Governing Principles in Communicative Style of Imam Reza (A.S.)

The social skill of "dialogue" is placed at the heart of Razavi culture to the extent that Imam Reza (A.S.) is known as the Imam of dialogue. Dialogue is the best tool for human communication, and interactive dialogue is the most important attributes and components of cultural development in a society. Dialogue serves as a way of recognizing the mind's world and is a solution for obviating misunderstandings. In this regard, it can be said that improving "the skill of dialogue" among the members of a society makes the challenges removed.

During recent years, some efforts have been made in Iran's society to pay more attention to the issue of "dialogue". According to the writers of educational books, training "critical thinking and the culture of dialogue" has been placed in the syllabus, which is a pleasure. But it should be also noted that the culture of dialogue should find its place among the public in the best way, since small changes in one part of culture can bring about great changes across society and remove or effectively prevent social disorders.

"Razavi culture" which is placed at the heart of Iran's Islamic culture is actually defined as a dialogue which is intertwined with what has been occurred by Imam Reza and what is known about him. In the special relation among these dialogues, different ways of "living" are produced.

In such a lifestyle, dialogue has a special place to the extent that Imam Reza (A.S.) is known as the Imam of dialogue. Over the communicative style of Imam Reza who is the master of ethics in debates and dialogue, what principles are governing? In the following, some points are briefly discussed in this regard:

Kind of Speech and Literature that would Attract the Audience

Imam Reza would always softly, gently and elegantly present his speech and refuse annoying expressions in dialogues. The way Imam would talk made the audience more willing to listen to him.

Inviting Others to Start the Dialogue

Imam Reza (A.S) let the other side to start the dialogue, i.e. he invited others to start it. The dialogue often would start by this sentence, "Be comfortable to ask your questions". The sentence would ease the fear of audience in asking questions.

Observing Fairness and Justice in Dialogue

Imam Reza (A.S) would ask the discussers, at first place, to refuse topic shift and injustice, and fairly criticize and probe issues.

Recognizing the Audience and Speaking as They Understand 

Imam Reza (A.S.) would pay attention to how much the audience can understand and the difference between human talents. He refused to talk about complicated and vague issues and to answer questions with deep responses. Rather he would talk to each discusser according to their own language and power of understanding.

Using Accurate and Cohesive Words and Coming to a Careful Conclusion

Imam Reza (A.S) believed that in a successful dialogue, useful and directive words with determined categories and exact conclusion exist, so that it can attract the audience and inspire the desire for dialogue in them.

Creating a Free Space for "Criticism" within Dialogue

Imam Reza (A.S.) regarded criticism as a requirement for dialogues. Accordingly, creating a free space for criticisms was pivotal in his dialogues. Of course, he did not expect that all discussers agree on one issue, but he invited everyone to be open-minded and be ready for rethinking their views.

Using Short but Meaningful Sentences

Using long and cliché sentences make the space for the dialogue mentally disturbed, and it may decrease the power of articulation in the discusser. Imam Reza answered the question of discussers in a brief but comprehensive way. He explained the answers in detail only if someone would ask different questions or ask for more elaboration.

Using Authentic Sources and Documented Speech

Using false and delusive conceptions that are far from logic is ethically unpleasant and decrease the value of the content and the dignity of the speaker. Imam Reza paid special attention to this issue, and he would ask the religious leaders to use strong documented reasons based on recorded historical events in their speech. He himself made references to the sources agreed among religious leaders.

Mar 6, 2018 10:47

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