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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 
Ministry of Higher Education 
Imam Muhammad lbn Saud Islamic University 
Dialogue 
Its Concept, R...
1:.-' • 
Ktn tJd un O'f Stwdl At'ftblH 
Mtnl~trv of Mlahr r duu.~tlon 
"'' m Muh{ln1mud Um S~uct Islamic Univ r.''IW 
Kina...
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz center for contemporary Islamic studies and dialogue of 
civllzations. 2012 King Fahd National...
. ,. .-. 
. . . - .
Contents 
[ Chapter 
I No.page I 
Introduction 5 
The Concept of Dialogue 6 
Dialogue in the Holy Qur'an 9 
The Rulings of...
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful 
Introduction: 
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, may...
The Concept of Dialogue 
. Dialogue and dialoguing mean a conversation betw~en t~o or more people. 
The word 'Hiwar' (dial...
~s for 'Jid~I' _(ar~~in~), it lexica!ly means 'tension and force'. Technically, it is 
defined by Al1ur1arn in his book Ta...
•· - .. ..·....,....- ........ 
pleased with him - saying: [Prophet Mohammad - peace be upon him - said: "No 
people went ...
Dialogue in the Holy Qur'an 
The Holy Qur'an is rich with numerous examples of various dialogues. Some of 
these dialogues...
The Rulings of Dialogue 
Throughout the previously mentioned verses and Prophetic hadiths in 
explaining the concepts of d...
· The Prophetic Sunnah also allows dialogue and arguing as in Prophet 
Mohammad's - peace be upon him - saying: ['No one o...
'. 
Significance of Dialogue 
Allah created human beings having diffe rent cognitive capabilit ies They differ 
in percept...
. . ' 
fact, it is the method used by every Muslim in dealing with his brother Muslim 
especially when opinions vary and p...
.'• . 
Purpose and Objectives of Dialogue 
The real purpose of dialogue is calling for the truth, establishing proof, - 
r...
lhsan 
12 
' and signs preceding the Day of Judgment, then Prophet Mohammad - 
peace be upon him - said: [He was Gabriel (...
Principles and Precepts of Dialogue 
Dialogue has principles, precepts and conditions that a Musl.im dial.o~ist should 
kn...
principle . 
of women wearing veils and the p · ·b·1· 
I 
1 
d erm1ss1 1 rty of polygamy' This 
a so inc u es the unquesti...
scholar without winning, and I have never been argued by an ignorant without 
losing". 
• To set a reference to resort for...
Ethics of Dialogue 
There are a number of ethics that a Muslim dialog'ist must possess so as h'1 s 
dialogue would be posi...
[And mention in the Book (the Qur'an) ldrls (Enoch).Verily he was a man of 
truth, (and) a Prophet.] (Qur'an: Maryam (Mary...
and. forbidden. Allah the. Almighty says·· [O you who be1·1ev e.1 Le t notagroup 
scoff at anothe. r group, it may be that...
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Dialogue: Its Concept, Rulings, Principles and Precepts in Light of Quranic Texts, Prophet Mohammad's SAW Sunnah and Rules of Islamic Law

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Dialogue: Its Concept, Rulings, Principles and Precepts in Light of Quranic Texts, Prophet Mohammad's SAW Sunnah and Rules of Islamic Law

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Dialogue: Its Concept, Rulings, Principles and Precepts in Light of Quranic Texts, Prophet Mohammad's SAW Sunnah and Rules of Islamic Law

  1. 1. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Higher Education Imam Muhammad lbn Saud Islamic University Dialogue Its Concept, Rulings, Principles and Precepts in Light of Quranic Texts, Prophet Mohammad's Sunnah and Rules of Islamic Law His Eminence Abdulaziz lbn Abdullah lbn Muhammad Al-Asheikh The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Grand 'Mufti' President of Senior Islamic Scholars Commission President of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Itta (Issuing Advisory Opinions) 1434 A.H. - 2013 A.O.
