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By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel
Effect of Kind Words
"speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity"
Many people do not know the influence of a word on others. A good word may be a reason for healing someone or pleasing another. A bad word may be a reason in hurting others more than hitting! What made me write this article is a study conducted by American researchers on the influence of a bad word, but before we introduce the results of this study which was published in the Psychology Sciences newspaper, I would like to share with you a precious verse on the influence of a word.
Almighty says, "Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable? - A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens,- of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition. * It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition. * And the parable of an evil Word is that of an evil tree: It is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth: it has no stability."[Ibrahim: Abraham: 24-26]
The Greatest Prophet substantiated this meaning when he said a man utters irresponsibly a word which makes him enter Paradise, and that a man says irresponsibly a word which throws him in Hell for seventy autumns!
This means that a believer should be accurate in what he says and should choose always a good word because a word has a great influence on man. Researchers said on (BBC Homepage) that the saying, "A stick and stones may break bones when words do not hurt" is not true. Painful memories geared to emotional experiences are more painful than those related to physical pain.
Researchers of this study said that changes that happen in the brain and allow us to work in group or societal frame may be the key for understanding this issue. The study sample included volunteering students who were asked to write about their painful physical and emotional experiences. Then, a tough mental test was conducted after a short time of writing these experiments.
The main principle that the study depended on was that whenever the experience which the student remembered was more painful, his performance on the test was worse. Results were better when remembering physical pain than emotional pain. Shinsung Zein, a researcher from Purdue University, Indiana, USA, said that it is difficult to revive the remembrance of physical pain compared to social and emotional pain.
There is a side in the brain that may be responsible for experiences and painful words that man faces, that is the cerebral cortex which performs difficult processes including thinking, perception and language. This part of the brain enhances man's ability to adapt with other groups and cultures, besides, it is responsible for the reaction to pain that has a relation to the group.
Michael Hojsman, a Child Psychology specialist in Germany, said that it is probable that several parts of the brain deal with emotional pain which is considered to have a long range effect. That is, in physical pain you can see wounds and bruises while emotional pain leaves mostly concern and fear. If pupils said to a classmate that they will punish him after classes, he will live anxiety and fear more than what may actually happen to him.
What we benefit from these results?
Such studies conducted by non-Muslims confirm the trueness of the Islam message. Allah commanded us to choose our words that do not hurt others, and positively influence others. These verses point that.
Almighty says, "Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. Allah is free of all wants, and He is Most-Forbearing."[Al-Baqara: The Cow: 263] He said also, "and shun the word that is false" [Al-Hajj: The Pilgrimage: 30]. Allah ordered us to call people gently, carry out good argument and choose the word that is more influential and leaves a positive effect on others to get the correct idea about Islam. Almighty says, "Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." [An-Nahl: The Bee: 125]
These studies should increase our assurance of the impact of the good word. The good word is a charity as told by The Prophet, The Mankind Master (pbuh). Then, consider how Allah introduced the good word in front of prayer, the foundation of religion, when he addressed Children of Israel: "speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity"
[Al-Baqara: The Cow: 83].
Also, you, my brother believer, should know that every word you utter, leaves an effect on the recipient's brain, and this effect does not disappear through time but stays. Therefore, be careful to leave a good effect in the brain and hearts of others, you do not know that one word you utter may be the reason to enter Paradise on the day of meeting with Allah.