An effort in f a c i l i t a t i o n

Qur’anic Style of Inculcating Effective Listening Skill

The general purpose of presenting human history in the Qur’an is to warn people not to repeat the mistakes of the perished nations.

Surah al Haqqaah begins with a vivid description of the destruction of the People of Saalih (Thamood), Huud (‘Aad), Musa (Phir’oun), Luut (Mu’tafikaat) and Nooh.

What comes after the historical narrative is a miracle in human language. A clarion call to heed to the message of the glorious Qur’an. A pointer towards effective listening!

Dear readers, please read the translation of verses 1 to 11 and then proceed to ayah 12 wherein Allah says:

لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَا أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ

Let us first have a quick look at some of the understood translations of this remarkable ayah:

“That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a conscious ear would be conscious of it. (Saheeh International)

“That We might make it a memorial for you, and that remembering ears (that heard the story) might remember.” (Pickthall)

That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear (person) may (hear and) understand it. (Hilali and Khan)

“so that We might make all this a [lasting] reminder to you all, and that every wide-awake ear might consciously take it in. (Muhammad Asad)

“so that We might make it an instructive event for you, and retentive ears might preserve its memory. (Maududi)

أُذُنٌ /uzun in Arabic is for “ear” and the addition of the adjective وَاعِيَةٌ makes a beautiful phrase of a unique style – أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ brings into focus an attention-seeking concept, the one that motivates us to take note of its imposingly impressive injunction.

You may have noted from the above five translations that the respective scholars have translated the phrase أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ as:

1. Conscious ear

2. Remembering ears

3. Keen ear

4. Wide-awake ear

5. Retentive ears 

In a brilliantly clear manner, this ayah says that it is only those who possess ears of a different kind would be able to heed to its admonition.

أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ – attentive, conscious, heedful, alert, awake, careful and conscious ears.

The ayah, therefore, seeks to inculcate that a Qur’an Reader should focus on developing effective listening skills.

So the ayah tell us to focus on listening, not hearing!

Hearing is passive, involuntary, accidental, effortless, and a product of physical response.

Listening is active, voluntary, focused, intentional, and a product of mental response.

Listen to understand. Understand to heed.

This beautiful ayah tells us to sharpen our listening skill by reflecting, perceiving, paying attention, remembering, thinking, reasoning, rendering and taking heed.

We must keep our ears open and not repeat the mistake of the followers of Nooh alaihis salam who used to close up their ears so that they do not hear what Nooh was calling them to. Surah Nooh

The lesson we learn from this ayah is that we must strive to transform our ear into a vessel that is receptive, reflective and retaining.

Ears that have barakah benefit by what it hears from Allah’s Book! 

May Allah bless us with an ear that gives value to what is being said so that we remain conscious of Qur’anic injunctions taking heed to the utmost of our capacity.

Baarakallaahu Feekum.

Sal-lal-laahu Ala Muhammad, Sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-Sallam.


January 5, 2016 - Posted by | Art of Communication, Reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Masha Allah. Very nicely summarised. Jazak Allahul khair.

    Comment by Haya | January 6, 2016 | Reply

    • Thank you for your appreciation. Baarakallaahu Feek.

      Comment by MuQeet | January 6, 2016 | Reply

  2. What a beautiful post Brother :, We are often hearing but not listening, listening but not understanding, understanding but not reflecting, it summarizes all in one Jazakalla khair

    Comment by khansana1000 | January 6, 2016 | Reply

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, Sister. Baarakallaahu Feek.
      Vassalamu Alaikum.

      Comment by MuQeet | January 6, 2016 | Reply

  3. Excellent explanation
    Jazak Allah khayr

    Comment by Happy Land | January 8, 2016 | Reply

    • Baarakallaahu feek.

      Comment by MuQeet | January 8, 2016 | Reply

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