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Harms of Tongue, Imam Al-Ghazali
Comparison of Two Texts
ed. OmarKN

color black: The new treanslation, by Mohammad Mahdi al-Sharif. Dar Kotob Ilmi
color blue:  by Kitab Bhavan, by Fazul-ul-Karim; New Delhi 1982

Our comment: The difference of the two translations is not as conclusive as one
could expect, except for the new one being non-abriged.

CHAPTER IV Harms of Tongue.


[This part is not found in the old translation] In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Praise be to Allah Who made good the creation of man, and formed him in due proportion, and inspired him the light of faith with which He has adorned and beautified him, and revealed to him the faculty of speech therewith He gave him superiority over all of His creatures, and overflowed his heart with depositories of knowledge, and sent upon him a curtain from His mercy which He hung on it, and provided him with a tongue therewith to interpret what lies within the heart and mind, disclose what is concealed in him, tell the truth, and send praises and thanks for His favors on him.

I bear witness to the fact that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Almighty, the One and Only, Who has no partner with Him, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, whom He honoured and exalted, and sent with a Book He revealed to him, made superior his favor, and clarified his ways "Peace be upon him".

KITAB BHAVAN: Know, O dear readers, that tonque is a great asset of a man and a wonder out of the wonderful creations of God.

NEW TRANSL.: Coming to the point: verily, tongue is one of the great favors bestowed by Allah on man, and His amazing and fine things.

KITAB BHAVAN: Though it is insignificant, its power is unlimited, its sins are heinous, its virtues are great and infidelity and faith do not find expression except through tongue.

NEW TRANSL.: Although it is small in size, its sin and obedience have a great consequence.

KITAB BHAVAN: It is the last limit of sins and virtues.

NEW TRANSL.: It is that the faith could be distinguished from disbelief only through the witness of tongue, and they represent the utmost degree of obedience and disobedience.

KITAB BHAVAN: Tongue can express what has been created and what has not been created, the Creator and the created, the known and the unknown.

NEW TRANSL.: Furthermore, there is neither existing nor non-existing, neither creator nor created, neither imagined or concrete, but that the tongue deals with it and either affirms or denies it.

KITAB BHAVAN: Tongue explains what intellect brings in mind, whether truth or untruth.

NEW TRANSL.: The tongue expresses of all the objects of knowledge whether in truth or in falsehood.

KITAB BHAVAN: Tongue may be said to be the agent of intellect.

No other organ has got such power to express tbe mind.

The sight of eye extends only to figures and colours and not to any other thing.

Ear has got power over only sounds and not to any other thing.

NEW TRANSL.: This characteristic is lacking in all the other organs of the body. The eye, for instance, perceives only images and colors, the ear sounds, the hand the concrete bodies, etc.

KITAB BHAVAN: The power of tongue is, however, unlimited.

It has got power over good and bad.

NEW TRANSL.: The field of tongue is expansive and limitless, and it applies to both good and evil.

KITAB BHAVAN: The dangers of tongue are useless talks, quarrels, disputes, rebukes, scoldings, harsh words, curse, false speaking, backbiting, self praise etc.

We shall proceed to discuss them one by one.

NEW TRANSL.: [this part is not found in the old translation] If the tongue is released with nothing to rein it or bind its freedom, Satan then takes it to all fields of evil, and drives it to the verge of a bank that is about to collapse, until it leads him to perdition. Of a surety, nothing draws the people prone on their faces into the fire of Hell other than the evil of their tongues. None is saved from the evil of the tongue except he, who reins it with the rein of religious law: he releases it only in what benefits him in the world and the hereafter, and stops it from anything whose evil consequence is feared.

The knowledge of the praiseworthy and blameworthy states in which the tongue should be released, and acting upon that accordingly are abstruse and difficult. The tongue is the most disobedient organ upon man. There is no trouble to be exerted to release and move it. The people have indulged in avoiding its evils and vices, and its traps and snares. It is the strongest tool Satan…





latest upd.: 2016-10-01
page from: 2013-03-01


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