Communicate By Means of Sunnah

assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

(28:24)

rabbi innee lima anzalta ilayya min khayrin faqeerun
“My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!”

We communicate with people on a daily basis. As Muslims, we are obligated to educate ourselves on how do we communicate effectively by means of Sunnah?

We meet our brothers and sisters day in and day out. The sunnah of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has taught us everything including manners and etiquettes of communicating with people in meetings, gatherings and elsewhere.

Let us review so we may communicate effectively, in sha’ Allah;

1. Smile: The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity.”

[Jami` at-Tirmidhi]

2. Pay attention to the tone and volume: Beware of your tone and the volume of your voice.

“And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.”

[Qur’an: Chapter 31, Verse 19]

3. Start with the Islamic greeting of peace: Whether you know this Muslim or not, the greeting of peace or saying ‘Assalaamu alaykum’ (peace be upon you) is recommended. It will repel hatred and create love between you.

“A man came to the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said: Peace be upon you! He responded to his salutation. He then sat down. The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: Ten [rewards]. Another man came and said: Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you! He responded to his salutation when he sat down. He said: Twenty. Another man came and said: Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you! He responded to him and said when he sat down: and blessings be upon you! He responded to him and said when he sat down: Thirty.”

[Sunan Abi Dawud]

4. Shake hands: Accompany your greeting with shaking hands (if you are greeting your mahram or a person of your gender).

“There are no two Muslims who meet and shake hands, but they will be forgiven before they part.”

[Sunan Ibn Majah]

5. Teach at every opportunity: The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used every chance to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. If there is ever a need for you to say something corrective in nature, do so gently.

6. Refrain from the common evils of the tongue: People getting together and communicating with each other often leads to falling into various sins related to the tongue such as talking about Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) without knowledge, slandering, lying, insulting and cursing.

These habits are grievous sins that eat away at our rewards and the barakah in our lives: make it a habit to ensure whether anything you are about to say may constitute any of these sins. And, if you were to indulge in joking, let the jokes be true.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

7. Choose simple, concise words: Avoid complex language and sophisticated terminologies. Instead, try to stick to concise words and phrases that are of eloquence and seek to be understood.The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“I have been given superiority over the other prophets in six respects: I have been given words which are concise but comprehensive in meaning”

[Sahih Muslim].

8. Stay away from argumentation: Being nice is easy when you’re dealing with nice people. But, practically speaking, this world has more to it than such people. Despite your best efforts, you are bound to walk into not-so-nice people. Try not to fall into disputes and argumentation.

“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).”

[Qur’an: Chapter 8, Verse 46]

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.”

[Qur’an: Chapter 41, Verse 34]

If you find the argument going nowhere positive, stop before you get angry, smile and retreat after trying your best to reconcile for when a man said to the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) “Advise me,” he said: “Do not get angry.”

He repeated his question several times and again the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Do not get angry.”

[Bukhari]

Here’s a verse to further motivate you to communicate clearly:

“Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit], and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged.”

[Qur’an: Chapter 6, Verse 160]

I hope this reminder of communicating effectively by following the sunnah has benefited you, in sha’ Allah…

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