Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: “I heard the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying: “A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e., without thinking about whether it is good or evil) and as a result, will plummet into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “A man may utter a word pleasing to Allaah without considering it of any significance, but for which Allaah elevates his ranks (in Paradise); another one may speak a word displeasing to Allaah without considering it of any importance, but for which he would be plummeted into Hell.” [Al-Bukhaari]

Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Bilaal bin Al-Haarith Al-Muzani, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “A man may speak a good word without knowing its worth, for which Allaah records for him His good pleasure until the Day he will meet Him; another man may utter an evil word without realising its importance, for which Allaah records for him His displeasure until the Day he will meet Him.” [Maalik & At-Tirmithi]

When the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was talking to Mu’aath, may Allaah be pleased with him, he told him: “The root (i.e. foundation) of this matter is Islaam, its pillar (mainstay) is the prayer and its apex is Jihaad (fighting in the cause of Allaah).” Then he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked: “Shall I tell you of that which holds together all these things?” Mu’aath, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allaah!” So he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held his tongue between his fingers, and said: “Restrain this.” Mu’aath, may Allaah be pleased with him, asked: “O Messenger of Allaah! Will we really be held to account for what we say?” The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exclaimed: “May your mother lose you! Most people will be thrown on their faces into the Hellfire on account of their tongues.” [Ahmad & At-Tirmithi]

Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him: “That which requires imprisonment the most is one’s tongue.”

`Adiyy bin Haatim, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as saying: “Allaah will surely speak to every one of you without an interpreter. He (i.e., the one being spoken to) will look to his right and see nothing but (deeds) which he had done, and will look to his left and see nothing but (deeds) which he had done. Then he will look in front of him and will find nothing except the Hellfire facing him. So protect (yourselves) from the Fire, even if by giving in charity half a date, and if you cannot find that, then with a kind word.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said: “In Paradise are rooms, the inside of which can be seen from the outside, and the outside of which can be seen from the inside. Allaah has prepared them for those who offer food (to the needy), are soft in speech, who frequently fast, and who pray at night while the people are asleep.” [Al-Bayhaqi & Al-Haakim]

The Etiquettes of Dialogue and Speech:

· Lowering one’s voice:

Allaah says:

“…And lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” [Luqmaan: 19]

· Shunning excessive talk and badmouthing others:

Jaabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The dearest and nearest of you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who is best in manners; and the most abhorrent among you, and the farthest of you from me (on that Day) will be the offensive (i.e. in speech), the garrulous, and the Mutafayhiqoon.” His companions asked him: “O Messenger of Allaah! We know about the offensive and the garrulous, but we do not know who the Mutafayhiqoon are.” He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “(They are) those who are arrogant when they speak.” [At-Tirmithi]

· Listening to others:

“So when the Qur’aan is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy.” [Al-A’raaf: 204] 

 

“O you who have believed! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lest your deeds become worthless while you perceive not.” [Al-Hujuraat: 2]

· Using comprehensible words:

‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Talk to people with speech that they can understand. Do you wish that people belie Allaah and His messenger?” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

· Speaking slowly:

Once, while ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, was praying, she overheard a man hurriedly narrating a statement of the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Afterwards, she, may Allaah be pleased with her, remarked: “Had I finished (praying) before he left, I would have rebuked him for his haste. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would never speak quickly when addressing people. He would speak slowly and in a manner that would enable anyone listening to understand what he was saying.”

· Repeating important statements:

Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: “Whenever the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said something, he would repeat his words thrice, so that the meanings would be fully understood.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]
`Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, reported: “The speech of the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was so clear that all those who listened to it would easily understand.” [Abu Daawood]

· Shunning obscene words:

`Abdullaah bin `Amr bin Al-`Aas, may Allaah be pleased with him and his father, stated: “The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never used foul speech, nor did he like to listen to it.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim] Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported: “The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was even more bashful than a virgin behind her veil. Whenever he saw something he disliked, we could perceive it on his face.” [Al- Bukhaari & Muslim]

· Allowing elders to initiate:

Sahl bin Abu Hathmah Al-Ansaari, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that: “`Abdullaah bin Sahl and Muhaysah bin Mas`ood, may Allaah be pleased with them, went to Khaybar during the truce period (after its conquest). They then separated to perform their duties. When Muhaysah, may Allaah be pleased with him, returned to `Abdullaah bin Sahl, he found him murdered and drenched in his own blood. So he buried him and returned to Al-Madeenah. Then, `Abdur-Rahmaan bin Sahl, along with Huwayyisah and Muhaysah, who were the two sons of Mas`ood, went to the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and informed him about the case of their (murdered) friend. `Abdur-Rahmaan, who was the youngest of them, initiated and began talking, but the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam interrupted him and said: “Let those older than you speak first.” So he stopped talking and the elder spoke about the case ” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

· Giving the floor to the most knowledgeable:

When Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, was given priority to speak in the presence of ‘Umar and Abu ‘Ubaydah, may Allaah be pleased with them, regarding the selection of a caliph after the death of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

· Not interrupting the speaker:

Once Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, was advising a group of men who taught others; he said: “Address people once or twice every Friday, and the most you should address them is thrice a week… If you happen to arrive whilst people are talking, do not interrupt their speech. When they permit you to speak, address them.”

· Beginning by greeting people before addressing them:

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “If a person begins talking to you before greeting you, then do not reply to him until he greets you.” [Abu Nu’aym]

· Refraining from lying, even in jest: 

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Woe to the one who talks to people and lies in order to make them laugh! Woe to him! Woe to him!” [Abu Daawood & Ahmad]

· Avoiding talking to a person to the exclusion of a third:

Ibn `Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him and his father, reported that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “When there are three people present, two of them should not hold a secret counsel to the exclusion of the third, until more come to the gathering, lest this saddens him (i.e. the third person).” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

· Not revealing the secrets of the gathering:

The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “If a person speaks to another some words, then he turns around, then it is a trust.” [Abu Daawood & At-Tirmithi]

· Not abandoning or boycotting a fellow Muslim for more than three days:

The limit of abandoning or deserting a fellow Muslim and therefore not speaking to him can only be for a maximum of three days, as set for us by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; after that, one is Islaamically obliged to talk to him.

· Deserting an innovator or sinner for a sought benefit:

A close relative of `Abdullaah bin Mughaffal, may Allaah be pleased with him, was once flicking pebbles at animals using his index finger and thumb. `Abdullaah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has forbidden this, saying that it does not kill the game.” The man ignored him and repeated the act, so `Abdullaah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said to him: “I told you that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has prohibited this, but you persisted. I shall never talk to you again.”

· The ruling on talking to a person in prayer:

This is permissible if the need arises. Umm Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with her, once saw the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praying two Rak’ahs after the ‘Asr prayer, so she sent a female slave and told her to stand next to him in order to remind him that he had forbidden praying after the ‘Asr prayer (and before Maghrib). When she did so, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam waved his hand at her, indicating that she should leave him be. After he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam finished praying, he informed her that he had been caught up in explaining certain matters of the religion to another Muslim and therefore could not pray the optional prayer after Thuhr, so he was making up for it.

· A woman should not discuss her husband’s affairs except with his permission:

This is based on a narration in which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forbade this.

· It is not recommended to talk after the ‘Ishaa’ Prayer:

The exception to this is if one has guests in his house, or if he is in a circle of knowledge. Abu Barzah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam disliked sleeping before the `Ishaa’ (night) prayer and indulging in conversation after it.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

Allah knows best