There is a saying which states “Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf.” Statistics show that most of us listen at a 25% comprehension rate. The rest of 75% of the time we are distracted and not listening. Immediately after we listen to someone, we only recall about 50% of what they said. We listen at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but think at a rate of 1000-3000 words per minute. This processing gap creates opportunities for distraction and failure to listen attentively. It is stated wisdom is acquired through listening and watching. 85% of what we know we have acquired through listening.
It is reported from Hazrat Abu Huraira(ra)
“There is none among the companions of the Prophet(sa) who has narrated more ahadith than I except Abdallah bin Amr (bin Al-’As) who used to write them and I never did the same.”
Just by listening Hazrat Abu Huraira(ra) had memorized and narrated over 5300 ahadith.
The Promised Messiah(as) was asked by one of the companions as recorded in Malfoozat: “We hear that some companions of The Prophet(sa) had lost their vision but we rarely hear about the companions having lost their hearing.” In response The Promised Messiah(as) said that one aspect was that the preservation of The Holy Quran was paramount. Allah ensured that by listening and memorizing the The Holy Quran this would happen.
In the development of human beings as mentioned in The Holy Quran there is a pattern of which organ starts to function first as noted in these verses (6:47); (23:79); (16:79); (67:24)
It is always ears, eyes and heart (67:24) Say,
‘He it is Who brought you into being, and made for you ears and eyes and hearts; but little thanks do you give.’
The ears start to function first. As soon as the baby exits the womb and light hits the eyes the eyes start to function. When the cord is cut the heart circulation restores to normal. (Stanford Medicine)
In this world as we get distracted by worldly pursuits spiritual entropy ensues. Although we all claim to be Unitarians yet by our deeds and actions we belie our faith in the Unity of God. Idol worship is not the issue. The issue is exalting material things and human beings to a status reserved for God. The result is a progressive spiritual hearing loss.
To counter this and to maintain spiritual hearing Allah in His wisdom has provided us these spiritual hearing aids. Prayers, The Holy Quran ; Obedience to The Prophet(sa).
If we quit using our spiritual hearing aids we distance ourselves from God and develop spiritual dementia, a hardened and resistant hearing loss, characterized by illogical arguments against faith.
The tongue is the greatest impediment to spiritual hearing. Hazrat Abdullah ibn Masud(ra) relates that The Prophet(sa) said:
“By the One other than whom there is no God on this earth there is no one more deserving of long imprisonment than the tongue.”
Every single one of us has spoken words that we later wish we should not have said or had the power to take back. We especially regret the hurtful words we have spoken to those we love the most and know the best.
It’s our thoughts and emotions that determine what words come out of our mouths. The advice is to guard your heart, guide your mind, grace your tongue. In this life, the soft gentleness of the heart is meant to balance the cold logic of the brain. This may be obvious, but it is not an accident. It is meant to be this way. On numerous occasions we experience conflicts between our head and our heart — between logic and feeling. We must use our heart and the values imbedded in it to inform and guide our intellect.
The Promised Messiah(as) in talking about this triad of heart, mind and tongue emphasizes purifying the heart to reroute disordered thinking and cure disturbed emotions hence facilitating the restraining of our tongue so our words are humble and grateful instead of being hurtful and hateful.
Khalifatul Masih V(aba) has been emphasizing that we raise the quality of our taqwa and God-consciousness and synch our frequency with the righteous with earnest prayers and sacrifices. Implicit in this are ways to guard and protect our spiritual hearing.
The ultimate prescription to maintain quality spiritual hearing, spiritual stability and spiritual sobriety is as Allah says in The Holy Quran ‘Say, If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you and forgive you your faults. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. ‘Qul In kuntum to hibbul nallah fatabayooni yo bibkomullaho wa yagfirla kum zanooba kum Wallaho ghafoorur Raheem‘ (3:32)