Friday, March 15, 2013

Truth and Honesty in Speech for attaining Tazkiya



يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waqooloo qawlan sadeedan
Yuslih lakum aAAmalakum wayaghfir lakum thunoobakum waman yutiAAi Allaha warasoolahu faqad faza fawzan AAatheeman [33:70,71]

"O you who believe, fear Allah, and speak in straightforward words.
He will reform your deeds and He will forgive your sins;
And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger,
Then indeed he has attained the greatest success."
 

You hear these ayahs during every Jumah Khutbah and Marraige sermon and they are important.
Read more for details, but the meaning of these ayahs, as explained by Shaikh Husain Abdul-Sattar, is if one is honest, truthful and clear in speech- Allah will reform their deeds (straighten their deeds in another translation) and forgive them and grant them success. Essentially, what this means is if one is honest, Allah will change a person so they no longer commit sins and their deeds are of a better nature. In other words, through the Barakah (blessedness) of speaking truthful words, Allah SWT Himself will make you into a better human being, which is what the goal of spiritual struggle and all the dhikr and ibadah we perform is!!

Therefore, it is important to always speak the truth, especially when it is hard to do so, and in doing so, Allah SWT will help us in our tazkiya and spiritual development. This represents a CORE teaching in our religion!

Every jumu’ah we hear the khateeb read the verse:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا
Believers! Have conciousness [and fear] of Allah and say ‘qawlan sadeeda (33:70)
 
What is the meaning of the word: 'qawlan sadeeda'?

سَدِيدًاis from Sadd: seen-daal-daal (س د د), which literally means wall, that has no space in it, or gaps or holes.
Qawlan Sadeeda is speech that has no ambiguity, it is clear, it is straight–like the wall, having no holes or gaps. ‘Tasdeedus Sahm‘ is a phrase which means to throw the arrow straight on the mark, when it reaches the bulls-eye; the arrow doesn’t go right or left. So sadeed refers to a speech that is to the point, clear, doesn’t go right or left–not mixed with exaggeration.

Qawlan Sadeeda gives a vast meaning:
1- a statement that is true.
2- a statement that is proper and appropriate. It is possible you may say a 100% true statement but it’s not appropriate.
Say that which is in accordance to reality, it is not reduced, increased and it is accurate.
 
What is the benefit of having taqwa and saying qawlan sadeeda?  
The next verse says:
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ He will reform your deeds. What does this mean? It means that Allah azza wa jal will accept your deeds.
وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ And He will forgive your sins; Allah will cover and forgive your past sins, your future sins and those you do due to forgetfulness.
وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger:
فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا Then indeed he has attained the greatest success. Meaning he has attained his ultimate goal.
May Allah azza wa jal make us among those who say qawlan sadeeda and those who acheive the greatest success, Ameen.

Here are different ways to understand honesty, truthfulness and what qawlan sadeeda implies in our daily lives:

-honesty in thinking to bring about good thinking
-honesty in advice with sincerity
-honesty with your soul with islamic beliefs
-honesty with others in not being a hypocrite
-honesty in questions means good answers
-honesty in honoring a contract or covenant
-truthfulness in reciting the book of Allah- the truest words of all
-truthfulness in using the book of Allah for dawah and not using your own words
-truthfulness in saying dhikr, because dhikr is the most true thing
-truthfulness in saying kalimah which takes you to Jannah, just as all truthful words lead to somewhere, while lies are a dead-end
-truthfulness in your lifestyle and how you live to be true to the truth as a testimony to the veracity of the truth you live upon
-truthfulness being related to words of wisdom, Sunnah and Quran with accuracy
-truthfulness as being worried about your truthfulness as a sign of your being true to the truth
-truthfulness in being true not just to the words you are about to say, but the whether those words are true and fitting to the time, place, appropriateness, and to whom you are saying (think of ‘nasiha’- giving spiritual counsel advice)
-truthfulness in saying what is always best
-lying as a harm to others
-lying as a confusion
-lying as a distortion
-lying as a fib, inaccuracy, blurring
-lying as an equivocation
-lying as not speaking a truth earlier
-straightforward speech in being direct and clear
-straightforward speech in people understanding what you meant

-honesty is therefore a “process of being” because this has not just to do with the tongue but the mental tongue as well, the language is of supreme importance in all the social sciences and this is because it is tied to cognition and thinking and more importantly to all types of “transformational change.”

-when one hears a foreign language, it is like seeing the outside architecture of a building, the sharpness and the softness, the speed and narrowness, the perceived intent, all from a lack of understanding of the nature of the language, but yet it tells us something, but when a person speaks that language it is as if they have entered that building and their familiarity with the inner design (etymology, word choice, patterns, ) is governed by their intellectual honesty- hence from here, they may see the sun setting when in fact it is rising because they have convinced themselves…language is like the needle of a compass while honesty is the field telling you which way is north.

And Allah is the Haqq- the TRUTH. What more needs to be said?

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

Taken with slight modifications from http://muslimology.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/the-virtue-of-qawlan-sadeeda/

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