Of all the millions of species existing on our planet, human beings are the only ones endowed with speech – the ability to articulate our thoughts and emotions into words. Words are the tool of communication, the unit of speech, the constituents of language. They are what connect us to other homo sapiens.
Who can deny the power of words? Words can help us connect, or disconnect; they can aid in communication or cause miscommunication. Words have the power to mesmerize, to besot, to flatter; just as they have the power to offend, to anger, to deceive.
Yet, despite their indispensible role in human connection and communication, we humans are excessively careless with words. We waste them and misuse them and exploit them.
According to research, women speak an average of 20,000 words daily, while men speak around 7000. God knows how many of these words are absolutely necessary, and how many are spoken out of utter mindlessness. According the Law of Cause and Effect, “Every human thought, word and deed is a Cause that sets off a wave of energy throughout the universe which in turn creates the Effect whether desirable or undesirable.” Hence, we should feel responsible and accountable for the words we utter (women especially!), as our words are continuously affecting the universe. Space may be a vacuum that can suck sound, but words are more than just sound, they contain emotions, feelings, sentiments.
Although all humans have been endowed with speech, yet we routinely encounter such individuals who appear more gifted in the art and skill of articulation, who just seem to have a way with words. They have the skill to exploit and manipulate words to their own advantage. And while such words may claim to contain the truth, yet, they may be false, and often misleading. The truth is that the only word which contains the Absolute Truth is the Word of God.
Unlike the words spoken by men, the Word of God contains Truth, Light and Guidance in each and every letter. It protects the heart and mind from being corrupted, and guides it towards the straight path. The power of human words is nothing compared to the power of Divine Word. While words spoken by humans can break hearts, God’s word mends and heals hearts, reconstructs the broken schemas of the self and brings order and symmetry to life. No word uttered by any human being, no matter how intelligent or alluring, can ever hold a candle to it.
The Quran states:
If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah. And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought. (59:21)
How can we, who crumble before words spoken by people, ever comprehend or apprehend the power of God’s Word? Do we, in the heart of our hearts truly believe that this one Word, this one Book contains guidance for all times, and contains a solution to each and every one of our problems?
Once, when Allama Iqbal’s father saw him reading the Quran, he advised him to, “read it as if it was addressed exclusively to him.” This is one advice we all should heed. It is a miracle of the Quran that in times of distress when you open the blessed book, you are bound to encounter a verse or ayah that will certainly address your problem.
The subject of the Quran is the Human Being, which it addresses not only at the individual, but also at the collective level. It speaks to people and it speaks to nations. In his famous Persian work Javednama, Iqbal says,
Examine your own conscience, and the Quran—
a hundred new worlds be within its verses,
whole centuries are involved in its moments;
one world of it suffices for the present age …
Thus this Ultimate handbook of Life is there not just to guide us in the trivialities of life, but to also direct nations how to fashion their destinies and to create new worlds for themselves and for the rest of humanity. Due to its ‘melioristic’ outlook, the Quran preaches that the world can become a better place through human effort and struggle. Our task, especially during the Holy month of Ramazan, is to reconnect to our soul through this True Word sent by God. If words connect us to each other, then Divine Word can connect us not only to each other, but to our own selves, and can assist us in finding meaning in this world around us.