Quranic Reflection No. 8:06 Āyat 22:24 – Heavenly Conversations

وَهُدُوا إِلَى الطَّيِّبِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَهُدُوا إِلَىٰ صِرَاطِ الْحَمِيدِ
Wa-hudū ilat-tayyibi minal-qawli wa-hudū ilā sirātil-Hamīd
They shall be guided to that which is good and pleasant in speech and guided to the path of the Praiseworthy
(Sūratul Hajj, No.22, Āyat 24)
Conversing gently with others can be a source of satisfaction and joy for the human being. It allows for the exchange of thoughts and ideas, connects one human being to another, and enables a person to hear and be heard. Without conversations life would be lonely and material comforts would soon become meaningless.

Conversations between human beings will also take place in the Hereafter. In fact, one of the sources of joy will be the good and pleasant communication in Heaven. The verse above has been interpreted by many scholars to mean that the words spoken in Heaven will be pure and beautiful. The speech that is tayyib is that in which there is no ugliness or unpleasantness; nor does it have traces of falsehood. People will be guided towards a speech that is good, pleasant and delightful. This means that Allah will facilitate and inspire it to them so that they are able to speak pure words. This will take them towards Allah, the Praiseworthy. It will make them reach the highest levels of inner purity possible for the soul.

These good and pleasant words will include:
1) Greetings of Peace –
i. From Allah to the believers: ‘Peace’ a word from a Merciful Lord (Q 36:58).
ii. From the angels to the believers: Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And how excellent is the final home (Q13:24).
iii. Between the believers themselves: They will not hear therein any ill speech – only [greetings of] peace (Q19:62).
Greetings of peace can also refer to conversation of words that reflect inner peace.

2) Glorification and Praise of AllahTheir call therein will be ‘Glory be to You, O Allah,’ and their greeting will be, ‘Peace’ and the last of their call will be ‘Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!’ (Q10:10)

The verse before this one (i.e. verse 23 of Sūrat Hajj) talks about the rewards believers will receive in Heaven. This will include material comforts such as gardens, bracelets of gold and garments of silk. But there will also be spiritual joys such as words that acknowledge the greatness of the Divine presence. There will be praise and glorification of God, interspersed with pleasant talk with others. These words will nourish the soul and be the ‘food’ and ‘adornment’ of the soul.

Let us recite this verse to remind us of the importance of using good and pleasant words in our daily conversation. It is the type of speech in Heaven. Make it part of your speech on earth to get a glimpse of how life will be in Heaven.

Sources: ‘Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh