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.
About speaking the truth

أَلاَ إِنَّ اللِّسَانَ بَضْعَةٌ مِنَ الاْنْسَانِ،

Know that the tongue is a part of a man's body. If the man desists,

فَلاَ يُسْعِدُهُ الْقَوْلُ إِذَا امْتَنَعَ،

speech will not co-operate with him and when he dilates,

وَلاَ يُمْهِلُهُ النُّطْقُ إِذَا اتَّسَعَ،

speech will not give him time to stop.

وَإِنَّا لاَمَرَاءُ الْكَلاَمِ،

Certainly, we are the masters of speaking.

وَفِينَا تَنَشَّبَتْ عُرُوقُهُ،

Its veins are fixed in us

وَعَلَيْنَا تَهَدَّلَتْ غُصوُنُهُ.

and its branches are hanging over us.

وَاعْلَمُوا رَحِمَكُمُ اللهُ أَنَّكُمْ فِي زَمَان الْقَائِلُ فِيهِ بالْحَقِّ قَلِيلٌ،

Know that - may Allah have mercy on you - you are living at a time when those who speak about right are few,

وَاللِّسَانُ عَنِ الصِّدْقِ كَلِيلٌ،

when tongues are loath to utter the truth

وَاللاَّزِمُ لِلْحَقَّ ذَلِيلٌ،

and those who stick to the right are humiliated.

أَهْلُهُ مُعْتَكِفُونَ عَلَى الْعِصْيَانِ،

The people of this time are engaged in disobedience.

مُصْطَلِحُونَ عَلَى الاْدْهَانِ،

Their youth are wicked,

فَتَاهُمْ عَارِمٌ،

their old men are sinful,

وَشَائِبُهُمْ آثِمٌ،عَالِمُهُمْ مُنَافِقٌ،

their learned men are hypocrites,

وَقَارِئُهُمْ مُمَاذِقٌ،

and their speakers are sycophants.

لايُعَظِّمُ صَغِيرُهُمْ كَبِيرَهُمْ،

Their young ones do not respect their elders,

وَلاَ يَعُولُ غَنيِيُّهُمْ فَقِيرَهُمْ.

and their rich men do not support the destitute.


Alternative Sources for Sermon 232:  Al-Kulayni, Rawdah, 396;  al-Raghib, Muhadarat, I, 89; al-Watwat, al-Ghurar, 108; al-Zamakhshari, Rabi’, I, at the beginning; 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.