By: Samsul Nizar
Professor and Head of STAIN Bengkalis
A proverb from the Malay culture serves as a reminder that one’s own lips might become a source of harm or adversity. While it is commonly stated that the tongue lacks bones, it is also well acknowledged that the tongue possesses a remarkable ability to inflict harm, surpassing even the sharpness of a sword. The aforementioned expression serves as a poignant reminder of the intricate interplay between verbal and non-verbal communication, likening it to the deftness of a sharp knife or the finesse of a painter. Engaging in such behaviour can have detrimental emotional consequences for others. Particularly when the individual in question demonstrates exceptional proficiency in constructing coherent phrases, displaying a remarkable ability to manipulate information and employ persuasive embellishments. Although their eloquence may first captivate, it becomes evident that their words conceal a pernicious substance. This concept is reiterated by Allah throughout His divine scripture, indicating that neither the individuals in question nor their ancestors possess any understanding of the matter at hand. The words that are uttered by individuals are characterized by their unattractiveness, as they are predominantly composed of falsehoods, as stated in verse 5 of Surah al-Kahf.
In fact, verbal expressions, including speech and its various forms, can be seen as manifestations and manifestations of one’s internal self or character. This phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that every word uttered is a manifestation of the brain’s impulses and reflects the individual’s stored character traits. Hence, it is inherent that the morphology of the heart and the behaviours exhibited will be indicative of the verbal expressions made. If one consistently engages in excessive speech, it will manifest as a demeanour of His grandeur that is perpetually uttered. However, in the event that the mouth consistently engages in falsehoods and defamation, it can be inferred that falsehoods and defamation will invariably be perpetuated.
The utterances emanating from an individual’s oral or non-verbal communication can be likened to the act of regurgitation. The excretions will serve as indicators of the type and quality of the ingested food. This phenomenon occurs due to the fact that truth and error are only acknowledged and encountered at a comparable level of quality and occurrence by the respective individuals. The veracity of information is contingent upon its source and is typically acknowledged by individuals who align with the corresponding truth paradigm. In contrast, errors are exclusively expressed by those who are misguided and are influenced by the frequency of their misconduct. The present observation pertains to the manifestation of the natural order, known as sunnatullah, as exemplified by the behaviour of oil and water. The oil exhibits a tendency to solely connect with other oil molecules, while water demonstrates a propensity to exclusively associate with other water molecules.
Undoubtedly, the oral cavity (and its various manifestations) serves as an indicator of cognitive prowess. Despite their near closeness, the two entities frequently fail to establish a happy relationship. The correlation between these two aspects should be viewed as analogous to the relationship between two sides of a coin, serving to demonstrate the inherent worth of the possessor. A mouth lacking the attribute of rationality can be likened to a mere parrot. The entity in question uses persuasive tactics in order to elicit empathy, with the sole intention of enhancing its own perceived worth. Indeed, parrots possess a limited capacity to comprehend human language and are unable to effectively process and respond to verbal communication.
Theoretically, the level of intelligence quotient (IQ) is indicative of the quality of cognitive abilities. The findings from the research conducted on an individual gorilla named Koko, who demonstrated proficiency in over 1,000 manual sign languages, indicated an estimated IQ range of 75-95. In contrast, the average IQ of the general human population is typically higher than 100. Irrespective of the advantages and disadvantages associated with this dataset, it is imperative to utilize the unique insights gained from it as a reflective tool for understanding real-life phenomena. Gorillas engage in activities without cognitive deliberation, as their intellectual capacity, as measured by their IQ, is limited. In light of their cognitive abilities, people tend to engage in a cognitive process of deliberation prior to engaging in various activities. There exists a discernible disparity in the cognitive aptitude and behavioural tendencies between the two entities if they are utilized appropriately.
In the contemporary digital age, the efficacy of human verbal communication, encompassing oral discourse and its various forms, has surpassed that of conventional oral transmission. The velocity at which social media activities propagate through written statuses is comparable to the speed of light. It is seen appropriate, within the realm of rationality, for individuals to exercise thoughtfulness when engaging in social media discourse, refraining from causing offence or engaging in slanderous behaviour towards others. The aforementioned statement is attributed to the Prophet, who cautions individuals about the consequences of speaking without due consideration. According to the Prophet’s words, a person may unknowingly utter a line without prior reflection, leading to severe repercussions that may result in their descent into a state of damnation spanning the vast expanse between the eastern and western horizons. This narration can be found in the Hadith collection of Muslims.
Due to this rationale, it is imperative for individuals to employ their spoken faculties judiciously and accurately. The magnitude of the influence resulting from the oral cavity is substantial. According to Islamic belief, every utterance made by an individual will be subject to divine accountability before Allah SWT. According to the scriptural passage in question, it is said that every word spoken by the individual in question is accompanied by the presence of a constant guardian angel in close proximity to them. This assertion can be found in the verse identified as QS. Qaaf: 18.
