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LANALLAH __Islamic BlogZine__
Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Art of Listening

By Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda

If a person starts telling you, whether in private or public, something that
you already knew very well, you should pretend as if you do not know it. Do not
rush to reveal your knowledge or to interfere with the speech. Instead, show
your attention and concentration. The honorable tab'i Imam Ata ibn Abi Rabah said:
"A young man would tell me something that I may have heard before he was born.
Nevertheless, I would listen to him as if I had never heard it before."

Khalid ibn Safwan al-Tamimi, who frequented the courts of two Khalifahs: Umar ibn
Abdul Aziz and Hisham ibn Abdul Malik, said: "If a person tells you something you
have heard before, or news that you already learned, do not interrupt him to exhibit
your knowledge to those present. This is rude and ill mannered." The honorable Imam
Abdullah ibn Wahab al-Qurashi al-Masri, a companion of Imam Malik, Al-Laith ibn Sad
and Al-Thawri, said: "Sometimes a person would tell me a story that I have heard before
his parents had wed. Yet, I listened as if I have never heard it before." Ibrahim
ibn al-Junaid said: "A wise man said to his son: 'Learn the art of listening as you
learn the art of speaking.'" Listening well means maintaining eye contact, allowing
the speaker to finish the spech, and restraining your urge to interrupt his speech.
Al-Hafiz al-Khatib al-Baghdadi said in a poem:

Never interrupt a talk
Though you know it inside out

From; Islamic Manners: The Art of Listening

(ps may Allah give me and all the ability to practise on this advice.ameen)


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