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Friday Lessons

Why good listening is best for your hereafter

by: Shaykh Zafar ul Hasan
Good listening in Islam

The Listening capacity as a Blessing

Listening attentively is one of the etiquette of listening and a display of gratefulness towards the blessings of Allah. When a person is addressing you, do not show boredom, restlessness or irritation on your face. The speaker will be happy and satisfied of being heard. Only after listening completely you can be able to respond correctly.  

 Khawla (Allah be pleased with her) came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and complained that her husband had committed Zihar with her. In the days of ignorance, when a man wanted to harass his wife, he did not divorce her but used to say, “You are (haram) like my mother to me.” Khawla’s husband did it to her. She complained, “My youth has passed away serving my husband and our children, and now he has does zihar with me.” The lady went on complaining on and on and kept on persisting about her case asking for justice. The Prophet (peace be upon him) remained quiet and listened to her attentively without intervening in between.  Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) who  narrated this incident, said that she was sitting in the next room listening to the persisting pleading of the lady and the Prophet (peace be upon him) remained quiet on the issue (waiting for Allah’s revelation).

It is a part of good manners not to interrupt when someone is talking to us and it is a way of honouring a person when we listen to him or her attentively

It was then Allah revealed the first few verses of  Surah Mujadilah in favour of her and reprimanding men who do zihar with their wives. While the lady was pleading with the Prophet (peace be upon him) Allah was attentively listening to her. “Certainly Allah has the heard the speech of the one who argues with you concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your speeches indeed, Allah is all Hearing and all Seeing.” The story does not end here but it proceeds till the time of the reign of Umar bin Al Khattab (Allah be pleased with him).

 Once the Khalifa was passing by along with his whole unit of army which included elite Quraish and others.  A grand old lady stopped him and wanted to tell him something. Umar lowered his head to listen to her attentively. After a long time when she finished her talk Umar (Allah be pleased with him) took her leave and proceeded. Till then the entire army waited. Someone asked him about the reason for his extra attention in listening to the old lady while the whole army waited for a long time. He replied, “By Allah, even if she had spoken to me for whole night, I would have heard him in the same manner. Do you know who is she? She spoke on the earth and her Lord heard her and responded her from above the seven heavens.”

 When you give an attentive ears to your enemies too, they might be influenced by you

Utbah who was a staunch enemy of the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to him. He used to boast among the Makkans, “ If I get a chance to face Mohammed once, I will cure him of all the black magic and other sickness that he is hit with.” One day he got a chance.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) was sitting in the shade of Kabah and people directed Utbah to go to him and fulfil his words. He was a non Muslim but wanted to be heard. He approached and asked him if he can talk to him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed him. He went on doing his recital of words to get rid of the so called magic and it went on for a long time. Meanwhile the people sat far and watched the confrontation and waited for an outcome. He used all his recitals and could not see any effect. Finally he was exhausted  and stopped, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him, “Are you done? Now will you listen to me?” He agreed and the Prophet (peace be upon him) began reciting  the verses of surah Ahkaf.  He was hearing and seemed enjoying it.

   The people watching it were amazed to see the so called magic curer himself being a victim. Finally he requested the Prophet (peace be upon  him) to stop. He stopped but said to him, Listen! If you reject the Message of Allah and His messenger then you situation will end like those of the people of A’ad and Thamud. The man got panicked and he requested to be allowed to go. He went to his people and said, “No one can match him. His words have huge impact. One day his followers will be spread all across the world.”