The above and the scholars I’ve observed, don’t exactly share the same trait but it’s connected. Read on.
From one of the many teenage random shootings in the USA, they found that all of the killers (who also died) of that specific incident had one thing in common. They listened to the music of Marilyn Manson.
Manson was told about this and asked, if you had the chance, what would you say to them? To which he replied.
‘I wouldn’t. I’d listen.’
I used to think people of the East didn’t do so well with regards to conversation and telephone etiquette. But in recent years I observed the same applies for those from the West. And likewise both also do have plenty good ones from their own.
Are they always talking?
The scholars, people of knowledge here are often invited from one gathering or event to another, sometimes merely to be present and at times speak. Locally and when travelling abroad. Therefore there are plenty of photos to paint the image to everyone, including those not attending – that all or much of what they do, is only talk.
I tried observing.
1. They didn’t speak that much. When they are asked to address a crowd, they do, to fulfil the request, only after an attempt seeking from the host exemption to not do so, but oblige when insisted upon.
2. For conversations, they may at most extend it briefly on their part out of courtesy, or make others present at ease or bring a little more joy to the gathering.
Otherwise, the preference is silence. I’ve tagged along on many visitations where the men sit for long moments in silence after completing basic pleasantries.
It sounds weird. It felt weird. Quiet meeting.
But I find with other men, when there’s much talk, or time for much talk, if it is about things that really bring us nowhere, they end up speaking what women are often unfairly accused of – gossip, slander, backbiting.
3. They listen well. Habib Kadhim is known for how fast he speaks, thus the amount. Even then, when someone is speaking, there’s proper listening going on.
After his morning class, before he leaves the mosque, Habib Omar sits and make himself available to those who want a quick word with him (pic, brown robe). And the queue is always, always long. And he is always, always, the one listening before sharing a brief word or conveying questions to understand the matter clearer.