A Dangerous Silence

13:12 - August 10, 2022
News ID: 3480040
TEHRAN (IQNA) – If you are following a line of thought that forces you to say “what is that to me?” in the face of social issues, be careful that it does not end up in maintaining silence against oppression and other wrong deeds. 

Photo shows scores of Rohingya Muslim families being moved to camps on remote island by Bangladesh in 2021


Enjoining good and forbidding wrong is one of the ancillaries of the religion, and it is obligatory for every Muslim to know its dimensions and how to perform it. The life philosophy of many people in today's society has become two sentences: "What is that to me?", "What is that to you?". These two sentences are very valuable as long as they lead to respecting the privacy of individuals, which has been highlighted in Islam.

Silence has a great and valuable place in Islam when it is practiced to refrain from backbiting, unnecessary interference in others’ private issues, etc.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says that the liberation of a believer is in keeping his tongue. Therefore, those who want to be freed from eternal losses and divine punishment and wrath must guard their tongues because the tongue is the source of many sins that bring eternal losses.

The Prophet (PBUH) also says whoever talks too much has many mistakes, and whoever has many mistakes has many sins, and whoever has many sins is more deserved for Hell’s fire.

Imam Ali (AS) says: A wise person is one who restrains his tongue, and this is the reason why Luqman told his son: if you consider speaking as silver, silence is gold."

So, silence is one of the good deeds that we can invite each other to observe.

But silence is not always allowed. Whenever silence means indifference to wrongdoing, oppression, and sin, it is not permissible in Islam. Silence is not allowed whenever a Muslim sees that Islam is being distorted or humiliated or sees that a lie is being told which harms society.

Silence in the face of insults to other people is not allowed.

Sometimes, our indifference amounts to helping to spread heresy in society or supporting an oppressor.

The two above sentences often mean rejecting enjoining good and forbidding wrong; they mean keeping silent when one should speak out and remaining passive when one should actively engage in acts.

One of the eternal lessons that Imam Hussein (AS) gave to the Muslim Ummah was on shattering the silence. It is not difficult to understand that the uprising of Ashura had one aim, and that was not to remain silent in the face of evil.

Accordingly inviting others to refrain from silence in the face of mistakes, heresies, and atrocities is a major deed that can be categorized as “enjoining the good”. Oppressions in society are certainly related to us because they ultimately lead to corruption and the destruction of the whole system.