  2. 2. 1:.-' • Ktn tJd un O'f Stwdl At'ftblH Mtnl~trv of Mlahr r duu.~tlon "'' m Muh{ln1mud Um S~uct Islamic Univ r.''IW Kina AbduU~h bin Abduhn h: c ntCl r for Cont. -mporu ry I ·lnmlt Studl~s md t>I ,1osut of Clvllbollons Dialog11e ,- Its Concept, Ruli11gs, Pri11ciples and Precepts in Ligl1t of Quranic Texts, Prophet Mohammad's Sunnah and Rules of Islamic Law His Eminence Abdulaziz lbn Abdullah lbn Muhammad Al-Asheikh The Kingdom of Saudi Arabta•s Grand 'Mufti• President of Senior Islamic Scholars Commission President of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta (Issuing Advisory Opinions) ~~i;f~~~l,:.irk:c;~;,: <.·.· .·, 1434 A.H. -2013 A.O. , ' '
  3. 3. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz center for contemporary Islamic studies and dialogue of civllzations. 2012 King Fahd National Library Cataloging-in publication Date Al - Asheikh, Abdulaziz bin Abdullah lbn Muhammad Dialogue its concept. Rulings, principles and Precepts in Ligh of Quranic, texts , prophet, Mohammads Sunnah and rules of Islamic law./ Abdulaziz bin Abdullah lbn Muhammad Al­Asheikn - Riyadh . 2012 24p: 21 *21 cm 1SBN: 978-603-90392-1-1 1- Dialogue - Religious aspects - Islam 1- Tide 901.9 ds 1433/9529 L.D. no. 1433/9529 ISBN: 978-603-90392-1-1
  4. 4. . ,. .-. . . . - .
  5. 5. Contents [ Chapter I No.page I Introduction 5 The Concept of Dialogue 6 Dialogue in the Holy Qur'an 9 The Rulings of Dialogue 10 Significance of Dialogue 12 ' 14 Principles and Precepts of Dialogue 16 Ethics of Dialogue 19 (Translated by the Institute of Translation and Arabization - Imam Muhammad lbn Saud Islamic University)
  6. 6. In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful Introduction: Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, may His peace and blessings be upon Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions. In view of the importance of dialogue in a Muslim's life and the pressing need of having it in various aspects of social life, we present some explanations regarding dialogue concept, rulings, and principles as well as the ethics that a Muslim dialogist should possess.
  7. 7. The Concept of Dialogue . Dialogue and dialoguing mean a conversation betw~en t~o or more people. The word 'Hiwar' (dialogue) is mentioned only three times in the Holy Qur'an: Allah, God Exalted be He, says: [and he said to his companion, in t he cours of mutual talk: "I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men.''] (Qur'an: Al-Kahf (The Cave), 34). He the Exalted also says: [His companion said to him during the talk with him: "Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust (i.e. your father Adam), then out of Nut/ah (mixed semen drops of male and female discharge), then fashioned you into a man?] (Qur'an: Al-Kahf (The Cave), 37). Another verse of the Qur'an is: [Indeed Allah has heard the statement of h r (Khaulah bint Tha'labah) that disputes with you (0 Muhammad -Peac be upo. him) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Samit), and complains to Allah. An· Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer (Qur'an: Al-Mujadalah (The Disputation). Apparently, dialogue in these verses means the reciprocity, exchange and giving-and-taking of speech between two sides. The word 'Hawr', meaning 'coming back to/rebounding', is also mentioned in Prophetic Sunnah'1 ). An example of that is his - peace be upon him - saying: [ ... and he who labels anyone with unbelief or calls him the enemy of Allah, and he is in fact not so, it rebounds on him] (Sahih Muslim, Book of Faith: Hadith no. 112). Saying "Hara alaih" means 'rebounds on him'. ( 1! Translator's note: According to Azami's Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature, Sunnah(Hadith ri:~er to th~ way. of Prophet ~ohammad - peace be upon him - depending on what was transrrntted. on his. authority, his deeds, saymgs, tacit approval or description of his 'features' meaning his physical ;;. _ .,',. ~pp~~ra11ce. ,
  8. 8. ~s for 'Jid~I' _(ar~~in~), it lexica!ly means 'tension and force'. Technically, it is defined by Al1ur1arn in his book Ta reefat (Definitions) as: ''a person preventing his opponent from refuting his speech by evidence or dubiety" . The author of Almisbah Almuneer (The Luminous Lamp} says it is: "countering evidence with each other in order to show which is more preponderant". Arguing is of two types: positive and negative. It is mentioned twenty nine times in the Holy Qur'an all of which are negative except for the following three verses. Allah, God Exalted be He, says: [Invite (mankind, O Muhammad -Peac be upon him) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur'an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better.] (Qur'an: An-Nahl (The Bees), 125). [And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islamic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong] (Qur'an: Al-Ankabut (The Spider), 46). [Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her (Khaulah bint Tha'labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad -Peac be upon him) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Samit), and complains to Allah.] (Qur'an: Al-Mujadaah {The Disputation), 1). A positive argument is that intended for the right cause like finding the truth, revealing it and establishing proofs upon whoever does not follow Allah's religion {Islam). This must be done by a person with knowledge and profound insights. In Prophetic Sunnah, arguing is classified by the great scholars of Hadith - may Allah have mercy on their souls - in a way that shows that it is undesirable, for it is based on dispute and tension. In lbn Majah's classification of his book of Sunan, he entitles a chapter "Avoiding Heresies and Arguing" and he mentions within that chapter a Prophetic hadith narrated by Abu Umamah ~ may Allah be .· - 7. -
