During the 13th part of his nightly Ramadan lecture series on the subject of Du’a Makarim al-Akhlaq (Imam as-Sajjad’s “Supplication on Noble Moral Traits”) being broadcast on Iranian television, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi said that in section sixteen of this supplication, Imam as-Sajjad (A) had four requests from God and that each has its own special message.
The revered source of emulation added that the fourth Imam pleaded: “Make everything he causes to pass over my tongue – the indecent or ugly words, the maligning of good repute, the false witness, the speaking ill of an absent man of faith or the reviling of one present, and all things similar – a speech in praise of Thee, a perusal of eulogizing Thee, an excursion in magnifying Thee, a thanksgiving for Thy favour, an acknowledgement of Thy beneficence, and an enumeration of Thy kindnesses!”
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi explained that the tongue is a blessing and holds the mysteries of monotheism, saying: “The tongue is one of the most important blessings of God. The tongue is a piece of flesh which is the key to civilization. If this tongue did not exist, civilizations would not have passed from one era to another.”
His Eminence continued, saying: “Science and knowledge originate from the tongue. For this reason, we can say that human virtue and progress in all aspects of life are directly related to the issue of the tongue, the art of speaking is a very complex skill.”
The renowned scholar stated that God loves humankind and gave him aptitude and intelligence so that he can become proficient in his work. In the Quranic chapter “al-Balad” (“The City”) verses 8-9, God says, addressing humankind: “Have We not made for him two eyes, a tongue, and two lips?” God says these are important blessings, adding that we do not give them the importance that they deserve.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi referred to the duties of the tongue, explaining that the tongue can be used as a tool to create the best life but it can also be used as a tool to create worst life. If the tongue is not used for guidance, it can led to deviation. “It is important for us to realize that these blessings can be used for good and bad purposes,” he said.
Ayatollah Makarem also referred to Iran’s ongoing negotiations with the P5+1 group of countries over Iran’s disputed nuclear energy program saying nuclear is one of the most important blessings God has given us, and is a great indication of God’s magnificence that in an element so tiny as an atom, a great force is stored. “Scientists say that if an atom was to produce one kilogram of coal, we could power a train for one hundred years,” he said.
Referring to the various uses of the atomic force, Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi said sometimes atomic force can be used as a weapon, like that of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II, or it can be used for the purposes of producing electric power for good purposes.