The etiquette of speech Part 1

Mujaddidul – Millah, Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) expounds on the etiquette of speech with the following brief discourse:


1. Some people do not speak clearly. They speak ambiguously and with formality. They consider the use of indications to be respectful. The listener sometimes he understands wrongly. This causes much inconvenience Therefore speak up and speak clearly, without ambiguity.

2. Speak from in front of a person, not from behind. Speaking from behind a person is perplexing.

3. When renewing a request to a person, then mention it fully in spite of it having been stated before. Do not express yourself incompletely or ambiguously relying on an earlier explanation. It is possible that the earlier explanation has been partly forgotten; hence the listener may misunderstand the request if it is renewed without clarity.

4. Some people sitting in the back clearing their throats or cough in order to attract attention to themselves. If there is a real need to say something, go to the front and explain. However this should not be done. It is improper to disturb a person involved in some work. Wait for the person to complete his task then address him.

5. Until such time that one topic has not been completed, do not introduce another. While someone is speaking do not interrupt with another subject.

6. On making an inquiry reply in full, without ambiguity, when you are questioned. Do not reply with confusing statements which necessitate repeated questioning.

7. While eating do not mention such things that will nauseate or disgusts others. The disposition of some persons is delicate and cannot tolerate to hear the mention of disgusting things while eating.

8. In the presence of a sick person or his household do not make such statements which cause them grief and to lose hope in life. Make encouraging statements to alleviate the pain and sorrow, saying Insha’allah.

9. If you have to speak privately abut a person who happens to be present, do not indicate this to others by indicating with your hands or eye. Do not let him realize you are discussing him. This will apply if the discussion regarding him is permissible. If the discussion is not lawful, then discussing him will be sinful.

10. On hearing the news of someone’s death, illness, do not publicize it until you have confirmed the truth of the news.

(Muslim Way Of Life, Pg.54, Rightway Publications)

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