  9. 9. •· - .. ..·....,....- ........ pleased with him - saying: [Prophet Mohammad - peace be upon him - said: "No people went astray after having been given guidance except after they started · · argumentation." then he recited: (Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.}) . (Attermithi, The book of Interpreting Qur'an: 3253). The full verse reads: [And · say: "Are our alihah (gods) better or is. he ['Isa (Jesus)]?" They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.] (Qur'an: Az-Zukhruf (The Gold Adornments), 58). There are other Hadiths where arguing occurred positively as in Prophet Mohammad's - peace be upon him - saying: ['No one of you disputes more intensely for something that is rightly his in this world, than the believers will dispute with their Lord for their brothers who have entered the Fire ... ] (Annasa'i, Book of Faith: 5010). This hadith shows that arguing could be for a right cause; only then it is not negative. . .. - -. - · .... . . . .. - . . · .. ·., ~ :· ~ . 'r
  10. 10. Dialogue in the Holy Qur'an The Holy Qur'an is rich with numerous examples of various dialogues. Some of these dialogues occurred between Allah the Almighty and one of His creations, between prophets (peace be upon them) and their people, between a believer and a disbeliever, in between believers, in between disbelievers or between a human being and an animal. Examples of these dialogues in the Holy Qur'an are the following: There are instances of dialogue between Allah the Exalted and the angels regarding the creation of Adam [Qur'an: Al-Baqarah (The Cow), 30-32], Allah's dialogue with Prophet Esa (Jesus) [Qur'an: Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread), 116- 117], the dialogues of Prophets and Messengers with disbelievers amongst their people; there are many examples of these dialogues in the Holy Qur'an, the dialogue of the believing man of Firawn's (Pharaoh's) family [Qur'an: Ghafir (The Forgiver), 28-44], the dialogue of the believing Jinn with their people [Qur'an: Al­Ahqaf (The Curved Sandhills), 29-32], the dialogue of Prophet Mosa (Moses) with AIKhadher in [Al-Kahf (The Cave): 66-82], the dialogue of Firawn (Pharaoh) with the chiefs around him in ·[Qur'an: Ash-shu'ara' (The Poets), 34-37] and the dialogue of Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) with the hoopoe [Qur'an: An-Naml (The ants), 22-28]. ,' · -.:·-
  11. 11. The Rulings of Dialogue Throughout the previously mentioned verses and Prophetic hadiths in explaining the concepts of dialogue and arguing in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah, we notice that if dialogue and arguing were for goodwill, right cause and done with knowledge and proof, they are permitted and lawful. In fact, it is recommended and exhorted in Allah's Holy Book (Qur'an) to argue in the best manner; as in Allah's the Exalted saying: [Invite (mankind, 0 Muhammad -Peac be upon him) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur'an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better.] (Qur'an: An-Nahl (The Bees), 125). [And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islamic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong] (Qur'an: Al-Ankabut (The Spider), 46). There are verses of the Holy Qur'an that approve arguing and dialogue as in Allah's saying: [Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her (Khaulah binf Tha'labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad -Peac be upon him) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Samit), and complains to Allah.] (Qur'an: Al-Mujadalah (The Disputation), 1). Another verse in Sura (chapter) HGd tells the story of the people of Prophet NGh (Noah): [They said: "O NGh (Noah)! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us] (HQd: 32). Here, Allah Almighty ascribes arguing to Prophet Noah without disapproving it. Allah Almighty also says: [His companion said to him during the talk with him: "Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust (i.e. your father Adam}, then out of Nutfah (mixed semen drops of male and female discharge), then fashioned you into a man?] {Qur'an: Al-Kahf (The Cave), 37). Here, He mentions the dialogue between the two companions without disapproving it which approves , and confirms dialogue. - 10 -
