By Sikandar Azam

Our words and actions speak volumes about our personality. Even the words spoken and the action taken lightly or without prior thinking do not go in vain. They can chase us in life on earth and even in the hereafter; for, they are well recorded with the Lord, Who would make us accountable for our words and deeds.

But those who do not reflect on these facts speak whatever they like and do whatever they wish. They speak one thing at one time and deny having spoken so the other time. There are some persons who try even to justify whatever they have spoken earlier – to the utter chagrin of others. They say that they have spoken so and so as a ‘jumla’ at the election time. Likewise, hate speech is being justified as something legal; for, the speaker was enjoying freedom of expression. And, it is being asserted that hate speech with smile has no shred of criminality. But what would happen when your Lord would ask you why you said so and so?

The Lord commands the believers to ‘say only what is just and true’. (The Qur’ān – 33:70) This divine commandment directs them to speak in a straightforward manner, with no crookedness or distortion; for, saying what is right, proper and accurate would lead to right action and yield divine bounties. The Lord promises them that if they do that, He will reward them by making their deeds righteous, i.e., enabling them to do righteous deeds, and He will forgive them their past sins. He would guide their footsteps, make their deeds sound, and produce good results. Thus the believers should make sure of what they say and what its effects would leave on the listeners.

Speaking what is right also means that it must not be mingled with falsehood and the speaker must not ‘knowingly conceal the truth’. The Qur’ān (2:42) says: “Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.”

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also taught people to speak only the truth and to keep from telling lies. He said: “I enjoin you to be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man may continue to speak the truth and endeavour to be truthful until he is recorded with Allah as a speaker of truth. And beware of lying, for lying leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to Hell. A man may continue to tell lies and endeavour to tell lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.” (Muslim)

Therefore, we ought to be conscious of our words and be truthful, no matter how hard and trying it is. And we ought to take care to choose only the truth and God will love us and reward us for it not only in this world but in the Hereafter as well.

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