Say what you mean (DW#606)

O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and speak the right word [Quran 33:70]

The verse from Sura Ahzab exhorts believers in particular to speak "Qawlan Sadid", words that are truthful, just, appropriate. 

The reward for such language in spelled out in the following verse where Allah says:

that He may set your deeds aright for you, and forgive you your sins. [Quran 33:71]

The expression qawl sadid signifies, literally, "a saying that hits the mark", words that are truthful, relevant and to the point. It is speech that is upright and free from any corruption. It means speaking in a way such that the outward expression corresponds to the inward meaning of what we trying to say. This applies specially when we are giving testimonies or bearing witness to something but is also a widely applicable principle of communication. 

How and when can we use this? 
1)    In our relationships: Very often even in our closest relationships, we do not mean what we say and say what we mean. Relationships then get into trouble because instead of being truthful and clear, we hide behind self-protection, looking good or not wanting to ‘rock the boat’. We don’t say what we really want and then we hold it against the other person when they are unable to fathom what we really mean. 
2)    When giving feedback: when asked for our opinion, it is our moral duty to give honest feedback which is helpful. Such feedback is a gift to the other person as an opportunity to correct a course of action which may not be effective for them. 
3)    When relating events: human beings tend to confuse our own interpretations of events with the facts. It is a good idea to remember to separate facts from interpretations when telling others what happened. 

I saw Ali at the mall, but we did not exchange greetings - is relating an event

Ali ignored me at the mall - is an interpretation – it suggests that he had an intention for what happened.

4)    When asking for what we need/want: being assertive in communication means being forthright about your wants and needs, while still considering the rights, needs and wants of others. When you're assertive, you are self-assured and draw power from this to get your point across firmly, fairly and with empathy.

Can you recognize times and places in your own life where you could practice speaking "qawlan sadid"

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