  12. 12. · The Prophetic Sunnah also allows dialogue and arguing as in Prophet Mohammad's - peace be upon him - saying: ['No one of you disputes more · intensely for something that is rightly his in this world, than the believers will dispute with their Lord for their brothers who have entered the Fire ... ] {Annasa'i, ·Book of Faith: 5010). Also there are similar textual evidence like the argument that occurred between prophets Adam and Moses - peace be upon them - mentioned by Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him: ['Adam and Moses argued with each other' ... 'So, Adam overpowered Moses.'] (Al-Bukhari, Book of Prophets: 3409). Moreover, there is a narration regarding the argument that . happened between Omar and Abu Baker - may Allah be pleased with them - in Al-Hudaibiah peace-treaty. The argument was not disapproved by Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him. These texts and the like prove the permissibility of dialogue and arguing. Indeed, they are desirable if they are for a good cause, with knowledge and profound insights and conducted in a good manner. · However, if dialogue is done for the sake of arguing without any scholarly grounds, or conducted in a bad manner or for an evil cause and is done only for the sake of showing-off, quarreling, obstinacy, nullifying truth, inducing falsehood and provoking dubiety in the hearts of listeners or dialogists; then it would be negative. '·.':
  13. 13. '. Significance of Dialogue Allah created human beings having diffe rent cognitive capabilit ies They differ in perception, knowledge, menta lit y, colors, languages and behavior. All ah Almighty says: [And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge.] (Qur'an: Ar-Rum (The Romans), 22). [And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah [nation or community (following one religion i.e. Islam)] but they will not cease to disagree. Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy (the follower of truth - Islamic Monotheism) and for that did He create them.] (Qur'an: HGd, 118-119). As they differ in their opinions, faiths, attitudes, intellectual abilities and perception of matters, issues and rulings; they need to exercise dialogue, dialoguing. and exchange of opinions and different points of view with logical evidence in order to narrow the range of differences among themselves and find a common ground away from dispersion, dissension and dispute and to unravel the truth to people. Therefore, Islam shows a great interest in dialogue because the primary mean for any Muslim seeking to propagate the message of Islam is the word and dia~ogu~. For the word is a message and a pledge; and the good word is the · b~hever s weapon to get his/her noble message across whether in introducing ~ts/h:r message to people or in defending it and refuting dubiety raised around it. It 1s also the primary tool ·1n d 1· · h h' I . · · .•.• .. , ·.·.. , · . . · .. . .. . ea mg wit 1s her fellow preachers of Islam. In · · '·:-·-.. ·. : , '.
  14. 14. . . ' fact, it is the method used by every Muslim in dealing with his brother Muslim especially when opinions vary and points of view differ. Accordingly, we can argue that: the more the preachers of Islam are well­versed in dialogue and acquainted with its ethics and ways, the more they are able to succeed in their mission. This is also applicable to any Muslim's behavior with their brothers/sisters in their worldly affairs. There were many disbelievers who converted to Islam through dialogue, many heresiarchs who took back their heresies because of dialogue, many disobedient people who turned to Allah (God) in repentance and came back to their senses after dialoguing with them and many disagreements and disputes between two people ceased and turned into cordiality and rapport as a result of dialogue; in addition to other fruits of constructive dialogue. , . . ···' . .,, ..: •./;: . '. . .. ~
  15. 15. .'• . Purpose and Objectives of Dialogue The real purpose of dialogue is calling for the truth, establishing proof, - refuting dubiety, rejecting unsound talk or opinion and differentiating between . truth and falsehood. Allah the Exalted says: [And thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail, that the way of the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners) may become manifest.] (Qur'an: Al-An'am (The Cattle), SS] so that everyone can choose one of the two paths out of full awareness and clarity. Allah the Almighty says: [so that those who were to be destroyed (for their rejecting the Faith) might be destroyed after a clear_ evidence, and those who were to live (i.e. believers} might live after a clear evidence. And surely, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.] (Al-Anfal (Qur'an: The Spoils of War), 42). lbn Al-Qaiem - may Allah have mercy on his soul - says: "Verily, the benefit of arguing and disputing is reflecting and moving from falsehood to truth, from ignorance to knowledge and from blindness to sight". (Bada'ie Attafseer 2/152). Other dialogue objectives include showing the strongest arguments in controversial issues, reaching the truth, narrowing the gap of disagreement among people and finding a common ground for all parties. In addition, some of dialogue objectives and benefits include brain training and scholarly exploration, for Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal - may Allah have mercy on his soul - used to teach his companions and students through discussion and used to tell Al-Maymoni when answering some of his questions: "Do not write yet, come and discuss". (Tah'theeb Alajwibah: p.109). · Other objectives also include educating listeners/hearers; as in Jebreel's (Angel G~briel'_s) - p~ace be upon him - dialogue with Prophet Mohammad - peace be · ·upon him - rn the well-known hadith when . he asked him about faith, Islam, .. '· .. , , . . . . '· · : . -.....
