He was made aware of the criminal, so he went at night to get his horse. He scaled the wall to fetch the horse but he was arrested for trespassing and theft. He acted correctly by going to collect his horse but the method that he had adopted was incorrect.”
Additionally, there’s that quote by George Carlin: “Do not argue with an idiot. He’ll drag you down to his level, and beat you by experience.”
Remember, you take one step step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
May Allah protect us all and grant us the ability to overcome our Nafs.
Love and Duas,