Thursday, July 30, 2009

Muslim Etiquette of Talking

Everyday we meet & interact with people. People from all walks of life, from street vendors to cleaners, school teachers, our mum, our dad, our brothers, our sisters...ministers maybe... You name it...yes, we meet & talk to a lot of people.

Whether they are cleaners, street vendors, mak ciks, pak ciks,young & old, our children, our friends, our parents, or the newspaper boils down to one thing...everybody deserve to be communicated with the same kind of respect, and in certain warranted situations, with compassion...with some gentleness & beautiful words.

Every word that we talk, and in every manner that we speak, we actually have a choice to do so with the utmost courtesy. It is actually a a gift to the people that we address...wrapped nicely with the right intonation, the right facial expression, with the kindest of respect....

We can actually learn the art of being humble in the words that we talk, if we care enough, then take a little bit of our precious time to be reminded that there are such a thing known as the 'Etiquette of Talking'.

I am reminding myself, each time I read this article (I kept this since 1992, 17 yrs ago!!) & please allow me to share this reminder with you, all my friends... about the simple 'Etiquette of Talking' as required of a Muslim in the Islamic perspective.

I learned that Islam presents for mankind a comprehensive guidance in all aspects of life from the cradle to the grave, including the simple action of TALKING & here are the Islamic guidelines in communication or when talking to others:

  1. You should talk politely in an intelligible & dignified manner.
  2. You should neither keep the pitch of your voice so low that it is inaudible to the lieterners nor speak so loudly or harshly lest the addressee should be overawed. Because the Holy Qur'an affirms:"and lower your voices because the most ugly & unpleasant voice is the braying of an ass".
  3. You should not injure the sentiments of the aged persons having careworn hearts & of the innocent children.
  4. You should not pass sarcastic remarks againts the others, lest it should create bitterness & you noble acts.
  5. You should not indulge in talking rubbish because it is an evil. Islam strictly forbid & condemn TAUNTING, BACK-BITTING, BLAMING, CURSING & MOCKING of others.
  6. You should speak only whenever the need arise.
  7. Your talk must be beneficial for the audience. It should be based on truth & sincerity. Hurling words carelessly does not look proper.
  8. As you have to render accounts to ALLAH for every word which you speak, you should talk wisely lest you shall be taken to task for your absurd & bareless conversation.
  9. You should neither indulge in self-praise nor boast of your superiority.
  10. You must neither ridicule others nor call them by insulting names. It is a bad habit to swear frequently.
  11. You should not indulge in fruitless discussion with the stubborn ignorant. When you come to the conclusion that a discussion will lead to bitterness, you should offer 'salaam' (peace) politely & depart in a respectable manner, befitting the status & age of your addressee.
  12. You should talk to your elders with reverence (respect).
  13. You must speak affectionately to your juniors (Young ones) and listen attentively.
  14. It is not commendable to interrupt when someone is speaking, again & again. If you wish to reply or ask any question, you should wait till he or she has completed his/her narration.- Your answer or question must be brief & to the point.
  15. You should try to talk in a simple language & ensure that the other person understand what you are trying to say.
  16. And lastly but not least, if u are requested to repeat what you have said, then you must do so without any feeling of resentment on your part. It may be necessary to repeat thrice (3 times) what you have uttered!!

Friends, thank you for taking your time to read through this article....may the knowledge acquired today, bring you many gains for tomorrow.. InsyaAllah ('God willing', is the equivalent translation in English).


Maisarah Shariff said...

salam, pak su man, can i copy this article onto my blog? love all ur words.

Pak Su Man MAS said...

Dear Maisarah.
Sure, go ahead. I dont believe in copy rights becos all knowledge that help us to be better individuals should be shared and distributed to as many people as possible.

The excerps in this post are taken from an article in an Islamic mthly magazine produced at my place of work a long time ago.

My prayers for your well being anak ku.

Maisarah Shariff said...

thank you pak su man :)

Pak Su Man MAS said...

You are most welcome. Salam anak ku