  16. 16. lhsan 12 ' and signs preceding the Day of Judgment, then Prophet Mohammad - peace be upon him - said: [He was Gabriel (the angel). He came to you in order to teach you your religion.] (Sahih Muslim, Book of Faith: Hadith no. 11l. . . another hadith means, worsh1. ppm. g '· II a h (God) as if .y ou can see (')Translator's note: lhsa11 as explained '°. . annot see Him. He sees ~ ou. Him and keeping m mmd that even it you c - 15 -
  17. 17. Principles and Precepts of Dialogue Dialogue has principles, precepts and conditions that a Musl.im dial.o~ist should know and abide by so that his dialogue would be constructive, guiding to the truth and the right and a mean to the right path. Some of the principles of dialogue in Islam are as follows: • To believe in the perfection of the religion of Islam: A Muslim dialogist must believe that Islam is a perfect and complete religion in its tenets, principles, teachings and rules; and has no deficiencies whatsoever. Allah Almighty says: [This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.] (Qur'an: Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread), 3). This is because the Qur'anic and Hadith texts are capable of solving all problems. They have solutions for all dilemmas and can account for all calamities and novelties of modern life. A Muslim dialogist must not think that he/she is mending shortcomings in Islam by dialoguing with the other or derive rules from the other which are not mentioned in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. • To never approach postulates and constants of Islam during dialogue: Matters and issues that are counted as postulates and constants in Islam cannot be subjected to dialogue and giving-and-taking. These are proven unquestionably with texts from the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah and known as f.u ndamenta.l s in .t he. religion of Islam · Like dogmat·1 c pn·n c1· p I es an d b as1·c 1ssu~s of Faith,. ~nnc1ple~ of the acts of worshipping 'such as the obligation of praying, almsg1v1ng, fasting Ramadan and pilgrimage to M kk t ' · · .I f ethics 'such a th bl' . a a 1 , pnnc1p es o the unquestio~ab~ ~r~~:t10.n of h?nesty and prohibition of lying', as well as . n issues such a~the application of lslarnic law, the - 16 -
  18. 18. principle . of women wearing veils and the p · ·b·1· I 1 d erm1ss1 1 rty of polygamy' This a so inc u es the unquestionable prohibitions / h · · · d · k. I h I , sue as committing adultery, nn mg a co 0 , usury ... and other unquestionable matters in Islamic law. S~ch matters. are n~ver to be compromised; they should rather be accepted wit~ postulation without hesitation. Allah the Exalted says: [It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.] (Qur•an: Al-Ahzab {The Confederates), 36). • The Dialogist competence: Dialogue, in general, is a scholar's business, for an ignorant is not qualified for dialoguing; rather he would cause damage more than repair. It is necessary that a dialogist has an adequate competence in the field being dialogued and discussed especially in detailed issues that need a specific kind of effort and specialization in a scholarly discipline. A person ignorant in something is not equal to a person acquainted with it. Hence, an ignorant should not argue with a scholar. It is the right of a non­scholar to ask and try to understand but not to object and argue without knowledge. Allah Almighty dispraised unfounded arguments, He the Glorified says: [And among men is he who disputes about Allah, without knowledge or guidance, or a Book giving light (from Allah)] {Al-Hajj {Qur1an: The Pilgrimage), 8). In this context, Prophet Moses - peace be upon him - said to the righteous man: [Musa (Moses) said to him (Khidr): 11May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allah)?11 ] (Qur1an: Al-Kahf (The Cave), 66). Lack of equal knowledge is often one of the causes of dialogue failure. Al­Shafie - ·may Allah have mercy on his soul - said: "I have never argued a - 17 -
  19. 19. scholar without winning, and I have never been argued by an ignorant without losing". • To set a reference to resort for arbitration: Dialogists must set a reference to consult when they differ. Undoubtedly, the basic references for Muslims are the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah as understood by Prophet Mohammad's - peace be upon him - companions who are considered the best generation, the followers (those who met or accompanied the Prophet's companions), the rightful followers of the followers (those who met or accompanied the followers) and religious scholars of the right path who followed in their footsteps. • To identify points of difference and agreement: Before engaging into dialogue, dialogists must specify the meeting points and regard them as a scaffold to start off their dialogue and discussion of issues they disagree on so that their efforts and discussions would not be wasted. In addition, specifying points of agreement increase the chance of concordance and m.utual closeness and narrows the gap between all sides of the dialogue.