In elucidating the aforementioned passage, the Prophet issued a cautionary statement, asserting that an individual may articulate a phrase that garners the approval of Allah the Almighty, without anticipating the subsequent elevation in status it may bring. This divine endorsement, resulting from the uttered sentence, is recorded by Allah as a source of His satisfaction, persisting until the day of the individual’s ultimate encounter with Him. According to a narration by Ahmad, it is stated that someone may unintentionally utter a statement that incurs the displeasure of Allah, resulting in the recording of His wrath onto that person until the day they are held accountable before Him.
The mouth, together with its various forms, plays a significant role and exerts a profound influence on human existence. While human lips possess the capability to manipulate or distort information, it remains incapable of deceiving the one who possesses knowledge of the truth. The presence of individuals possessing human lips but exhibiting intelligence levels comparable to gorillas is likely to result in catastrophic outcomes. Nevertheless, in the case of an exceptional human oral cavity, the filaments emanating from it possess immense value akin to gold, so bestowing virtue upon all who encounter them. The Prophet emphasized the significance of controlling one’s speech in order to attain salvation, as evident in his statement: “The salvation of individuals is contingent upon their capacity to exercise restraint over their verbal expressions” (HR. Bukhari).
The strategic significance of the human mouth is noteworthy. The function of food and beverages extends beyond just sustenance, as they serve as a crucial means of interpersonal communication. The extent to which an individual’s IQ reflects their level of civilization is contingent upon the quality of their intellectual capabilities. To do this, it is advisable to utilize oral communication judiciously and only when it is essential. According to a narration attributed to Abu Hurairah, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, it is reported that the Messenger of Allah emphasized the importance of believers in Allah and the Last Day to choose their words wisely or refrain from speaking altogether. Individuals who hold a belief in Allah and acknowledge the concept of the Last Day are encouraged to demonstrate reverence towards their neighbours. According to the narrations of Hadith Bukhari and Muslims, it is said that individuals who have faith in Allah and acknowledge the existence of the Last Day should demonstrate respect and hospitality towards their guests.
The aforementioned Hadith serves as a reminder to use prudence and rationality when utilizing verbal communication, particularly in our interactions with neighbours, in order to foster an environment of comfort and ease. Hence, it is imperative to be mindful of the progression from thoughts to words, words to actions, actions to habits, habits to character, and ultimately, character to destiny.
Utilizing the faculty of speech without rationality, as measured by one’s intelligence quotient (IQ), can have detrimental consequences for both the individual and the broader cosmos. The aforementioned verse from the Quran (QS. al-Ahzab: 58) serves as a reminder from Allah regarding the condemnation of individuals who unjustly inflict harm against believing men and women. Such individuals are deemed to be propagating falsehood and committing a blatant transgression.
In order to ensure the preservation of humans as a manifestation of divine perfection, it is imperative to exhibit the attribute of selfhood through a range of behavioural indications, which include:
Firstly, it is imperative to employ one’s verbal communication and volition in order to dispense guidance and knowledge pertaining to virtuous conduct, rather than engaging in the provocation of repugnance and animosity towards fellow individuals. Furthermore, if the guidance provided is cloaked in the guise of “split bamboo” politics, characterized by the dissemination of defamatory statements with the aim of achieving a unilateral triumph. It is imperative to refrain from employing verbal means to inflict harm upon one another. According to the teachings of Allah, individuals who engage in the act of disseminating negative information or rumors about their fellow Muslim brethren are cautioned about the severe consequences they may face, both in the present life and in the afterlife. This warning is explicitly mentioned in verse 19 of Surah an-Nur in the Quran.
Second, the objective is to elucidate the veracity of the teachings of Allah and the Prophet, rather than to boast about one’s magnificence, benevolence, and desire for empathy (status). Therefore, it is imperative that the oral cavity (and its various manifestations) maintains a state of equilibrium in accordance with rationality guided by altruistic motives. A sound mental state is conducive to moral excellence. However, in instances where the mind becomes afflicted with the ailment of negative thinking towards oneself and others, the evaluation of others is constrained to employing biased perspectives that conform to the desires and directives of one’s inner desires (represented metaphorically as the “coachman” of lust). Furthermore, in the event that the genuine aim to exert control undergoes a transformation towards temporary interests.
Thirdly, it is imperative to employ effective verbal communication and intellectual prowess in order to effectively transmit the message of truth, while ensuring that one does not come across as condescending or patronizing. Moreover, it is crucial to exercise tact and sensitivity in order to avoid causing embarrassment to the one who is being offered advice. If an individual’s heart and mind remain receptive to Allah, they will be capable of accepting the truth. Nevertheless, in the event that one’s heart and intellect have become impervious to divine guidance as mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah verse 7, the acceptance of truth will be hindered while errors will be embraced, maybe even deriving pleasure from them. While the content being spoken is accurate, it is important to communicate it in a more refined manner, as stated in Surah An-Nahl, verse 125. Despite the underlying objective being rooted in truth, the manner in which it is transmitted through verbal communication and its various forms lacks propriety, resulting in potential emotional harm to others.
