Etiquettes of Communication

Two women dressed in white calmly discussing Islam
Two muslim women talking to each other against brick wall, Sri Lanka © Angelo Cordeschi | Dreamstime.com

The way in which we communicate with others is extremely important in Islam. We read in a hadith that Abdullah Ibn Harith (RA) said:

“I never came across a person who smiled as much as Prophet Muhammad (SAW).” (Tirmidhi)

We learn from this how important it is to follow the Sunnah and greet each other with a smile. We should try to stay positive even in the most difficult situations, as we believe that Allah is aware of everything. When we stay positive and avoid having a harsh attitude, others around us will know that they can ask us for help whenever they need to. Also, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a hadith:

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

From this, we understand further the significance of smiling when we are communicating with one another. Such a simple act is written down as a deed of charity for us. We know how rewarding it is to give to charity, so we should take advantage of this opportunity.

Greeting each other at the beginning and end of our conversations is also a very significant aspect of communication in Islam. We read in a hadith that:

“A man came to the Prophet (SAW) and said: Peace be upon you! He responded to his salutation. He then sat down. The Prophet (SAW) 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.” (Abi Dawud)

If we ponder on this hadith, we will realise how important it is to greet each other with Salaam, and how simple a deed it is for us to implement into our daily routine.

Another crucial aspect of communication in Islam is lowering our voices and not speaking quickly. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice…” (Qur’an 31:19)

When we speak slowly, people will find it much easier to understand what we are trying to say. Whether we are speaking to a colleague, a child, an elderly person, a family member, or anyone else, they will not feel as though we are rushing through the conversation and trying to leave. Therefore, it is also a matter of respect as much as it is a matter of clarity of speech.

We also learn from this verse that lowering the volume of our voice is important too, as we do not want people to feel intimidated. Speaking too loudly or shouting will not make them feel like talking to us, and in general it is impolite to speak loudly or harshly. We should thus keep in mind to be considerate and respectful in our communication with others and Allah will be merciful with us.