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The Responsibility of the Tongue

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

His Eminence, the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Shawwal, 27th 1430 H. - October, 16th 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.

 The First Sermon

The tongue reflects the thought


On the issue of Islamic education, Allah confirms, through His Messenger (p.), the importance of the tongue, since man expresses his ideas, as well as his plans and good or evil deeds by means of his tongue. Therefore, He wanted the Muslim to deal with his tongue in an educationed manner, so he would bring up his tongue to say nothing but the good and what benefits people. Moreover, He wanted man's tongue to be faithful in transmitting the right thought to people; which elevates the cultural, spiritual, and practical level. Allah also wanted the tongue to address Him and ask for its needs and to speak to Him and call on Him, so as to remove the burden of its concerns.

Minding the tongue


The Messenger of Allah (p.), as well as the Imams (a.s.), has talked a lot about the singularity of the tongue and its role in man's life. In a tradition of the Prophet (p.), he said: "The belief of a Muslim will not be on the straight path unless his heart is on the straight path – what is meant by the heart in the Quran and the tradition is the mind, meaning that the mind should think straight to think about the right; so no faith of a servant would be straight until his mind thinks straight and his heart opens up to the right path –and his heart will not be on the straight path, unless his tongue is – considering that the tongue expresses the innermost feelings of the heart, then if it [the heart] become straight, the tongue would express the mind's righteousness – so if one could meet Allah clean of the Muslims' blood and money– he would not kill a Muslim or rob his money – and with a tongue that does not abuse their honor – i.e. he would not backbite or defame them or falsely accuse them – then let him do so."

In another tradition, the Messenger of Allah says: "When the son of Adam wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts humble themselves before the tongue – this represents a personification and holds a metaphorical expression – and say, 'fear Allah with regards to our right! – O tongue, fear Allah in what we will meet Him with and in the responsibilities we shoulder – Our well-being depends on you. If you remain upright, so shall we – if you always say what is good, we would remain upright, because we are your followers –If you deviate, so shall we."

The tongue differentiates between the believer and the hypocrite

On the difference between the believer and the hypocrite, the Messenger of Allah (p.) says: "The tongue of a believer is behind his heart; when he wants to say something, he contemplates it with his heart and then utters it – if a believer had a certain idea, he would think it over; if he came to the conclusion that it conforms to the heart and the best interest, then he would speak it out – Whereas, the tongue of the hypocrite is in front of his heart; when he intends to say anything, he utters it before deliberating it in is heart."

Imam Ali (a.s.) also used this expression, for he says: "Certainly the tongue of a believer is at the back of his heart, while the heart of the hypocrite is at the back of his tongue; because when a believer intends to say anything, he thinks it over in his mind. If it is good, he discloses it, but if it is bad he lets it remain concealed. While a hypocrite speaks whatever comes to his tongue, without knowing what is in his favor and what goes against him." The believer contemplates the results and repercussions of his words, whereas the hypocrite does not think about whether his words serve his interests or the people's interest or not.

The harvest of the tongue


Imam Zein Al-Abideen (a.s.) says: "The right of the tongue is to consider it to be too noble for obscenity, accustom it to good, and not to use it except in situations of needs and benefits and to be kind to people and talk good about them." When Ma'ath Bin Jabal asked the Messenger of Allah (p.) about what would make heaven his abode and what would save him from Hellfire, he (p.) said: "Shall I tell you the foundation of all that? – The basis that makes one enter heaven and avoid Hellfire – Ma'ath said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." He (p.) said: "Mind your tongue." Ma'ath said: "Would we be judged based on what we speak?" He (p.) said: "Is there anything that causes people to be dragged on their faces (or noses) into Hellfire other than the harvests of their tongues?!" Those who enter Hellfire and are dragged on their faces suffer from this fate due to the harvests of their tongues, i.e. they speak out what Allah dislikes.

The Messenger of Allah (p.) also says: "The most sinful people on the Day of Judgment are the ones who had dived into falsehood the most," i.e. those who deliver speeches before people using false words, especially those who assume leadership and presidential positions; they tend to cheat and deceive people and encourage them on falsehood.

The Messenger of Allah says: "Allah will torture the tongue more than any other part of the human body on the Day of Judgment – He would not punish the hand, the eye, the ear, and the leg the way He punishes the tongue – The tongue will submit: 'O Allah! Why are you giving me more punishment than the other parts of the body? Allah will then say: 'O tongue! One word came from you – you were in a position where you shouldered a responsibility and people believed your words and obeyed you in what you used to say and order them to do – and traveled all through the east and the west – all over the world – Innumerable disputes and fights raised their heads because of this and caused unfathomable damage to men and land." Nowadays, this is evident and carried out by the American and European presidents, as well the rulers of the arrogant world who shed innocent blood and create disorder everywhere.

