Etiquettes of Meetings

Holy Qur'an 4/114
Dear viewers, we wish and pray for peace, serenity and tranquility for all our esteemed viewers and a blissful and prosperous life, with dignified provisions and all good things of the world. May the peace and blessings of ALLAH be on all of us! We greet all our viewers with:
Through this traditional greeting we assure and express our regards, reverence and good wishes for you and for all mankind. May the CREATOR and SUSTAINER of the Universe shower HIS Bounties on all HIS creatures on this earth!
Now we take recourse to the Last Revelation of our LORD, in order to reform and develop our actions, emotions and attitudes in conformity with the Glorious Qur’an, the Divine Book of Guidance. We profess and testify the Oneness of The LORD of Universe, and strive for purification and perfection of our own life. We sincerely believe that no other course on this earth can promise a more comprehensive development of our personality than the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.s) who has set the highest standard of piety and righteousness.
Today we shall ponder over verse 114 of chapter 4, and find out what morals do they contain for us and for the whole mankind.
Translating the Heavenly words in any earthly language is next to impossible as the words of Man can never be a match for the magnificent diction of GOD ALMIGHTY. And so this is only an attempt to be close to the contents and spirits of the Original Verses and seek guidance from GOD’s Commandments that guarantees success of both the worlds. May the LORD of the worlds help us in our humble efforts! According to my understanding, the translation would be:
“There is no good in most of human meets, except where one is setting and encouraging charitable works, or to promote equitable dealings, to set good social norms, works of reconciliations and reformations among humanity. And who-so-ever does this for seeking his LORD’s pleasure, The LORD will in time Grant him a mighty reward.”
Man by nature is a social creature. The word ‘INSAAN’ has an Arabic origin as ‘INS’, which means ‘familiarity, sociability, intimacy’. This word occurs at many places in the Holy Qur’an. And as the word itself suggests, attraction and interaction with other fellow creatures is the distinct characteristic of Man. Getting together to know, to interact or finalize matters is a unique quality of human beings. Every now and then, we need to attend various gatherings and meetings that have different agendas.
The verse just recited, suggests a formula that if the person employs intellect, can turn these meetings into useful and fruitful confabulations. It is not necessary that all our meetings will achieve their objects. Sometimes the results achieved are quite contrary to what was originally planned. Similarly, many a times, we are not in a position to steer the proceedings into the direction we want. But that should not let us down. Because it is immaterial to our LORD, what the convention achieved. But we can be sure, that our sincere efforts in the right direction, would surely earn great rewards even if the meetings fail to achieve its intended targets.
The most remarkable quality of the Book of our LORD is that, it imparts lessons attuned to logic and wisdom. And so our LORD claims that the Holy Qur’an is full of Ultimate Wisdom in these words in chapter 36:
“YA - SEEN! (O you human being!) Consider this Qur'an full of wisdom:” (verse 36/1 & 2)
This Heavenly Book contains morals for all the events that take place in the life of a person. We only need to be in tune with its basic cords and it will facilitate an encashment of all our future endeavors.
Dear viewers, at different stages of our life, we have to attend various kinds of gatherings, meetings, conferences, and conventions. Many a times we have not much to do with the proceedings and deliberations. Sometimes, our role is no better than that of a spectator or a mute witness to the whole drama. Often what transpires in these meetings is not to our liking or it does not turn out, as we desired. From housing societies to different trade unions, and from the Government Assemblies to various international forums, meeting, dialogue and debate are universal phenomena.
In the verse recited, GOD ALMIGHTY declares that of all the gatherings, only those meetings will receive HIS Grace and approval that follow the agenda as listed in the verse. Needless to say that barring these three points, all the agendas are devoid of GOD’s approval. Now let us consider what this three point’s agenda is!
1. Welfare activities are commanded. Truth is upheld. Goodness is promoted. Charitable matters are resolved. We have derived these assumptions taking into consideration different shades of the original word.
The word ‘Sadaqah in Urdu is used usually in only one sense, that is, alms or charity. But it
may also imply the promotion of the Ultimate Truth, orally, morally and practically. The Ultimate Truth also can be defined as One-ness and Might of the LORD Supreme is moralized.
It may also be defined as awareness of the Final Accountability is encouraged. Advice of high moral and good deeds is also covered. In other words, every activity, that is positive and constructive and based on
truthfulness, can be termed as ‘Sadaqaat . There is no question of considering any
damaging and destructive agenda which is detrimental to human welfare.
2. Where ‘Maroof’ that is good social norms are promoted. The ability to differentiate between
good and evil is imbibed in human nature by our LORD. As HE says in verse 90/10:
“ALMIGHTY GOD says: “And WE have imbibed in Man to identify both the ways, morality as well as immorality.”
Promoting the good while negating the evil is the work that invokes the pleasure and acceptance of our LORD.