  20. 20. Ethics of Dialogue There are a number of ethics that a Muslim dialog'ist must possess so as h'1 s dialogue would be positive, fruitful and constructive. Some of the most important ethics of engaging in dialogue are as follows: • Sincerity of intention to please no one but Allah Almighty: A Muslim's dialogue must be pure and sincere to please no one but Allah Almighty, to seek His reward and to unravel the truth and defend it. There are some behaviors that asperse sincerity such as hypocrisy, seeking reputation and fame, opinionatedness and showing off. Prophets and Messengers - peace be upon them - set wonderful examples of sincerity in their call for worshipping Allah Almighty. Allah the Exalted recounts Prophet Noah's story: ["And 0 my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah."] (Hud: 29). He Almighty says about Prophet HGd's story: ["O my people I ask of you no reward for it (the Message). My reward is only from Him Who created me. Will you not then understand?] (Qur'an: HGd, 51). • Honesty: Honesty is telling the truth as it is without addition or subtraction made thereto. Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, ordered us to be honest in all our words and deeds. He, the Glorified, says: [O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).] (Qur'an: At­Tawbah (The Repentance), 119). He praised His Prophet Ismael (Ishmael) - peace be upon him - by saying: [And mention in the Book (the Qur'an) lsma'll (Ishmael). Verily he was true to what he promised,] (Qur'an: Maryam (Mary), 54). He also praised Prophet ldrees (Enoch) - peace be upon him - by saying: - 19 -
  21. 21. [And mention in the Book (the Qur'an) ldrls (Enoch).Verily he was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet.] (Qur'an: Maryam (Mary), 56). So, a dialogist must have honesty in all his words in all conditions. • Patience and tolerance: Patience implies the virtues of tolerance, forgiveness, suppressing anger, calmness, gentleness, lenity and indulgence. Tolerance allows a dialogist to engage into dialogue with his fellow dialogist without being nervous, being angry or interrupting his speech. Prophet Mohammad - peace be upon him - said to the man who said: "Advise me!" The Prophet said, "Do not become angry and furious." The man asked (Advise me!) again. and again, and the Prophet said in each case, "Do not become angry and furious." (Al-Bukhari, Book of Good Manners (Al-Adab): 6116). • Attentiveness: Good listening is one of the causes of a successful dialogue. Moreover, it helps in understanding the other side's argument. This was Prophet Mohammad's - peace be upon him - manner in his dialogues with people. When Utbah ibn Rabi'ah came and dialogued with him, Utbah ibn Rabi'ah talked while the Prophet was silent until he heard all what he had to say then the Prophet replied. • Mutual respect and appreciation: In a dialogue gathering, mutual respect should prevail between the two sides, everyone should be given a chance and the position and dignity of every dialogist should be recognized by being addressed with decent words and well manners, otherwise dialogue will not advance properly because disparaging the other side, mocking them and attributing ignorance to thern is disgraceful - 20 -
  22. 22. and. forbidden. Allah the. Almighty says·· [O you who be1·1ev e.1 Le t notagroup scoff at anothe. r group, it may be that the latter are better than th f ] (-Qur' an: A I- H.u 1· urat {The .D welli.n gs), 11). e armer. • Co·mmrtment to decent speech: A dialogist must commit to decent speech and avoid obscenity of speech. Allah the Exalted says: [And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic l onotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best.] (Qur'an: Al-lsr a {The Journey by Night), 53), He the Glorified says: [and argue " ith them in a 'l~ay that is better.] (Qur'an: An-Nahl (The Bees), 125]. He Almighb,r also says: [and speak good to people (i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad -Peac be upon him) (Qur'an: Al-Baqarah {The Cow), 83). A dialogist should avoid the way of casting aspersion, discreditation, mockery and provocation, for these would diverge dialogue from its lawful and ethical track. These are the most important dialogue principles, precepts and ethics a Muslim dca~ogist must abide by in order for his/her dialogue to be beneficial, successful, fruitful and leading to positive and satisfying results - by Allah Almighty's will. Our concluding prayer is "Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and may His p,eace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad"·

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