Controlling the tongue

Imam Ali (a.s.) says: "A man should control his tongue because the tongue is obstinate with its master – just as an untamed horse kicks the one who mounts it off its back – By Allah, I do not find that the fear of Allah benefits a man who practices it unless he controls his tongue." Actually, controlling the tongue is the peak of piety, so he who does not control his tongue is not pious. The Messenger of Allah (p.) says: "No one would know the reality of faith unless he controls his tongue," since faith represents the straight path whose follower adopts what Allah likes and is satisfied by.

We ought to work to control our tongues, for they are what inflict damage on people and incite seditions and create problems; the thing which we are held responsible for before Allah on the Day of Judgment.

The Second Sermon

American bias

In occupied Palestine, the American – Israeli preparations are going underway with the aim of executing the biggest maneuver in the history of both sides after the news kept on coming on the American Administration's intention to disclose the nuclear secrets to the enemy, despite that the American President declares, in his speeches from time to time, that it is necessary to create a nuclear weapon-free world…

It has become clear that these maneuvers are simulating possible wars that the enemy would wage on Lebanon, or Gaza, or Syria; or as some of the enemy's sources have pointed out that these maneuvers represent a double message of protecting the Zionist entity or threatening Iran. This reveals the true American stand on the region's files in general and confirms that the American policy still encourages Israel, on the one hand, to wage more wars on the Arabs and Muslims, and destroy their countries and infrastructures. On the other hand, the American President is still sending his envoys to the region to repeat their claim of working for the sake of peace, and call on all the parties to resume negotiations, knowing that the course of these negotiations, as sponsored by America, has almost made the Palestinian negotiators lose all the cards they have, except the card of not recognizing Palestine as a national homeland to the Jewish occupiers; which is the ultimate Israeli goal.

The decisive American support to the enemy's entity, at the political and security levels, reveals that the current American Administration has actually got engaged in the project of the Israeli war, rather than getting the enemy engaged in the so-called "American peace project". It also confirms that the Administration's insistence on not condemning the enemy for its previous crimes, just as is the case with the last report whose discussion was postponed due to the American pressures, facilitates the Zionist rightist government plans for new wars. Previous experiments have proven that every Israeli government has its war, especially that the enemy is relieved that the American Administration will prevent the incrimination of its soldiers and officers before the courts and international institutions for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, which confirms once again the incompetence of the American Administration to play the role of the mediator in the region.

Nobel Peace Prize to the "American Wars"

Therefore, on the event of awarding the American President the Nobel Peace Prize, we wonder: does that mean that we are on our way to war, especially that Obama has offered nothing to the so-called peace but sweet words that were always followed by Israel's intensified colonization campaigns and ongoing attempts to judaize Jerusalem, as well as arrests and assassinations, and the Israeli air raids on Gaza from time to time.

Therefore, everyone – especially the Palestinians – ought to realize that the spiteful arrogant policy led by the consecutive American administrations, perhaps the most dangerous of which is the current one, is responsible for destroying the Palestinians' internal situations, and pushing the Palestinian cause into the holocaust of the international and regional game that is meant to put an end to what is left of the cause, in terms of the acceleration of the facts on the ground that are created by the Zionist enemy to deter any real solution that the Palestinians or the Arabs would seek for in the future.

In addition to all that, the American administration, as a result of its policies, is historically responsible for all the turbulences experienced in the region and the entire world. Moreover, when we examine the co-called "arc of crises" in the region, starting from Iraq to Afghanistan, to Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and reaching Pakistan, we realize the scope of the mass crime committed against us as a nation and as peoples that are meant to remain hostages to the others' wars on their own [the hostages] land, or prisoners for the fighting that is incited by international arrogance and prepared for on the regional level. The ultimate aim of these wars is protecting the enemy's interests and securing it amidst a region that is always on the verge of exploding.

False promises to Lebanon

On another level, Lebanon was ordered by the outside to take a break for a while and to accept the choices of the regional understanding that has to comply to the international terms that take the enemy's fears into consideration, whether in the field of security or otherwise. So, Lebanon ought to prepare for establishing internal understandings that are no more than temporary solutions that lead to managing the crisis with new methods that rehabilitate this position or the other and satisfy this leader or that official. Such a solution would suggest to this party or the other that it has accomplished its personal political gains to the detriment of the country's and the homeland's general gain. Moreover, the phase of caretaking would continue even after the birth of a new cabinet, because Lebanon has become practically an employee for others, protecting their game and creating balance for their movement. But, to create balance to the interest of its own people is merely a wish for which the Lebanese ought to strive hard to realize. How could a people be not worried about their destiny after wasting the opportunity of the elections and using it to serve the interests of the big players out there?! This is Lebanon that sees sweet dreams of peace and tranquility when it sleeps, yet it wakes up to its political, economic, and security pains that leave no room for relaxing and experiencing luxury.