3. Reformation in human society, reconciliation between the people, promotion of peace and tranquility are also covered in the root word of Heavenly Word. All the activities to set right the matters among humanity, reconciliation, negotiation between parties to end the dispute or to sort out the differences can also be counted as reformative activities. Any meeting of individuals at any level, on these three agendas, the output will be good as said by The LORD of the Universe. But a wise person, if adds in his intentions, devotion to his Creator, will receive Bounties of GOD ALMIGHTY not only in this world but also in the coming eternal world.
All these pearls of Heavenly wisdom are spread all through the Book of our LORD. The verse also contains a formula to receive ample rewards in the life to come. If a believer synchronizes all his worldly affairs with a feeling of moral obligations laid down by his Creator, he can drive maximum benefits from every event he is a part of.
For instance, every man goes out in the morning in search of his livelihood. There is nothing new or something strange. But a perfect and committed to his LORD person can make even this purely mundane activity a means of Reward from HIS SUSTAINER. What he needs to do is to reform his approach and perform this duty as a moral obligation as ordained by GOD ALMIGHTY. He has to struggle positively for his livelihood as well as for his old parents, his spouse and his upcoming children. By putting trust in his LORD and rely totally on his SUSTAINER with gratitude, patience and prayer, this ephemeral work will become a valuable asset for the life to come. Furthermore such attitude and approach would bring about a qualitative change in the personality of a person. He would definitely get the provisions what GOD ALMIGHTY has destined for him, but in addition, this attitude would also enhance his dignity and position in the society. His high moral standards would further usher in opportunities from the most unexpected quarters.
As our LORD declares in HIS Book in verses 65/2 & 3:
“…..And whoever is conscious of ALLAH, HE will Grant a way out (of unhappiness), and will provide for him from where he does not expect; and whoever places his trust in ALLAH, HE Alone will be sufficient for him.…..”
We can evolve our attitude and develop such a mind-set if we keep a live connection with the Revelation on regular basis. It will improve our insight, wisdom and intellect thereby adding grace to our personality. Our success rate would also go up.
If we reconsider the Divine agenda of the meeting, we can find out that all the three points mentioned, are related to the service of humanity. The Book of our MASTER at several places motivates and exhorts the believers to undertake such activities as beneficial to mankind. GOD ALMIGHTY has declared man as the best of HIS creations and HE is pleased when a man does some favors to the fellow beings. In the Book of Ahadees we come across many incidents wherein the Holy Prophet is found personally involved in welfare activities.
GOD ALMIGHTY has commanded in verse 5/2:
“….. And co-operate one another in virtue and piety based activities and do not cooperate in evil, enmity and envy based activities…”
Man is a civilized creature. He is related to others in terms of family and society. He is one of the units of this set up. He plays many roles in his life on this earth. Sometimes he acts as a caring father while some other moments he plays an obedient son. Sometimes he is part of a family while sometimes he lives in isolation. He has public as well as private life. What the Holy Book proposes is that, in each role, he should display an ideal persona. His manners and etiquette should be worth emulating. At many places in the Qur’an, there are guidelines to this effect. If we are committed to a daily recitation of the Holy Book, its contents remain fresh in our mind, and provide counseling in all our activities as and when the problems arise. This is a miracle of the Holy Book that it guides the believers in all matters, personal or otherwise. In verse 58/11 GOD ALMIGHTY says.
“O faithful people! When you are told, "Make room for one another in your collective life", do make room: and in return, ALMIGHTY GOD will make room for you in HIS grace. And whenever you are told, "Rise up for a noble cause", do rise up; ALLAH will exalt degrees of those who are faithful among you and are granted knowledge of this truth. And ALLAH is fully aware of all that you do.”
Our SUSTAINER wants that we bring development in all fields of human activities. In the society where we live, if we get opportunities to participate in its collective affairs, and we are asked to take actions, we should regard it as our moral responsibility. Instead of looking for an escape route, whatever work is assigned to us or we are capable of doing, we should try to do it with utmost sincerity and devotion. Our dignity and conviction demand that, we use our ability and talent without any reservation, in all such matters that are beneficial to all. We recite here one more verse 24/62 that reminds us of our social responsibility.
“….. And when they are with The Prophet upon a matter concerning collective activities, they do not depart (from whatever has been decided upon) unless they have obtained his leave.….”
It is against social etiquette that we leave a meeting before it comes to its conclusion. If there is an emergency, then we should seek the leave of absence from the responsible persons.
Dear Viewers, we can bring desirable development in our personality, in our style and approach, in our manners and etiquette, obtain guidance from the Book of ALLAH and bring our standard up to the mark. If we prove ourselves beneficial for the people around, it would enhance the charm and grandeur of our personality, our character. Our presence in the society would radiate a light that would brighten the surroundings. We pray to GOD ALMIGHTY to help us in our efforts. Aameen!
Thank you very much.