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Addressing People

The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was the best teacher, preacher and advisor. Here are some points to bear in mind when addressing a gathering:

1. Moderate duration.

The speech should not be too short nor too long that people become tired and bored. Imam Muslim entitled a chapter ‘On Being Moderate while Delivering a Discourse’ and mentions there that Ibn Masud radhiallahu anhu said to people wanting him to deliver a lecture: ‘...Nothing hindered me from coming out to you except the fact that I did not wish to bore you, for the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam would be considerate in giving us a discourse fearing that it might prove to be boring for us.’ (Muslim 2821)


2. Audience capability.

Speak to the audience according to their intellectual capacity. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam’s advice to someone who had just entered Islam would be different from someone who became Muslim a while back. He said: ‘Treat people according to their individual status.’ (Abu Dawood)


3. Appropriate contents.

One’s discussion should be according to the need of the time and the audience. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was asked on many occasions as to what the most virtuous deeds were and he gave different answers on each occasion, according to the need of the time.


4. Ask questions.

The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam would many a times pose a question to his companions and then answer it himself. This is a means of the message becoming firmly embedded in the minds of the listeners.

Hadeeth Newsflash

Reported by Abu Hurairah (RA): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allah, the Exalted, says: `I will contend on the Day of Resurrection against three (types of) people: One who makes a covenant in My Name and then breaks it; one who sells a free man as a slave and devours his price; and one who hires a workman and having taken full work from him, does not pay him his wages.''' [Al-Bukhari]

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