Speaking Pleasantly *

Knowing how to remain silent according to the situation or environment is as important as knowing how to speak properly. Of course a person should not respond to their elders, teachers, husbands without deliberation. We should never forget that sometimes silence can be more appropriate than the most eloquent and effective expression. It is better than expressing useless words that have no benefit or meaning: Never forget that silence and contemplation is a great form of worship.

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Prof. Dr. M. Es’ad Coşan (Rh.a)

Carefully compare the two separate statements you encounter in the two places you entered:

“No smoking here.”

“Thank you for not smoking.”

The first is like the harsh words of a gendarmerie guarding the barracks; the latter is much more charming and polite.

The style, topics and words chosen are very important in speaking. The mercy of both worlds, our beloved Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith:

“A man utters a word pleasing to Allah without considering it of any significance for which Allah exalts his ranks (in Jannah); another one speaks a word displeasing to Allah without considering it of any importance, and for this reason he will sink down into Hell.”1

Yunus Emre, the master of speech; blessed, tearful poet of wisdom and pleasant speech also draws attention to the importance of speaking properly.

“War is cut short by a word

and a word heals the wounds

and there’s a word that changes

poison into butter and honey.”2

And the poem continues with sweet, pleasant words.

Pleasant speech is very important for harmony and happiness within the family. A few complimentary words can resolve  many controversial subjects; relieves tension, prevents conflict. On the contrary, even if they are true a few mean words can offend the opposite party, hurt their feelings, or even break up a family.

According to the hadith, Kalima-i tayyibah (kind, pleasant words; words of purity) is a means of charity, and it the means of earning reward. A Mu’min is a person who is pleasant spoken, good-humored, compatible and positive; there is no benefit of the servant who does not mix with others, who does not approach others, who does not know how to make a conversation with others.

Therefore, be careful  how you speak to your spouse, child, relatives, neighbors; choose your words properly, adjust your manner properly; do not speak unfavorably, rude or offensive; you may be speaking the truth, but it may not always be appropriate to speak the truth at that moment; it is necessary to chose the right time and place; iron should be struck while it is hot. You should not be tactless enough to call  "A spade a spade"

If you  occupy your tongue with the remembrance of Allah, you can gain very high spiritual degrees, you can easily attain happiness in both worlds. Insha'Allah.

My dear readers, May Allah be your supporter, your helper and your companion!

* Basmakaleler (Leading Articles)2: Women and Family Journal Editorials, Istanbul: Server Communication, 2016, p. 134-135.

1. For the hadith narrated from Abu Huraira (ra.), See. Bukhari, “Rikakat”, 23; Muslim, “Zuhd”, 49.

2. The Divan of Yunus Emre, II, 157.

Article “Speaking Pleasantly” Prof. Dr. M. Es'ad Coşan (Rh.a.)