Fourth, it is imperative to propose an intelligent and effective resolution that does not disrupt the current established system. It is imperative to acknowledge the positive contributions that individuals have made to others, rather than solely focusing on negative aspects. Due to the inherent imperfections of human beings, it might be argued that perfection is unattainable. It is plausible that individuals who are deemed contemptible may possess a greater degree of nobility in the eyes of Allah compared to those who engage in judgment.
Fifth, it is advisable to refrain from regarding oneself as the epitome of righteousness, nobility, and merit. This phenomenon can be attributed to the ease with which the devil can provoke feelings of pride. Life can be understood as a complex interplay of causality and continuity. The attainment of greatness is contingent upon the existence of a preceding process that facilitates the cultivation of one’s greatness. The achievement of success does not occur abruptly or effortlessly, akin to the swift rotation of one’s hand. This phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that each instance of success is an extension of the accomplishments that have been meticulously laid out by preceding generations, as well as the collaborative efforts of numerous entities that have made significant contributions. Numerous instances of perspiration and emotional distress have been experienced. Considerable amounts of energy and cognitive efforts have been expended, resulting in significant expenses and encountering numerous hurdles and instances of defamation. Success can be attributed to the intricate collaboration among multiple entities who have previously demonstrated selflessness in their actions.
Nevertheless, there exist individuals who possess a mindset characterized by a lack of success and a tendency to engage in hasty and ill-considered actions. During times of distress, individuals tend to conceal themselves and engage in handwashing practices. Nevertheless, when faced with the prospect of success and financial gain, they assume the guise of “heroes in obscurity”. The shimmering treasure chests captivate the avaricious gaze. They exhibit a sense of ease and nonchalance, yet they proudly hoist the “trophy” as if they were triumphant conquerors. The individual’s language exhibits a heightened level of eloquence, and their cognitive faculties are actively seeking strategies to get resounding acclaim, all the while endeavoring to find a foundation upon which to shield the “combatants” from being commemorated. Indeed, in certain circumstances, it is posited that these entities may be deemed non-existent or actively seeking justifications for their cessation of existence. This particular character phenomenon exclusively portrays an individual who possesses a discerning palate and exhibits behaviors that have the potential to undermine societal structures and human etiquette. The individual possesses the ability solely to consume the contents of the dish in a haphazard manner, without engaging in the process of culinary preparation or demonstrating responsibility for the sustenance.
The servant who use cognitive faculties in conjunction with verbal communication demonstrates a commendable level of nobility. Seek to emulate the noble qualities exhibited by the character of the Prophet. Through this illustration, a servant characterized by sagacity and eloquence shall come into existence. He aims to construct a society without causing harm and without seeking recognition. The phenomenon of entities becoming engulfed by the passage of time, coupled with the subsequent changes in their movement and characteristics, is a common occurrence. However, the presence of these entities will perpetually remain within the awareness of the denizens of the celestial realm.
Nevertheless, I find myself reprehensible when I speak without logic and empathy. The civilisation that can be constructed is limited in its development. He exclusively places trust in individuals who possess a high level of skill in effectively manipulating language through the use of persuasive techniques, sometimes accompanied with superficial elements that create an illusion of goodness. Conclusions are often hastily drawn and readily embraced, without due consideration for the critical and impartial evaluation of the veracity and merit of the statements being made. Indeed, the statements made and the information received are replete with defamatory remarks, malicious jealousy, and falsehoods. The presence of desire or aversion towards sought objects is the underlying cause. However, upon the attainment of targeted outcomes, a sense of satisfaction beyond the sweetness of sugar becomes evident. The rapid and noticeable alteration of the oral cavity occurs once the sweetness has dissipated. The pleasurable sensation associated with the use of sugar has vanished, leaving behind a lingering taste of bitterness that persists in one’s memory. Interestingly, servants with similar frequencies or qualities tend to readily accept and prefer unpleasant remarks.
To ensure the preservation of human excellence, Allah SWT emphasizes the importance of wisdom in one’s conduct, as stated in verse 9 of Surah az-Zumar. It is advisable to exercise caution in excessively idealizing and exalting a certain group of individuals, as there exists the possibility that their actions may lead to the downfall of society. Excessive animosity towards a particular group should be avoided, as it is plausible that said group may play a pivotal role in shaping future civilizations.
It is imperative to carefully contemplate sagacious advice in order to safeguard one’s reputation, as exemplified by the adage, “Exercise prudence in selecting your words, and ensure mental and emotional preparedness prior to engaging in action.” Profound insights that resonate with individuals possessing high intellectual capacity, but acknowledging their shared humanity with others of average intelligence. However, the outcome is contingent upon the decision that is made. The decision between possessing a mouth (and its several iterations) with the intellectual capacity of a gorilla or a mouth with the intellectual capacity of a human, serving in a glorified manner. Every individual will be held responsible for their words and actions in the presence of Allah.
Wa Allahua’lam bi al-Shawwab.
Translated by Riska Saputra
Alumni STAIN Bengkalis