Guarding Words & Choosing Expressions With Care
He ﷺ used to:
- choose his words carefully in his public addresses,
- selecting for his people the best terms, and
- he used to avoid the expressions of the coarse folk and obscenities.
He was neither obscene in speech, nor in deed, nor did he bellow, nor did he speak crudely or coarsely. And he disliked that noble words should be used regarding a person who did not deserve it and he disliked that hated expressions be used regarding one who did not deserve it. –
Do not say: “As Allāh wills and so and so wills” and carrying the same meaning is the saying of one who does not guard himself against Shirk: “I seek help with Allāh and with you” and “Allāh and you are sufficient for me” and “I have no-one except Allāh and you” and “I place my trust and dependence in Allāh and by your life” and “This is from Allāh and from you” and “By Allāh and by your life” and other such sayings in which the one who says them assigns partners to Allāh. –
But if a person said “I seek help with Allāh and then with you” or “As Allāh wills, then as you will” then there is no objection to it, as in the hadith of the three from Bani Isra’īl ‘There is no sufficiency for me (to complete my journey) this day except with Allāh and then with you’ [Narrated by Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah] –
None of you should say: “May shaytān perish”, for if you say that, he will swell so much so that he will be like a house and he will say “by my power I have vanquished him by my power” but say “In the Name of Allah” for when you say that he will diminish so that he will be like a fly.
Similar to this is the saying “May Allāh humiliate shaytān” and “May Allāh disgrace shaytān” for all of these things make him happy and he says “The son of Adam knows that I have defeated him by my power” and this lends support to him in his misguidance; this is why the Prophet ﷺ advised a person who is touched by something from shaytān to mention Allāh and to recite His Name and seek refuge with Him from shaytān, for that is more beneficial for him and more exasperating for shaytān.
Guarding Words and Choosing Expressions With Care
He also forbade that a person should say, after missing something “If only I had done such-and-such” and he said:
Verily it opens up the door to the deeds of shaytān. –
And he guided us to what is more beneficial than that, which is to say “QadarAllāhu Wa Mā Shā’a Fa’ala” (Allāh has ordained and as He willed, He has done).
This is because his saying “If I had done such-and-such, I would not have lost the thing which I lost” or “I would not have done that thing which I did” does not benefit anything, for it does not change what has already occurred, nor does the word ‘if’ solve his problem. –
And implied in it is that if the matter had been as he planned to himself, it would have been other than as Allāh decreed, and the occurrence of something other than what Allāh has decreed is impossible, so his speech includes untruth, ignorance and impossibility. –
And if it is free from denial of Allāh’s qadr, it is not free from opposing it by saying ‘if’. And if it is said “But the things which he wished for are also a part of qadr” it may be said: That is true, but that is of benefit before something disliked which Allāh ordained occurs, and once it occurs, there is no way to avoid it or lessen it.
Rather, what he should do in these circumstances is:
- to face the deeds necessary to remove or limit the damage resulting from the qadr and
- not to wish for something whose occurrence is not to be hoped for,
For that is simply helplessness and Allāh censures helplessness, but He loves intelligence and resourcefulness, which is to undertake the means of achieving one’s aims and this opens up the door to goodness, while helplessness opens the door to shaytān,
For if person fails to do what is of benefit to him, it becomes a vain desire, which is why the Prophet ﷺsought refuge with Allāh from:
- helplessness and laziness for they are the key to every evil- and anxiety,
- the burdensome debt and
- the oppression of men result from them-
All of these things result from helplessness and laziness.
Guarding Words and Choosing Expressions With Care
And it is from the Wisdom of the Almighty, the Most Wise, that He inflicts these two things upon the hearts which reject Him, in order:
- to turn them away from many of the acts of disobedience which they commit, and
- these hearts remain in this prison until they reach a state of pure, unadulterated acceptance and affirmation of Allāh’s Oneness and draws near to Allāh, and
- there is no way to purify the hearts from that imprisonment, except this,
- there is no recourse except to Allāh Alone, for nothing leads to Allāh except Allāh and nothing guides to Him but He. –
And whatever situation the slave finds himself in, it is Allāh who placed him in it and it is thanks to Him and His Wisdom.
And he does not forbid the slave from any right which is his, rather,
He prevents him in order that he may implore Allāh through the deeds which He loves and then He gives him; and
He prevents him in order that he may return to Him and strengthen him through humility towards Him,
- to make him independent of people through his need for Allāh, to restore him by submission before Allāh,
- to raise him to the noblest position and to show him the wisdom in His Ability and the Mercy in His Might. –
And truly, when His forbiddance is in fact giving and His punishment is in fact Discipline.
And when he causes an enemy to be victorious over him, it is in order that he be guided to Allāh and Allāh knows better where and to whom, He gives His Bounty and He knows better where and with whom He places His Message. –
- when a person is prevented from something, it becomes a gift bestowed on him,
- while whoever busied himself with what was bestowed upon him, it becomes a prevention for him from the reward of the Hereafter.