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Home arrow Islamic Topics arrow Manners of Talking to Others

Manners of Talking to Others PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 January 2006
Islam has legislated a number of rules that a Muslim should abide by when he talks to others, while always remembering with unshaken belief that everything he says is accounted for and he will be rewarded if what he says is good and will be punished if what he says is evil. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Qaf, (Verse 18), what can be translated as, "Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)."

The Messenger (S.A.W.) warned us that talk is very dangerous. In an authentic hadith reported by Imam At-tirmithi and Ibn-Majah, that he said, "A person may say a word that is pleasing to Allah (S.W.T.) and he may not think much of it, but Allah (S.W.T.) will, (because of that word), bestow his pleasure upon him on the Day of Judgment, and a person may say a word that is displeasing to Allah (S.W.T.), and he may not think much of it, but Allah will have, (because of that word) his wrath and anger on him on the Day of Judgment."

Talk can be dangerous. So, we should control it within the limits of Islam, guided by Allah (S.W.T.) and his Messenger Mohammed (S.A.W.).

Here are some of the ways to control talk:

1- The goal of your talk should be good and beneficial. If you cannot intend to have a good talk, then you should remain silent and that is good by itself. This is because the Prophet (S.A.W.) says reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, "Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say good or remain silent."

2- Be truthful in your talk and refrain from lying because the believer is always truthful, and does not lie even if he is joking. The Prophet (S.A.W.) says, what was reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, "You must speak the truth for the truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise. One who always speaks the truth and means the truth, is recorded as truthful with Allah. Keep away from the lie for the lie leads to evil and evil leads to the Hell Fire and one who continually tells a lie and intends to lie is recorded with Allah as a liar."

3- Refrain from disobedience (against Allah) in your talk whether you are serious or kidding because Allah hates the disobedient, the curser. The talk of disobedience is every talk that involves disobeying Allah and the curse talk is cursing, cussing, and bad-mouthing others. For this reason, the prophet (S.A.W.) warned us in an authentic hadith, "The believer does not accuse, curse others, disobey Allah, nor bad-mouth others." and in another authentic hadith, "The curse of a Muslim is disobedience." Prohibition of cursing is also applicable to the dead like it is applicable to the living people. The prophet (S.A.W.) forbade us when he says, "Do not curse the dead; they went to what they had done (in this life)" and the prophet (S.A.W.) ordered us in another hadith, "Mention the good things about your dead."

4- Refrain from Gheebah or backbiting (Gheebah is mentioning a Muslim in something he/she hates) in your talk, "and do not backbite one another". Also refrain from Nameemah (Nameemah is spreading talk among people to make them hate one another) because the Prophet said in an authentic hadith, "He who makes Namimah does not enter Paradise." Also, refrain from listening without making your objection known to people who are making Nameemah. Because if you do, you will be sharing the sins.

5- Refrain from swearing unless it is necessary. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Al-Baqarah, (Verse 224), what can be translated as, "And do not make Allah’s (Name) an excuse in you oaths."

6- Talk only within your knowledge and expertise, and do not talk about what you do not know. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Al-Isra’a, (Verse 36), what can be translated as, "And do not follow (say) that of which you have no knowledge."

7- Do not talk to people about everything you hear without investigation and confirmation, because you may hear from others the truthfulness and falsehood and what is true and what is doubtful. If you talk about everything you hear, you will be sharing the sins. The prophet (S.A.W.) warns us in an authentic hadith, "It is enough sin a person commits when he talks about everything he hears."

8- Make sure that the goal from your talk and conversation with others is to reach the truth, and reveal the falsehood. And do not be concerned whether the truth is reached and falsehood is revealed by you or by others.

9- Refrain from being involved in useless arguments which sole purpose is to put down and prevail over others. Because being aimlessly argumentative is from the signs of misguidance (We seek refuge with Allah from it). For this reason, the prophet (S.A.W.) warned us in an authentic hadith reported by Imam At-trimithi, "A people did not get misguided after Allah had guided them, but they were aimlessly argumentative." Abandon useless arguments even if the truth is on your side to prevent useless argument-full conversation. The prophet (S.A.W.) says in another authentic hadith reported by Imam Abu-Dawud, "I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for the one who stopped being aimlessly argumentative even if he is right."

10- Make your talk clear, simple, devoid of words that are difficult to understand, devoid of eloquency when it is not necessary, and devoid of anything that puts down others because the prophet (S.A.W.) hates this kind of talk. The prophet (S.A.W.) says in a fair hadith reported by Imam At-tirmithi, "The people whom I hate the most and who are the farthest from me on the Day of Judgment are those who talk uselessly, and those who put down others, and those who shows off when they talk."

11- Make your talk calm, clear, audible and understood by others. The prophet (S.A.W.) used to repeat the word three times to make sure that it is understood and his talk was simple that everyone can understand.

12- Be serious in your talk and do not joke much, and if you joke, be truthful like the prophet (S.A.W.) used to do.

13- Do not interrupt another person when he talks and listen to what he has to say till he finishes his point, then follow up on what he said with what is good and beneficial if the follow-up is necessary or useful, not just because you want to talk aimlessly.

14- Talk and debate in a nice way which is devoid of harming, hurting, putting down, and making fun of others. This good way of talk was commanded by all messengers. Allah (S.W.T.) said to Mousa and his brother Haroun, when he sent them to Pharaoh in Surat Taha, (Verse 44), "And speak to him (Pharaoh) mildly, perhaps he may accept admoition or fear Allah." So, you are not better than Mousa and Haroun nor that person you are talking to is worse than Pharaoh.

15- Do not reject everything others have said if you have noticed a mixture of right and wrong or a mixture of truth and falsehood, because right should not be rejected even if it is said along with some other things that are independently wrong. Truth should not be rejected if it is said along with some other things that are independently false. You should accept the right and the truth and reject only the wrong and falsehood, and this is the justice and fairness that Allah (S.W.T.) commanded us to do.

16- Do not complement yourself and pat yourself on the back in front of people, because usually this is a result of arrogance which Allah (S.W.T.) forbade us from in Surat An-Najm, (Verse 32), what can be translated as, "Do not complement yourself, He (Allah) knows best of those who are pious."

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