The Imam of wisdom and commander of faithful Hazrat Ali said that increase your silence and your thoughts will flourish, your heart will enlighten, and people will be safe from your hands. He again reiterated in another quote that excess of silence produces awe.

 In a detailed sermon, Hazrat Ali said, “Your redressing what you have missed through your silence is easier than attaining what you have lost through your speech, Safeguarding the contents of the vessel through fastening its cover and safeguarding what is in your hands is dearer to me than seeking for what is the hands of others. 

The bitterness of cutting off hopes (in people) is better than seeking from people. An occupation (to earn one’s living) accompanied by chastity is better than wealth accompanied by immorality. A person is the best keeper of his secrets.

Often one strives for what is harmful to oneself. He who speaks much speaks nonsense and he who contemplates gains insight. Associate with people of goodness and you will be of them; forsake evil people and you will be separated from them. The worst food is what is forbidden. Wronging the weak is the evilest wrongdoing.

Where gentleness is considered to be roughness, their roughness is gentleness. Sometimes the remedy is the disease and the disease is the remedy. Sometimes one who is not a sincere counselor gives sincere advice and the one considered to be a sincere counselor gives insincere advice. 

Beware of relying on hopes for they are the capital of fools. Intellect is the safeguarding of experiences, and the best of your experiences is that which teaches you a lesson. Hasten to avail of opportunity before it becomes grief. Not every seeker attains (his desire) nor does every absent one return. Among the factors of corruption are to neglect taking care of one’s provisions (for the Hereafter) and deeds that ruin the Hereafter.

Every affair has an outcome. What is destined for you will soon come to you. The trader takes a risk. Often the little (wealth) becomes more abundant than what is much. There is no good in a mean helper or a friend who is suspect.

 As long as time is in your grasp, take your share of it. Do not put anything at risk hoping for something more than it. Beware that the stubborn mount should become ungovernable.”

There is no doubt that language and speech are among the blessings of God. Language is a means for communication and for the dissemination of knowledge and for guiding people. God differentiates man from the world of beasts by language.

But if the human language is not guarded against irrationality, telling lies, arguments, abuse, ridicule, back-biting, accusation, or telling tales it will change into a disaster. Thus, the scholars of ethics advised us to speak only when necessary or else make use of silence.

From the view-points of benefits and losses, language is of four forms: 

 one kind of language has absolute benefits. The second type includes absolute losses. In the third type, both benefits and losses are mixed. And the fourth type is neither useful nor useless.

 Using silence is necessary for three stages of the above four stages. In that case, where we can speak, we should take care not to contaminate language with hypocrisy, artificiality, and talkativeness. It is, for this reason, Islam emphasizes more on silence.

The 6th son of Imam Sadiq said when talking about Prophet David, who had told his son, “O my son, if you say that speech is of silver then silence is of gold.”

As you will see, one of the principles of silence is the preservation against making errors that occur through speech and cannot be compensated for. 

Imam Ali (as) has relied heavily on this principle redressing what you have lost due to your silence is easier than compensating for what you have lost due to your speech. This is because by putting the cover on a bottle you can safeguard its contents.

Silence blossoms many psychological and spiritual benefits. It is said that a silent man possesses a vast ocean of knowledge hidden inside it. Spiritual scholars believe silence opens the third eye. Some believe the key to acquiring Kundalini lies behind silence.


Silence pacifies the soul as it will let you conserve more energy that empowers it. A powerful human soul ultimately gives it the ability to glide further. In a nutshell, a powerful soul can see through the darkness. The essence of silence cannot be ignored and one should try it as a meditation process as well. The ethics and science of soul regard silence as the key to attaining spirituality and righteousness. You will find solace in silence. Silence is infused with serenity and tranquility, you can see the examples around you in the universe. Try to keep your body (the vessel) silent and you will hear the sapient soul. Closing the topic, I would quote the Commander of Faithful Hazrat Ali who said, “Your chest is the widest place to keep your secret.”

3 thoughts on “Spiritual ethics: Solace in silence

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