I recently watched this khutbah and a few of things he said really made me think about my own actions as well as what I have witnessed from other. In a discussion with a Non-Muslim at the beginning of Ramadan I was sad to hear about this person's Muslim colleague, who has been in a 'foul mood' all day due to having to fast. What a bad impression to be giving of Ramadan! I think it is really important not to complain about how thirsty or hungry or tired we are and made Non-Muslims think that Ramadan is some sort of extreme barbaric practise. Instead we should do our best to highlight the benefits of this amazing month, alhamdulillah.
Fasting is about so much more than simply abstaining from food and drink, and the points made about controlling your speech in particular made me think about my own actions. I have a terrible habit of interrupting people. I'm not sure why I do it, but when I heard this khutbah it made me feel awful as I never really saw it as a particularly bad thing before (even though my poor hubby hates it!). God willing I am going to do my best not to interrupt people any more!
I hope you have time to watch the whole lecture but for now here's a summary of some key points about speech and the etiquette of talking during Ramadan (and indeed, for the rest of the year!).
- Smile regularly whilst talking to people as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did :)
- Think before you talk
- Listen more than you talk
- Understand the listener's perspective and how they will interpret what you say
- Be positive
- Don't interrupt people, particularly your parents
- Don't criticise, rather encourage them positively by your own actions
- Don't 'one-up' i.e. try to keep showing that you know better
- Don't ramble on and on and on... and on (guilty again!)
- Don't monopolize the conversation and be pushy
And one more that I always remember about the prophet (pbuh) is how he would always turn himself to face the listener and give them his full attention, mashaAllah how respectful. If only we could really implement Islamic teachings in our day to day behaviour rather than just reducing it to 5 daily prayers, halal food and a headscarf (or beard!). I always hope that one day inshaAllah the good behaviour of true Muslims will outweigh the negatives of a few extremists and we will be respected and looked up to as we were in the past.