Silence is often associated with the characteristics of an introvert and is mostly looked down upon. Socializing, smooth-talking and a welcoming demeanor are the IT qualities that everyone gravitates to. The individuals with a loud personality are considered to be smarter, wittier and likable. While their counterparts, to be arrogant, insecure and boring.
Islam, however, praises the quality of staying silent. It is considered a characteristic that beautifies a believer and instills modesty. The last Prophet of Allah SWT, Muhammad SAW embodied the art of staying silent and speaking only when necessary.
Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his neighbor. And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest” [Al-Bukhari]
Furthermore, this Hadith is enough for a believer to work towards beautifying their ikhlaaq by adapting this quality. But, Islam still mentioned the benefits of staying silent to truly make Muslims understand; such is the mercy of Allah SWT.
Benefits Of Being Silent In The Light Of Islam!
1. Silence makes the heart stronger.
Believers that speak a lot can harbor all sorts of illnesses like ego, grudge or hate in their hearts. However, silence allows inner reflection that only leads to a clean and calmer heart purified of any disease.
As reported by Ibn Umar, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Don’t you talk much unless for zikr to Allah, because much-talking leads to indomitable heart and the furthest human from Allah is the one with indomitable heart, those who unwilling to receive guidance.” [Tirmidi]
2. Silence acts as a good deed.
Good deeds are a ticket to Jannah (paradise). Allah and His Messenger have defined minor and major good deeds for Muslims to follow. Silence is one of the small good deeds that they can perform and increase their weight of goodness on the Day of Judgement.
As reported by Ar Razi, Ali ibn Abi Thalib said, “No good in silence when it comes to knowledge, just as there is no good in speaking when it comes to ignorance.”
3. Accumulating wisdom.
Reflection plays a great part in self-correction and improvement as an individual. Silence helps gain wisdom, as it allows the person to quiet down and truly understand the situations from an inner-eye.
“The wiser the man is, the less he will speak.” Talking less also increases the value of the words as Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq once said “one knows the value of his speech will also know the value of silence. In fact, if one adopts silence, he will value his speech and therefore guard it like he guards his wealth.” [Imam Ali]
4. Calming the mind.
Staying quiet isn’t an easy task for everyone and what one can do if their mind wanders off to terrains that are harmful and toxic; do lots of zikr which helps in regaining the mental balance and removes the necessity to overindulge in conversations.
5. Protecting from sins.
Backbiting, arguing, verbal-spats, so on and so forth are all rooted in excessive talking. These are grave sins that are like water drops, once accumulating over time can become as big as the sea. Allah SWT and Prophet Muhammad advised us to stay silent as it will protect believers from these sins that can land anyone in Hellfire.
6. Choosing silence in a dispute helps in resolving it.
Since people talk only to reply back in a heated argument and as it is said that time and words cannot be taken back. So choosing silence while the other person is angry, helps to calm the situation down and gives time to truly understand other party’s perspective.
Hadith about dispute:
A dispute is looked-down upon in Islam and is condemned even by the Prophet Muhammad SAW, he said, “The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome” [Bukhari]
Ayah about dispute:
“And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” [Quran 29:46]
It is one of the worst deeds in the eyes of Allah and His Messenger. Since Muslims are to strive for Allah’s happiness in this temporary world, abstaining from disputes and anything that He dislikes is the ultimate goal for the believers.
Hence choosing to stay silent in a dispute and restraining oneself for Allah SWT is a deed that will be rewarded.
The Haidh below shows the importance of silence in the face of insult:
“A man reviled Abu Bakr in the presence of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Prophet remained seated. He looked pleased and smiled. He insulted Abu Bakr twice, but Abu Bakr controlled himself and remained silent. He insulted him for the third time, and Abu Bakr then let his tongue loose and responded back.
At that, the Messenger of Allah got up and left. Abu Bakr followed after the Prophet and said: “Messenger of Allah! He insulted me and you just sat there. Then when I responded to some of what he said, you became angry and got up.” The Prophet said: “There was an angel with you who was responding to his insults on your behalf.”
Then the Prophet said: “Abu Bakr, (keep in mind) three things which are always true, one of which is that whenever a person is subjected to an injustice but leaves the matter to Allah, then Allah will come to his aid… .” (Musnad Ahmad)
Another Hadith showing that some people choose silence when accused, blamed and insulted:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us a story about a baby who spoke in its infancy. While the baby was suckling on its mother’s breast, a man on an expensive, magnificent horse rode by. The mother said: “O Allah! Make my son turn out to be like that man.” At that point, the baby left off his mother’s breast looked at the man, and said: “O Allah! Do not make me like him.”
The mother carrying her child then came across a young servant girl who was being stoned by a crowd shouting out at her that she was an adulteress and a thief. The mother said: “O Allah! Do not let my son turn out like that woman.”
The baby stopped suckling again and looked at the servant girl and said: “O Allah! Let me turn out like her.” The mother asked the baby why he said those things. He replied: “That man you saw was a wicked tyrant and that servant girl who was accused of committing fornication and stealing neither committed fornication nor stole anything. That is why I asked Allah to make me like her.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
This story showed the honor of the accused who neither stole nor fornicated but was dignified and honest. Silence can solve half of someone’s problems as the tongue can be sharper and only make things worse.
Truly, Islam is a complete religion guiding Muslims every step of the way. Silence is golden and it has been proven by these six benefits. Simplifying our lives should be our aim and excessive talking only makes things worse.
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