[Al-Isra 17:53] Say Words that are Better

And say to My slaves that they should (only) say those words that are better.
Shaitan verily sows state of conflict & disagreements among them.
Surely, Shaitan is to man a plain enemy.
[Al-Isra’ 17:53]

1. This is a commandment from Allah s.w.t. to say what is better, to find a more beautiful word to say, or to say what is less offensive. Before we open our mouths, we should run through some multiple choices in our head. Should I choose option A, B, C, or none of the above? Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “He who believes in Allah & the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.” [Muslim]

2. Be sensitive: Sometimes we’re unaware that the words we choose – irrespective how logical & normal they seem to us – actually hurt others. We need to train ourselves to think of other people’s perspective & this is especially critical in communication within the family.

3. The above applies for parents & their children. While children must be respectful to parents, parents should also be exemplary role models. The authority of the household may be ours, but we’re still slaves of Allah. So even to your 2 or 5 year old child – doesn’t matter how young or old – the same Commandment applies.

4. Notice how Allah s.w.t. emphasized Shaitan twice in this ayat? Shaitan will cause friction & animosity between us. Speech alone can make people hate each other, and there is no doubt that Shaitan will make sure he does it! What we are learning here is that we can let Shaitan slip into our home & between our loved ones just because of the way we speak. We should not underestimate this “disease”.

5. This change of attitude takes time. When we get sick, we need to take meds or change our diet. Only after a period of time has passed do we start to notice some changes within us. The same for spiritual and personality disease. So persevere & be patient with ourselves.

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