Tongue is of the great blessings of the creator of the universe and of the wonderful body organs and has much responsibility for many tasks, one of the most important one of which is speaking. In Holy Qur'an, after mentioning the creation of man, blessing of speaking is mentioned:
خَلَقَ الإِنْسَانَ * عَلَّمَهُ الْبَیَانَ؛
He has created man: He has taught him speech [and intelligence].
(Holy Quran 55:3, 4)
In daily life and in communicating with others, the first impression and perceptions of people is related to talking and the quality of one’s speech. The content and words of one’s speech determine one's personality. At the time of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), people used to have many requests. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) did not have the ability to respond positively to all for some reasons. In this regard, a verse with this content was revealed that if you turn away from doing something for someone, speak nicely with him:
وَ إِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّکَ تَرْجُوهَا فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّیْسُوراً؛
And even if thou hast to turn away from them in pursuit of the Mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness. (Holy Quran 17:28)
"Maysore" is derived from "Yasar" meaning easy, and here, it has a broad concept that includes any talk of good and respectful attitude and kindness. As sometimes the poor turn to people and there are no facilities to meet their needs, Lord expresses how to deal with them as: rejecting the poor should not be accompanied with humiliation, violence, and disrespect, but it should be with soft words and love and kindness.
Holy Quran has stated commands and attributes for oral expression. Some of the descriptions stated for the best way of expression in the last letter of God include:
• Reasonable and sturdy
• Good and enough
• Soft and kind
• Eloquent, loud and clear
• Generous and gracious
• Soft and friendly
• Beautiful, good and desirable
• Best should be said
• Critical dialogue in the best way
Language and speech technique can be considered as a kind of benefaction and charity. Some of the ways of language forgiveness and charity that religious leaders have stated include:
2) Controlling one’s tongue
One of the examples highlighted and considered as benefaction is controlling one’s tongue. Imam Ali (A.S.) has considered controlling one’s tongue as a sign of generosity:
“Generosity is that a person controls his tongue”
Controlling one’s tongue is expressed in various ways. If a person who hurts others with his speech stops this behavior and controls his speech, it is a charity. Thus, hurting with tongue is avarice and benefiting by speech is considered generosity. Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) said:
“May God bless the faithful person who stops his tongue when it is hurting others; this is a charity of him.”
A man told Imam Reza (A.S.): “Teach me something”, Imam said:
“Hold your tongue so that you are endeared and Satan cannot prevail against you, in which case, you will be despised.”
Another way of watching one’s language is that the person does not vilify when angry. If anyone can stop his tongue from swearing, he is gracious and generous. This issue is more manifested in human relationships with his subordinates. In the biography of Imam Reza (A.S.), it goes that he never oppressed anyone or used coarse language, and it was never seen that he insulted his servants.
Another way of preserving the language is good and adorned speech with others. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) says:
“If someone speaks with others with good language, he has given charity, and provided benefit for himself.”
2) Saying a Nice Hello
If someone wants to help others, he can complete his help with good greeting. Greeting can be done in two ways: beautiful and ugly greeting. Sometimes, it is possible to greet someone in a way that bitterness, stress, anxiety, and overall negative mood are placed in the heart of the audience. In this case, that person has greeted, but his greeting is ugly.
That greeting is beautiful which creates good moods, such as joy, happiness, peace, and vitality in the audience. The story states:
The one who says hello nicely or answers greeting beautifully, he has given charity.
Typical beautiful greeting can be found in the Life of Imam Reza (A.S.). Imam Reza (A.S.) on his way to Khorasan entered Basra. In this city, a meeting was held in the presence of Imam where many leaders and followers of religions and sects were also present. When all were present in the meeting, a pulpit was prepared for him. Imam went on the pulpit and told the audience:
السَّلَامُ عَلَیکُم وَ رَحمَةُ اللهِ وَ بَرَکَاتُهُ.
“Allah's mercy, blessings and peace be upon you”
Then posed the question, stating, do you know why I started my speech with greetings?” They said, “No”. Imam said: “To give you calmness”
3) Having Honesty
Honesty is of another manifestation of generosity because an honest person gives up his benefits in many cases. If the attribute of generosity is crystallized in a person, he will talk with honesty with others, becomes a companion with friends, and in this camaraderie, he does not violate from the right direction.
Honesty is the key to goodness and goodwill. The one who is adorned this with sublime attribute, has the best value and highest reward. Almighty God says:
قَالَ اللهُ هَذَا یَوْمُ یَنفَعُ الصَّادِقِینَ صِدْقُهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجرِى مِن تَحتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِینَ فِیهَا أَبَدًا رَّضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُمْ وَ رَضُواْ عَنْهُ ذَالِکَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِیم؛
Allah will say, This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness. For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment. (Holy Quran: 5:119)
Righteousness is the criterion for being a Muslim. Imam Reza (A.S.) through his great fathers quoted the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) saying:
“Do not consider much prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, charity, and vigil, but see honesty and trustworthiness in them.”
4) Praising God
Another form of forgiveness and charity of tongue is praise and worship of God and his saints. One day, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said to his companions, “O people! By obeying God, you get close to God so that He will give you goodness. Reduce your bounds with the world and line up against the enemies of God in the world to increase your good deeds for the Doomsday and give charity of your properties.”
At that time, a man stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Our bodies are weak, and we do not have plentiful properties to give away, what should we do?” Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) replied, “Give heart and tongue charity.” Again, people asked, “How should we give charity?” He replied, “Heart charity is that your fill your heart with love of God and his last messenger. Place the kindness of his successor, Ali (A.S.), and all those chosen for the uprising in God's path in the hearts of their followers and lovers of the Shiites and the like.”
Prophet (P.B.U.H.) also said about tongue charity:
“Therefore, charity of tongue is to mention Allah and send blessings upon Muhammad and his progeny, because God will elevate you the best positions through this exercise.”
The believer mentions and praises Allah with his attributes and speaks to him with attributes such as omniscience, omnipotence, and praises Him with absolute perfection. He praises Him and separates him from any shortcomings. The word of human while praising is this, all of shortcomings, weaknesses, incipience, disability, darkness and limitations are of me and all perfection, beauty, goods, and lighting is of you.
While praising, human becomes a companion of God and achieves the peak of intimacy with God. In this regard, Imam Reza (A.S.) quoted the Prophet (P.B.U.H.):
“Moses in his prayer addressed the Lord as, O my Lord! Are you away from me to call you, or close to whisper? God said, I am the companion of the one who remembers me.”