(1) Listen attentively. If any part of the talk is not clear or a doubt lingers,seek its clarification from the speaker immediately. Don’t act on what has been said on the basis of your opinion.
(2) When someone calls you, reply immediately so that the caller knows that you have heard him.
(3) When someone speaks to you, do not listen with indifference. This attitude will hurt his feelings. This applies to a greater extent when someone speaks for your benefit or answers your question.
(4) When someone assigns a task to you, express your intention verbally. Say yes or no, etc. Perhaps you have no intention of doing the work and by your silence the speaker gains the impression that you have agreed to undertake the task.
(5) When someone speaks ill of your Ustaadh, then remain silent. If it becomes unbearable, leave the place.
(6) When your Ustaadh speaks, apply your whole attention to him.
(7) After having attentively listened to your Ustaadh’s discourse, if you do not understand anything, do not attribute it to your Ustaadh. On the contrary, regard your inability as a result of your defective understanding and inattentiveness.
(8) It is not permissible to listen to music and singing. The heart is corrupted thereby. Evil dominates the nafs. Music gives impetus to the evil qualities of the lowly nafs. The inclination to commit wrong is thus stirred in man. Whatever leads to haraam is likewise haraam.
(9) Avoid listening to the voices of females and young boys. A woman should exercise caution in this regard. She should ensure that her voice does not reach the ears of ghair mahram males (i.e. males for whom hijaab is compulsory).
(10) Do not get up and leave while someone is addressing you. This will hurt the feelings of the speaker, and will exhibit your unappreciativeness of the talk. (This applies to lawful talk. If the talk is not lawful, then it will not be permissible to listen to it.)
(11) When listening to a lecture, do not engage in any other conversation. Pay attention to the discourse. It is disrespectful to engage in a conversation at such a time and it displays lack of appreciation of the discourse.
(12) When someone calls you from behind a partition, etc., reply immediately to put the caller at ease. Do not remain silent, for then the caller will persist in calling.
(13) When someone assigns a duty to you, listen to it well and after having executed it, notify him of its accomplishment. This will avoid suspense and anticipation.
(14) If you have not understood, say so. Do not pretend that you have understood. Do not say, ‘yes, yes’.
(15) On announcing yourself, e.g. by having made Salaam, if the inmates of the house have not recognized you and they ask, ‘Who is it? Do not say: ‘It’s me.’ State your name.
(16) It is highly disrespectful to remain silent after having heard the question. Similarly, it is disrespectful and cause for much annoyance to reply after some delay.
SOME MALFOOZAAT OF HADHRAT MAULANA ASHRAF ALI
THAANVI (rahmatullah alayh) PERTAINING TO LISTENING
(1) Hadhrat Thaanvi had granted a certain Thaakir (one who passes his time in Thikrullaah) some time for discussion after Maghrib at his request. After Maghrib, Hadhrat called him because he was seated at a distance. Although the Thaakir started to come towards Hadhrat, he did not answer the call to indicate that he had heard it. But, Hadhrat was not apprized of his coming, hence he called a second time. Meanwhile the Thaakir had arrived.
“Why did you not answer? By answering, the caller will know that the one who has been called has heard the call. By not replying, there is uncertainty and this necessitates repeated calling. This inconvenience is the result purely of your negligent attitude. What
difficulty was there in saying, ‘Yes!’? Nowadays, academic knowledge is imparted in every place. But, there is a dearth of Akhlaaq (moral character). Now I have been annoyed and perplexed. I will give you another time. Remember this.”
(2) A man presented a paper to Hadhrat who wrote a ta?weez and explained its method. After having heard the method of the ta’weez, he remained silent. He did not say whether he had understood or not. Hadhrat asked:
“Have you understood the method explained by me?”
The man said: “I have heard it.” Hadhrat said: “Then why do you not say, yes or no?” He replied: “My hearing is not good.” Hadhrat said: “You said that you have understood the method. In other words, you said that you have understood it without having heard it. In the beginning you should have said you cannot hear properly. Answer me. Have you understood what I have said?” He replied: ‘I have understood a bit.” Hadhrat said: “You should have answered and informed of whatever you have understood. By answering, the other person will be relieved.” The man said: ”I have erred.” Hadhrat commented: “Do not repeat again such an error.” Thereupon, addressing the gathering, Hadhrat said: “It is not the fault of these poor people. It is the fault of the elders who refrain from admonition.”