A Prisoner of Your Own Words

Saad Tasleem

Channel: Saad Tasleem

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So it seems to be like every single day now, or every other day that someone

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put something online or they say something online, and they regret it later, or something that they posted a long time ago, comes back to haunt them, maybe they don't get a job because of it, maybe they're fired because of it. Something is said and then they lose control. And I don't understand how we're not having this conversation, more the conversation of being careful about what we say and how we say it. In general, but specifically online, look, in the online world, or on the online world, you don't get to take back what you said, You don't get to delete it. And that's why people may say something online, and then go back and delete it. But it's already online, you know,

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someone's screenshot it or whatever it may be as a Muslim, that is something that shouldn't be a surprise to us. Because as Muslims, we already believe that everything we're saying is being recorded that everything we say, we're gonna have to answer for, we're gonna have to we're going to be taking account for all the words that come out of our mouth, every single thing, and that's why watching our tongues and watching our speech is an is an important part of our piety. That's why we have serious warnings

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against having a foul tongue or speaking ill of people, you know, backbiting slander, all of these in Islam, they're considered major sins and the whole point is that we are careful about what we say. And one of my favorite sayings of the Arabs or their Arab is when they say Kadima and fijo, pick a seat on deck what Kadima don't tend to condemn obeah, that Gianluca sera that a word that is inside of you, meaning you haven't spoken it yet, it's your prisoner, meaning you control it, you control when to say it, how to say it, who to say to, or even to say it or not. And that can be an internal thought it could be feelings, or whatever, like we control whether to express those

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feelings or not, however, what cutting metal into the kingdom will be here. But one word, once it is spoken, it makes you its prisoner. Like your response at that point, like you're responsible for whatever happens. And even like the whole discussion on on freedom of speech, for example, you know, freedom of speech, says, basically, it means that you're allowed to say whatever you want to say, as offensive, as foul as degrading as race, like, it doesn't matter. You can say anything you want. And in America, at least you can say whatever you want, as long as you're not,

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you know, harming someone else, or you're not calling for the harm of someone else. So you can say whatever you want. And you're free to do that. However, you're not free from the consequences of those actions. So you can jump online and, and rant and rave and say something really messed up. And that's not illegal, right? Unless, as you say, You're not trying to harm somebody. It's not illegal. And that's, that's what freedom of speech affords you. However, we're not free from the consequences. So if tomorrow your boss reads that and says, No, we don't want an employee who, you know, has these beliefs or, or is racist, or whatever it may be, then they're nuts, you know, they

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want to fire you, you're not free from the consequences of your actions. And people oftentimes don't understand that. And so, even when someone, you know, they, they, they are expressing themselves, they feel that because there's freedom of speech, they shouldn't be held accountable for what they said, and that's not what that's not how freedom of speech works. And even islamically, right, we are actually accountable for our words, if we have harmed somebody with our words, we believe, you know, maybe not in this life, but definitely in the afterlife, you know, we have that narration of the person send them about a person who comes on the on the Day of Judgment, with all these good

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deeds, you know, this person had fasted and they prayed and they may die and they may they cut and they did all these acts of worship, thinking they got you know, a straight and you got direct entry into agenda to paradise. However, then, when this person sees all their good deeds, after that a person has shown all the harm that they cause to people, they may be, you know, yelled at this person or they, they, you know, harm this person with their speech or even physically harm them, all of the all of those actions are brought and it takes away from their good deeds, right? Because on the Day of Judgment, the only currency we have is our deeds. So someone who we've harmed, whether it

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be physically or verbally, we can't, we can't, we can't say sorry, like on the Day of Judgment, like that doesn't work. Number one, number two, we can't offer them any money or anything. The only thing we have to give to them for the harm that we caused them is our good deeds. So all the good deeds that we did are taken from us and they're given to that person. And then the person I'm told us that a time may come that a person's good

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deeds are done like there's nothing left on that. And when that happens, then that person who has been harmed, they take their bad deeds and they unload them upon you or upon us, may Allah protect us. Because as we said, that is the only currency. And that's why I've had a lot, you know, like I said, like, you know, people don't really think about what they're posting online, sometimes it's in the heat of the moment, and they just want to get something off of their chest. And they don't realize that, you know, maybe not now, maybe not even a year from now, maybe 510 years later, that's something we've said online, or it may may have been out of anger, right or out of frustration, or

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whatever it may be. But we have to deal with with his consequences. And that's why I really despise this reactionary,

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reactionary, you know, lifestyle that we have built, or this reactionary way of dealing with things that when something happens, whether it's like in the world or in our personal life, whatever our first reaction is, like, we just jump online, and we we post something, and that's extremely dangerous. Right? Speak, as you said, speaking out of anger, speaking out of frustration, that may not be how we are, we may not be a person who speaks in that way, in general. But once it's online, once people see it, we're responsible for what we have said. And so I really hope and I try to teach like my students this as well, that we have to be very, very careful about what we say, obviously,

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in general, but especially online, when something hacking happens, or you feel a certain way, just take a few moments to consider what you're going to say, I remember back in the day, when email first became popular, and people started communicating through email, people would always say like, if you're going to write an angry email, write it, but then save it, don't send it, give it a day, give it a night, like sleep on it, wake up in the morning, and then read it and then see how you feel about it. Right? Because oftentimes, something may anger us, and we may reply in anger. And we say all this stuff that we really didn't want to say, or we know that's not the right thing to say,

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but in the heat of the moment, we said it. So if we come back to it, it gives us more insight were like, yeah, I probably shouldn't have said that. That sounds horrible. That doesn't sound right. With social media, whether it's Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or whatever it may be, we'll say things immediately, like, we won't even give ourselves 10 minutes to consider what we have said. And that's dangerous for us, for our reputations and who we are and, and even like, you know, you think about the next generation, right? Everything we do is is is public, it's online, how is the next generation going to react to things that we have said or done online? Right, when we become parents,

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and we want to set an example for our children, you know, when our whole lives are online, you know, back in the day, parents used to be like, our kid used to be like, Dad, you don't want me to smoke. But you smoke, right? And what can the dad say? Now in this, like this next coming generation, they're gonna have documented proof of every single thing that we did, right? So don't be like, oh, Dad, you don't want me to do this, but you did this. Here's the proof. Here's like the video or the photo. Anyway, I could talk about this for ages. I don't want to go on and on. But the point here is that it's a really good practice to just take time, take your time before you post something online.

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read it, read it again. Maybe have somebody else read it before you react immediately online mellows pans out to protect us and keep our tongues pure. I mean, catch y'all later. Take care. Have a good one. I have to lie. You got to