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Islamic Manners: Discussions and Debates


By Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda (RA)

If you have trouble understanding some of what has been said in meeting, hold your questions until the speaker has finished. Gently, politely, and with proper introduction, ask for clarification. Do not interrupt a person's speech. Never raise your voice with the question, or be blunt to draw attention to yourself. This is contrary to the proper manner of listening, and stirs up contempt. However, this is not the rule if the meeting is for studying and learning. In such a case, asking questions and initiating a discussion is desirable if conducted respectfully and tactfully and only after the speaker finishes. The Khalifah Al-Ma'mun said: "Discussion entrenches knowledge much more than mere agreement."

Al-Haitham ibn Adi, a known scholar, historian, and a member of the court of four Khalifahs: Abu Ja`far al-Mansur, Al-Mahdi, Al-Hadi and Al-Rashid, said: "It is an ill manner to overwhelm someone while speaking and to interrupt them before they end their talk."

If a colleague did not understand an issue and asked a scholar or an elder to explain, you should listen to what is being said. The repeated explanation may give you additional insights to what you already know. Never utter any word belittling your colleague, nor allow your face to betray such an attitude.

When an elder or a scholar speaks, listen attentively. Never busy yourself with a talk or discussion with other colleagues. Do not let your mind wander elsewhere; keep it focused on what is being said.

Never interrupt a speaker. Never rush to answer if you are not very confident of your answer. Never argue about something you do not know. Never argue for the sake of argument. Never show arrogance with your counterparts especially if they hold a different opinion. Do not switch the argument to belittle your opponent's views. If their misunderstanding becomes evident, do not rebuke or scold them. Be modest and kind. A poet once said:

Who could get me a friend
Who if I offend will remain calm
Who would listen intently to what I have to say
When he knows it better than I do


Article taken (with Thanks) from www.islaam.com

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