Reflection No. 141 on Q 10:65 – Negative words

وَلَا يَحْزُنْكَ قَوْلُهُمْ ۘإِنَّ الْعِزَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا ۚهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
And let not their speech grieve you; surely all honor belongs to Allah; He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
(Sura Yunus, verse 65)

What people say affects us greatly. We are vulnerable to their words, often letting them have a great impact on our mental and emotional state. Negative speech such as criticism, condemnation, rudeness, and other forms of thoughtless speech are painful to swallow. They fester in the mind long after they have been said, and can continue to evoke grief for an extended period of time. Negative speech makes people lose confidence in themselves and in their actions. It takes a lot of courage and maturity to realize that the words are not always true, and that we must be strong enough to counter the harmful effects of such negativity.

In the verse above, Allah tells the Holy Prophet (s) not to be affected by the speech of the disbelievers. Their heedlessness, stubbornness and lack of reason should not trouble him. They may mock religion, and scorn the teachings of Islam, but ultimately all honor really belongs only to Allah. Faith in Allah and submission to His orders are the only ways to gain true honor. Imam Ali (a) says: If you wish to seek honor, then seek it through obedience [to Allah].(MH, H. 12543). This is the honor that is stable and lasting, not just a fleeting façade which the world can offer.

In this world we are surrounded by people who cannot understand the value of faith and submission. They propagate negative words about religion, and scorn those who want to live up to certain values. We should be careful not to be intimidated by their speech, and let it grieve us. Such words should not weaken our faith. Boost your faith constantly to be able to put up a solid front. Being emotionally and spiritually strong allows us to resist the impact of such words, and counter them with positive thoughts and reminders.

Recite this verse often to boost your immunity for negative words against yourself and your religion. Know that what people say doesn’t make a difference, praise and honor is for Allah alone.

Sources: Aytaullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazī (ed.), Tafsīr Namūne
MuhammadīRayshahrī, Mizānul Hikmah.