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Sermon 232: Know that the tongue is a part of a man's body…

On Ja`dah ibn Hubayrah al-Makhzumi's 1 inability to deliver a sermon.

ومن كلام له (عليه السلام)

بعد أن أقدم أحدهم على الكلام فحصر

[وهو في فضل أهل البيت، ووصف فسادالزمان]

About speaking the truth

Know that the tongue is a part of a man's body. If the man desists, speech will not co-operate with him and when he dilates, speech will not give him time to stop. Certainly, we are the masters of speaking. Its veins are fixed in us and its branches are hanging over us.

أَلاَ إِنَّ اللِّسَانَ بَضْعَةٌ مِنَ الاْنْسَانِ، فَلاَ يُسْعِدُهُ الْقَوْلُ إِذَا امْتَنَعَ، وَلاَ يُمْهِلُهُ النُّطْقُ إِذَا اتَّسَعَ، وَإِنَّا لاَمَرَاءُ الْكَلاَمِ، وَفِينَا تَنَشَّبَتْ عُرُوقُهُ، وَعَلَيْنَا تَهَدَّلَتْ غُصوُنُهُ.

Know that - may Allah have mercy on you - you are living at a time when those who speak about right are few, when tongues are loath to utter the truth and those who stick to the right are humiliated. The people of this time are engaged in disobedience. Their youth are wicked, their old men are sinful, their learned men are hypocrites, and their speakers are sycophants. Their young ones do not respect their elders, and their rich men do not support the destitute.

وَاعْلَمُوا رَحِمَكُمُ اللهُ أَنَّكُمْ فِي زَمَان الْقَائِلُ فِيهِ بالْحَقِّ قَلِيلٌ، وَاللِّسَانُ عَنِ الصِّدْقِ كَلِيلٌ، وَاللاَّزِمُ لِلْحَقَّ ذَلِيلٌ، أَهْلُهُ مُعْتَكِفُونَ عَلَى الْعِصْيَانِ، مُصْطَلِحُونَ عَلَى الاْدْهَانِ، فَتَاهُمْ عَارِمٌ، وَشَائِبُهُمْ آثِمٌ،عَالِمُهُمْ مُنَافِقٌ، وَقَارِئُهُمْ مُمَاذِقٌ، لايُعَظِّمُ صَغِيرُهُمْ كَبِيرَهُمْ، وَلاَ يَعُولُ غَنيِيُّهُمْ فَقِيرَهُمْ.

Alternative Sources for Sermon 232

(1) Al-Kulayni, Rawdah, 396;

(2) al-Raghib, Muhadarat, I, 89;

(3) al-Watwat, al-Ghurar, 108;

(4) al-Zamakhshari, Rabi`, I, at the beginning;

(5) al-'Amidi, Ghurar, 82, 132.

  • 1. Once Amir al-mu'minin asked his nephew (sister's son) Ja`dah ibn Hubayrah al-Makhzumi to deliver a sermon, but when he rose for speaking his tongue faltered and he could utter nothing, whereupon Amir al-mu'minin ascended the pulpit to speak and delivered a long sermon out of which a few sentences have been recorded here by as-Sayyid ar-Radi.

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