Guest post by Madiha Akhtar
Once my husband said, “Whenever you find yourself in a conservation, try to take something beneficial from it, something that can help you”. I know it sounds philosophical but the application that I saw him practice is what makes this a golden rule to live by. Let me explain further with examples.
I went to visit my grandparents and my husband accompanied me. After asking the usual questions of “how are you and kids, health, job” etc., my grandfather started to talk about his travel experiences. Right after that my husband asked him, “What do you think was their greatest strength and weakness?”. I looked at his face and then at my grandfather’s and was totally indulged in the way my grandfather explained what he found key to their success. A whole new paradigm of discussion opened up which was both interesting and beneficial.
So here is how he does it. In every gathering he asks questions which are related to the topic as well as the knowledge of the audience. This is the ultimate trick to learn from others’ years of experience. Let me share with you some more examples.
In a gathering of moms you can ask the question, “What is the single most important thing that one can give to their children?” or to a grandmother, “What is the one thing you never compromised on when it came to your children?”.
When accompanied by someone who loves cooking , “What is the simplest yet nutritious dish you make?”. In a group of friends, “How do you handle the situation when your husband is angry but you don’t know the cause?”.
So my dear friends, this is the key to learning. Now I enjoy having conversations and even making small talk with strangers when waiting in a queue or reception as I have found a way to tap others’ wisdom. Lastly, I will add just one more thing that most of the sins related to tongue are because of excessive talking and sometimes to avoid an awkward silence in the drawing room, we end up talking uselessly. SO THINK AHEAD!
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 304 :
Narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We have slaughtered a young sheep of ours and have ground one Sa` of barley. So, I invite you along with some persons.” So, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said in a loud voice, “O the people of the Trench! Jabir had prepared “Sur” so come along.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 305 :
Narrated by Um Khalid (the daughter of Khalid bin Said) (radiallaahu `anhumaa)
I went to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) with my father and I was nearing a yellow shirt. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Sanah, Sanah!” (‘Abdullah, the narrator, said that ‘Sanah’ meant ‘good’ in the Ethiopian language). I then started playing with the seal of Prophethood (in between the Prophet’s shoulders) and my father rebuked me harshly for that. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said. “Leave her,” and then Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) (invoked Allah to grant me a long life) by saying (thrice), “Wear this dress till it is worn out and then wear it till it is worn out, and then wear it till it is worn out.” (The narrator adds, “It is said that she lived for a long period, wearing that (yellow) dress till its color became dark because of long wear.”)
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 306 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Al-Hasan bin ‘Ali (radiallaahu `anhumaa) took a date from the dates of the Sadaqa and put it in his mouth. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said (to him) in Persian, “Kakh, kakh! (i.e. Don’t you know that we do not eat the Sadaqa (i.e. what is given in charity) (charity is the dirt of the people)).”
There you go, it’s cool to use words from a foreign language in you daily conversation. We already do that though, don’t we? Pakistanis speak a mixture of English and Urdu like it’s a whole new language (LOL), a number of French, Latin, Italian and other words have been added to the English language already, and let’s not even get started on the ‘internet language’. Hmm.