Etiquette of Argument and Discussion from the Sunnah

 

debate
Image from http://uvmbored.com/club/lawrence-debate-union/

Assalaamu’alaykum,

 

This post is especially dedicated for everyone who are (or think they are) in intellectual circles who enjoy discussion and argument.

I speak out of my 11 years experience in competitive parliamentary debating, where I have attended numerous local, national, and international competitions as participant but mostly as judge, and taught at numerous institutions and seminars. InshaaAllah this is not me boasting off, but this is the extent (and therefore basis) of my observation.

There are so many virtues one can learn from competitive parliamentary debating, one of them would be how everyone has their own allocated time to talk and any interruption is subject to the permission of the current speaker.

Fine, one may say “its too formal for ‘friendly’ discussions/meetings”. But one thing that I observe from discussions/debates/meetings outside parliamentary debating competitions/practices (believe me, I have witnessed tons of them) is that their participants are mostly ill mannered. Sadly, including some Islamic Societies.

It is seen as so acceptable to keep on interjecting each other mid-sentence, then claiming that this is a ‘productive academic’ discussion. I know how it feels when your opponent seems to be saying something that you are so familiar with and disagree with and there is this urge to argue with it at that very moment. I know how it feels when you say “ahh I know what he/she’s gonna say next anyway”.

Not only it is rude to interject people mid-sentence. How do you know what the person’s point really is before they have the chance to fully explain it? What if he/she has a point you did not think of despite seemingly similar to what you knew?

If your purpose is to impose your own point, then you dont belong in the discussion. There are hadith that mention how the most despicable among persons in the eye of Allah is one who loves to dispute others just to show they are good at it (Sahih Muslim No. 2668). Are you so arrogant that you reject the possibility that they might be right or even despising your ‘opponent’? Be careful, that might lead you to hell fire (Riyaadus Shaaliheen, Hadith 612, Grade: Sahih).

Imagine if you were a non-Muslim, you might think that Muslims preach atheism! I mean, imagine yourself interjecting the first line of the shahadah mid-sentenceYep, sounds stupid, but that is what you do to people when you keep on interjecting them.

However if you really want to have productive and well mannered discussions comparing different opinions and weighing their merits, then do so in proper manners. Do not interrupt and listen until he/she finishes.

Back home, someone told me “that sort of thing does not work here!” and continues such ill mannered practice. Well, this is the way of the sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. (Imam Tirmidzi’s Shama’il Muhammadiyah,  Book 47, Hadith 334). Wanna choose to ignore it because “it doesnt work here”?

May Allah guide us all to not waste our time with senseless things.

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Etiquette of Argument and Discussion from the Sunnah

 

debate
Image from http://uvmbored.com/club/lawrence-debate-union/

Assalaamu’alaykum,

 

This post is especially dedicated for everyone who are (or think they are) in intellectual circles who enjoy discussion and argument.

I speak out of my 11 years experience in competitive parliamentary debating, where I have attended numerous local, national, and international competitions as participant but mostly as judge, and taught at numerous institutions and seminars. InshaaAllah this is not me boasting off, but this is the extent (and therefore basis) of my observation.

There are so many virtues one can learn from competitive parliamentary debating, one of them would be how everyone has their own allocated time to talk and any interruption is subject to the permission of the current speaker.

Fine, one may say “its too formal for ‘friendly’ discussions/meetings”. But one thing that I observe from discussions/debates/meetings outside parliamentary debating competitions/practices (believe me, I have witnessed tons of them) is that their participants are mostly ill mannered. Sadly, including some Islamic Societies.

It is seen as so acceptable to keep on interjecting each other mid-sentence, then claiming that this is a ‘productive academic’ discussion. I know how it feels when your opponent seems to be saying something that you are so familiar with and disagree with and there is this urge to argue with it at that very moment. I know how it feels when you say “ahh I know what he/she’s gonna say next anyway”.

Not only it is rude to interject people mid-sentence. How do you know what the person’s point really is before they have the chance to fully explain it? What if he/she has a point you did not think of despite seemingly similar to what you knew?

If your purpose is to impose your own point, then you dont belong in the discussion. There are hadith that mention how the most despicable among persons in the eye of Allah is one who loves to dispute others just to show they are good at it (Sahih Muslim No. 2668). Are you so arrogant that you reject the possibility that they might be right or even despising your ‘opponent’? Be careful, that might lead you to hell fire (Riyaadus Shaaliheen, Hadith 612, Grade: Sahih).

Imagine if you were a non-Muslim, you might think that Muslims preach atheism! I mean, imagine yourself interjecting the first line of the shahadah mid-sentenceYep, sounds stupid, but that is what you do to people when you keep on interjecting them.

However if you really want to have productive and well mannered discussions comparing different opinions and weighing their merits, then do so in proper manners. Do not interrupt and listen until he/she finishes.

Back home, someone told me “that sort of thing does not work here!” and continues such ill mannered practice. Well, this is the way of the sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. (Imam Tirmidzi’s Shama’il Muhammadiyah,  Book 47, Hadith 334). Wanna choose to ignore it because “it doesnt work here”?

May Allah guide us all to not waste our time with senseless things.

One Comment

Add a Comment

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