Mar 23, 2009

Posted by in Dawah | 1 Comment

The Art of Listening – Mad’u (The Prospect)

To read the previous part: Click Here 

Since 70-80% of communication is non-verbal; you must learn to listen with your eyes and your ears.

Most religious conversations come in the form of an argument or debate, so people typically will not listen while the other person is talking.

The Three modes of Listening

1.       Competitive or Combative Listening: When you are more interested in promoting your own point of view than in understanding someone else’s. if you fall in this category, you usually:

·         Only listen for openings so you can start speaking, or you only wait for weak points to attack.

·         Pretend to pay attention while you internally formulate your rebuttal and plan to destroy their argument.

2.       In Passive or Attentive Listening: When you are genuinely interested in hearing and understanding  the other person’s point of view. You are attentive and passively listening.

·         You assume that you heard and understood correctly, but stay passive and do not verify.

3.       Active or Reflective Listening: When you are genuinely interested in what the other person thinks, feels, wants or what his/her message means. You then verify what you understood.

Points to Ponder: “A good Da’iyah knows the difference between hearing the words and listening for the message.”

Becoming a Good Listener and Getting the other Person to Listen

1.       Give your undivided attention; prove this by suspending all other activities.

2.       Never interrupt!

3.       Respond: verbally (words that encourage your speaker like, “I see”, etc) and non-verbally (nod)

4.       Lean forward/use open gestures.

5.       Maintain eye contact.

6.       Speak at their same energy level.

Points to Ponder:  We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking.”

Pearls of Wisdom: You are giving Da`wah to someone but they are being argumentative. A way to change the tone of the discussion is to simply say, “Well you know I am not here to argue, I am only giving sincere advice.

If you tell someone, “I am not here to argue“. You will almost never get the response, “Well I am!“

But if you do get that response, then simply tell them that this is not conducive to finding the truth.

If they still insist you have the following options:

1.       Highlight the seriousness of the situation (maybe they are not aware of the rewards and punishments.)

2.       Ignore the argumentation and speak gently, they might do the same.

3.       Begin to wrap up the discussion because you can`t move forward.


People generally do not like change.

What are the possible reasons people might not accept your advice?

1.       Perhaps it`s you. Some bad manners of yours which they do not like.

2.       Attachment to a bad deed/addiction to a sin.

3.       Looking for a sign.

4.       Misconceptions about Islam.

5.       Misconceptions about religions in general.

6.       External pressures from family or society.

7.       They are arguing too much.

8.       Bad companions

9.       Misunderstandings.

Points to Ponder: “If you know the obstacle, then you should be prepared with a solution.“

Pearls of Wisdom

Primary Effect

It is the process whereby your first impression of another person causes you to interpret the rest of their behaviour in light of that initial opinion. Everything you do will be seen through the lens of the first impression. If someone`s first impression of you is good then everything else they see of you will be considered good.

To read the next part: Click Here

  1. Useful tips regarding body language during da`wah.

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