Sunday, October 25, 2009

Free Speech?

Surah 49 Al-Hujurat verses 10-13

10. The Believers are but a single Brotherhood
So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers;
and have awe of God that you may have mercy

11. O you who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, Nor call each other by offensive nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, after he has believed: And those who do not desist are doing wrong.

12. O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other, Nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it...but have awe of God. For God is oft-returning, Most merciful

13 O Mankind! We created you from a pair of male and female, and made you into Nations and Tribes that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Surely the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God is full of Knowledge and is well aquainted (with all things)

Words express our thoughts, confirm our attitudes, and define our character. In our human interactions, those of noble thoughts, attitudes and character refrain from speech that causes harm to another.
When speech is used to degrade, harm, or cause hurt to someone, it is as if we are eating their flesh for we reduce our own pain by causing pain to another.
The Quran reminds us, we are all one family, all brothers and sisters to one another...and we will all return to God. Can we not leave labels of seperation behind and define ourselves by our oneness?

Sutra Nipata writes....
As the flower blown out by the wind
goes to rest and cannot be defined
so the wise man, freed from individuality
goes to rest and cannot be defined
goes beyond all images
goes beyind the power of words.

What is your identity?

1 comment:

  1. Those are wonderful verses. :)

    Thank you for your kind response to my last post. I am reading Yusuf Ali's translation. It's a bit challenging, but very helpful.