Speech Management

Speech Management | The Sunday Guardian | October 16th, 2011 | Page 15 One of the important teachings of the Quran is what may be called "speech management". This teaching is stressed in the chapter entitled Al-Nisa' (Women) of the Quran: "There is no good in most of their secret talk, except in the case of those who enjoin charity and kindness, or reconciliation between people. If anyone does that, seeking the pleasure of God, We will give him an immense reward" (4:114). This Quranic verse does not pertain to specifically secret talk. It includes all kinds of talks and conversations. The power of speech given to man is a very rare quality. It is an exclusive boon. But every gift involves responsibility, and this is especially true in the case of the power of speech. One must use this power with great caution. Speech, to be of proper value, must be used in those fields which are useful for mankind. Such use of speech is worthy of reward, while the misuse of speech is liable to punishment. The art of speech management implies the control of your tongue, thinking before speaking and calculating in advance the impact of what you have to say. You should avoid negative speaking, lying, misrepresentation and any kind of utterances which may create a rift or suspicion between two people or two groups. Speech is most commonly misused when people do not know the difference between an allegation and a statement based on evidence. If you want to say anything about anyone, first of all you have to substantiate what you want to say with logic. If you have good reason to speak, then you may open your mouth, otherwise you should remain silent. Last, what is right speech? It is that which is based on truth, which will stand up to objective analysis and is based on certified data.