Words have impact and affect the way we perceive people. How many times have you been overjoyed at meeting someone simply because you were told that that person was so remarkable? You don’t really know the person – but going on what you were told ,your entire outlook is that this person is incredible – not because you have any proof but because you trust the words that were told to you.
At the same time if someone refers to a person negatively this also impacts the way you perceive that person. Just a slight negative reference to a person might make you always doubt them and their actions- even if they have not done anything to prove this. Words can impact our thoughts, our perceptions, but most importantly it impacts our Iman.
How words break our faith on Allah:
The daily words that we utter begin to condition the way our hearts feel and the manner in which we place our faith and tawakkul on Allah Ta’ala. Statements like ‘things are really expensive” or ‘life is so difficult” or “everyone is struggling” – all may be true, but the constant repetition of these statements begin to make us doubt the assistance of Allah Ta’ala and the manner in which we place our tawkkul completely upon Him.
The Qur’an overflows with statements that build your faith when it comes to your sustenance.Allah affirms: “He is the one who Sustains”, He says with without any doubt: “He who places His conviction upon Allah then He will be sufficient for him”. The entire Qur’an affirms that our Iman has to be firm and focused on Allah. Yet as life becomes difficult – we find that these daily statements chip at our Iman until we are unable to completely have the faith that we need to survive the difficult moments.
Replace the statements that erode your faith with statements that have been given to us by Allah Ta’ala in the Holy Qur’an. Instead of saying, “I am broke”, or “it has been a long month!” – focus on the positive aspect of Allah is Maalikul Mulk, Allah gives as He pleases and most importantly , state it firmly to yourself that even though you may be broke- alhamdulilah your sustenance is still plentiful and constant.
How words affect your interpersonal relationships and in turn corrupts your Iman:
How many times have you been at a family event or function, and you have heard people saying “I’m not gossiping, but…” or the manner in which we relate information creates doubt in the mind of the listener. The mere words, “they are always like that”, or “you know they are always late” , or even worse, “they are so tightfisted they never contribute anything”. In whichever case – we find that these seemingly inane statements negatively impact our Iman, causing either suspicion , backbiting , slander or fitnah.
These simple statements cause others to think badly of people and in turn cause a chain reaction of slander and gossip. This is detrimental to our own Iman as well as to the Iman of those that we are sharing these seemingly harmless words.
How negative speech impacts your Iman:
When we speak to our children or spouses, we often make sweeping statements like: “you never help me” or “you are always so lazy”,etc. These negative statements have the effect of breaking down a fellow Muslim and may cause you to receive a baddua ie. a curse against you for you have wronged them and caused oppression against them – even though those words might seem to have been so simple. Together with this, one major effect of such statements is that these type of statements build towards ingratitude which in turn brings the severe punishment of Allah.
Words may seem to have no long-term effect on us- we may forget what we have said in the heat of the moment and only focus on the harms of those words on those have heard those statements- but what about the effect that these words leave on our own hearts and minds. In changing the norms of speech that we are so used to – we create a different relationship of spirituality with our words and our Ibadah.