Bukhari and Muslim record on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, radiAllaahu ‘anhu, that the Messenger of Allaah, salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallaam, said: “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day: let him speak good or remain silent.”
Imam Abu Hatim bin Hibban, in Rawdatul-‘Uqalaa said:
It is obligatory upon the intelligent to adhere resolutely to silence until he must speak. Frequently will the one who speaks regret later on! Rare will it be that the one who remains silent has a cause to regret! The people who will have the most misery and greatest misfortune are those with unrestrained tongues and encased hearts.
It is obligatory upon the intelligent to treat his ears and mouth fairly. He should know that he was given two ears and one mouth so that he may listen more than he speaks, for it may well be that when he speaks, he will regret, and when he does not speak, he will have no cause to regret. Man is more able to return to its place what he did not say as compared to returning and retracting what he has actually said. When a word is spoken, it has taken control of him; but when it is not spoken, he is in control of it.
The tongue of the intelligent is behind his heart: when he wishes to speak he first refers to the heart and if it is befitting that he speak, he does, otherwise he does not. The heart of the ignoramus is on the tip of his tongue: whatever comes to it, he speaks. The one who does not preserve his tongue has not understood his religion.
- Transcribed from: Shaykh ‘Abdul Muhsin al-‘Abbad’s Rifqan Ahlu’l-Sunnah bi Ahlu’l-Sunnah