Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-A’s is reported to have said: Verily a person asked the Messenger of Allah who among the Muslims was better. Upon this (the Holy Messenger) remarked: “From whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe.”

(Sahih Muslim)

A Muslim can never be a tyrant. He is sympathetic towards the life, honour and dignity of his fellowmen. No good society can go with tyranny and oppression. It is essential that every human being exercises full control over his evil passions and refrains from doing anything which may be harmful to others. There are numerous forms of atrocities. Both hand and tongue play an important role in committing such atrocities. An individual having physical strength can make weaker fellows victim of his highhandedness. He can also malign and slander others.

It should, however, be remembered that the hadith covers a very wide range of human life. Every act of highhandedness is condemned whether it is in the form of tyrannical rule or unjust social order or exploitation of the weak by the strong, or danger to the safety of life, honour and property of people. Similarly, every unjust word or verdict or decision which harms the human race or injures the feelings of innocent human beings is an act of tyranny of the tongue.

In a hadith on the authority of Ibn Habban, we find these words too, “from whose hand and tongue, the people are safe”, which means not only Muslims but every human being should be respected and honoured.

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