Manners of conversation are a basic part of life. Islam, being a perfect code of life, gives us proper guidance in this regard. Unfortunately, this is an ignored subject in our lives today. When we read Quran or Ahadith, we come to know that the teachings of Islam are very particular about this subject.
The ability to talk is a great gift of Allah to humans. This characteristic differentiates them from all the other creatures of Allah. This gift comes with a higher re-payment. Along with a sense of gratefulness, we must act upon some basic etiquettes of conversation, given by Islam.
Some of them are as follows:
1. SUBJECT AND TONE OF SPEECH
One of the major aspects of good manners in Islam is about talking good to other people. Words have a great effect on the listener. They can be destructive or positive. A Muslim is taught to always speak the truth. It is our moral obligation to keep our conversation straight and true. Allah says:
“And mix not the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know”.
Islam also emphasizes choosing good words in conversation. Good words stand for friendly, heartwarming, and positive words. There is another verse of the Quran says:
“And say to my slaves (Muslims) that they should say only those words who are the best”.
While speaking, a Muslim is advised to maintain a pleasant and low but audible tone. Lowering your voice in front of elders is a sign of respect while raising the voice is disrespectful. Quran narrates the advice of Luqman to his son, teaching him some basic manners of conversation:
“And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds, without doubt, is braying of the ass”.
2. REFRAIN FROM EVIL TALK AND INSULTING OTHERS
Islam strictly prohibits indulging in evil talks and false gossip. Wasting your time is also disliked in Islam.
“Successful indeed are believers; Those who offer their Salat with all solemnity and full submissiveness; and those who turn away from Al-Laghv”.
The teachings of Islam are also strictly against insulting others. Quran says:
“O you who believe! Let not a group mock another group, it may be that the latter is better than the former. Nor let some women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter is better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames”.
Speaking ill behind someone’s back is one of the worst ethical traits. This is a highly destructive and immoral thing. Quran says:
“….. and do not backbite each other. Do any of you love to eat the flesh of your dead brother? Rather you detest this act, therefore have consciousness of Allah”.
According to this verse of the Quran, backbiting is such a filthy act that is equivalent to eating the flesh of one’s dead brother. This shows the importance of the dignity of Muslims in Islam. Islam puts one’s dignity and respect as same as his physical flesh and speaking badly about him is equal to eating his flesh.
4. TALKING PRIVATELY IN GATHERINGS
Islam also describes the manners of gathering that involve greeting, giving place to each other, not staying too long, etc. One of these manners include not talking privately when you are in a public setting.
This is a very common practice in our gatherings. People tend to lower their voices to keep a secret from others. But there is a ruling about this matter in Islam. Prophet S.A.W says:
“If you are three, two should not converse privately to the execution of the third, until some other people join you, because this will make him sad”.
5. IMPORTANCE OF GREETING OTHER PEOPLE
The concept of greeting is not so simple in Islam. when two Muslims meet, they greet each other by saying “Assalam o alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu”. It means “May the peace of Allah be upon you, and His mercy and His blessings”.
It is the best aspect of Islam as narrated by Prophet P.B.U.H. when he was asked “what is the best aspect of Imaan in Islam?” He said
“feeding the hungry and saying Salaam to those you know and those you do not know”.
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Salam is also a form of Sadaqah in Islam.
6. CHOICE OF WORDS
Islam encourages the choice of good words. This is also a warning to refrain from bad and destructive words. Saying beneficial things to our Muslim brother is part of our faith. Allah says:
“O you who believe! Fear God and speak a word that is right. He will set right for your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys God and His messenger has certainly attained a great achievement”.
There is another Hadith in which the importance of saying good words is described, saying:
“Whoever believes in God and Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent”
7. THE ART OF LISTENING
Islam forbids us from interfering in the speech of a person. Islamic decency deserves us to listen to another person with attention and concentration. Even if a person starts telling you something that you already know, you should not rush to reveal your knowledge by interrupting them. This will add value to your respect.
8. IMPORTANCE OF SILENCE
Along with the etiquette of socializing, Islam teaches us the importance of staying silent. It is considered a property of a true believer that instills modesty in Muslims.
Islam is a religion of peace and it discourages disputes in all ways. It is observed that a talkative person is more vulnerable to disputes. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W said:
“The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome”.
Silence also plays a vital role in building the wisdom and self-correction of a person. There is a saying associated with Imam Ali R.A
“One who knows the value of speech will also know the importance of his silence. In fact, if one adopts silence, he will value his speech and therefore guard it like he guards his wealth”.