(This thread is for Mohammed Saif-Ullah)
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never harm me!
WRONG, THIS IS KUFFAR THINKING.
How many of us have heard this phrase before, specialy at school.
The reason I bring this up is because I have come across this issue a lot recently. Children go to their elders and tell them of people calling them names, and that too by Muslim children. What do the elders advice, "Never mind, you are strong and brave, remember sticks and stones....."
This is rubbish.
The idea of a brotherhood in Islam entails more than just calling each other "brother" and "sister". One of the essential elements of a stable Islamic brotherhood is to fulfill the rights of others. For most of us "fulfilling the rights of others" makes us think about feeding the poor, helping the orphans, and other such charitable endeavors. But there's another group of rights owed a little closer to home which we often neglect.
According to the Noble Qur'an and our beloved Salaf (peace be upon them), it is possible to transgress against others by mocking and insulting them as well as picking at their faults. In fact, this spiritual disease of hurting other believers is widespread amongst our communities, a grave sin we must not commit under any circumstance.
How about a different approach, an Islamic approach.
I tell the children that they should thank those people who are calling them names, Why? I hear you say. Because this is a form of Gheebah. As per the Hadith below
The Prophet (peace be upon him) defines backbiting in the following way, and his definition is preferred over any other:
He said: “Do you know what backbiting is?”
They said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.”
He said: “It is to mention about your brother something that he would dislike having mentioned about him.” [Sahîh Muslim (2589)]
Al-Nawawî comments [al-Adhkâr]:
Mentioning about your brother something that he would dislike includes what concerns his body, his religious practice, his worldly station, his physical appearance, his moral character, his wealth, his parents, his children, his spouse, his servant, his clothing, his activities, his smiles and frowns and anything else that pertains to him. It does not matter if you mention it explicitly by word or implicitly by indication or a gesture.
So back to why one should thank the other for calling him names, well lets see the next Hadith:
AbuHurayrah Narrates: Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: Do you know who is poor? The Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A poor man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The poor of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire. Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6251
So I say to the little kids, if they are calling you names, they are giving all their Thawab/Rewards to you and they are taking away all your sins, so you should thank them and at the same time apologise because you cant thank them enough.
Schools and Madresah's alike should teach their students the importance of looking after their tongue. Infact, it should be drilled into them. Imagine how life would be if we had all been taught the beautiful Hadith and verses of the Quran at a young age. Kids should learn the dangers about the evils of the tongue as this is going to be one of the biggest reasons we will go to Hell for.
I teach my children this Hadith which Alhumdulillah has benefited us very much.
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (radiallahu anh) said: The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "When the son of Adam gets up in the morning, all the limbs humble themselves before the tongue and say: `Fear Allah for our sake because we are with you: (i.e., we will be rewarded or punished as a result of what you do) if you are straight, we will be straight; and if you are crooked, we will become crooked.'''
Our Prophet warns us to be careful of our tongues and what we say. He also encouraged us with the rewards we get for doing so.
Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 481:
Allah tells us in the Quran:
Evil words are for evil men, and evil men are [subjected] to evil words. And good words are for good men, and good men are [an object] of good words. Those [good people] are declared innocent of what the slanderers say. For them is forgiveness and noble provision.Surah Nur Verse 26.
Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12.
What about the statement, " If you can't say something good, say nothing at all." Here it is in our beloved Prophet's words.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbour..." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 482.
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (radiallahu anh) reported: I asked the Messenger of Allah (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam): "Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?'' He said, "One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It is reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basrî (rahmatullahi alaih) said:
'The intelligent person’s tongue is behind his heart: when he wants to speak, he first thinks. If [his words] will be in his favour, he says them, and if they will be against him, he does not speak. And the ignorant person’s heart is behind his tongue: when he merely thinks of saying something, he says it, whether it is for or against him.'
[Abû Bakr Al-Daynûrî, Al-Mujâlasah wa Jawâhir Al-’Ilm article 2049]