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Power of words can make or break another’s spirit

Inspiration or hurt: the words of others have great influence on how we feel and behave (Image by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

A wise Arab proverb says: “Every war begins with words.”

Such profound truth for sure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why or how the misuse of the tongue can cause irreparable havoc and damage to our lives and wellbeing.

There is power in the tongue – have you ever heard that phase and reflected on its meaning? In my opinion the tongue can make or break another’s spirit.

Every man, woman or child, young or old is encouraged by kind and good words. You can immediately see a person’s face light up, their shoulders straighten, a glowing smile appearing on their face, their whole countenance brighten, because of the kindness of the tongue in encouraging words. Alternatively, we can see shoulders slump, smiles instantly disappear and spirits dampened by unkind, untrue and harsh words.

My wise mother, Ismay Ming, taught me from a very early age to be careful of what I say, especially to others, instilling in me: words spoken linger in the mind of the receiver and can cause hurt or happiness for a long time to come. Scientific research backs the use of words and how they have the power to literally change our brain and our wellbeing.

Throughout the holy books that I am familiar with, the Bible and Koran, there are verses and ayats that speak on the tongue and how it can and does have negative or positive impacts on our lives.

The Koran tells us the tongue has been given to us by Allah, the Almighty to use it for good. Firstly, we should use our tongue to praise and thank Him, ultimately earning rewards to our benefit.

Allah the Exalted says: “Have we not made for him two eyes, and a tongue. And two lips. And shown them the two ways of right and wrong.” (90:8-10)

It is important to speak positively or remain silent. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.’"

We learn that whoever wishes to speak should think carefully before speaking, reflecting on the outcome of what is said. Will it be of benefit? If so, by all means speak. However if there is doubt, they should remain silent.

What we say can earn us a great reward or lead us to the worst of punishments.

There is a Hadith which says there are two things, if not restrained, will take one to Hell: they are one’s tongue and private parts.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs, 18:22)

The tongue can be used as a weapon to harm and destroy or as a tool to build and heal. What kind of impact will your words have?

“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.” (Psalm 37-30)

We should always, think before we speak. Speaking only what is true in kindness, peace and love. Let our motto be “peace words do not make war”. Peace is our aim.

Bermuda, the struggle continues, hence we must continue to speak against injustices committed in plain sight in relentless and inhumane ways around the world and especially against the Palestinian people. We must continue to pray for permanent ceasefire and lasting peace.

We still have ten or 11 days left to fast for the rewards of Shawwal, so take advantage. Bermuda have a blessed week.

As salaam alaikum (peace be unto you).

Linda Walia Ming is a member of the Bermuda Hijab Dawah Team, a group of Muslim women who reside in Bermuda and have a goal of educating the community about the religion of Islam

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Published April 27, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 26, 2024 at 5:33 pm)

Power of words can make or break another’s spirit

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