Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Intolerance - A Danger Phrase

Danger Phrases and Power Phrases is now my favourite topic, thanks to Dan O'Connor (check his videos on the topic and his book 'Say This -Not That!')

And I've seen how using danger phrases can ruin things or make a message ineffective. It can also cause a stir.

Sensitive as we Indians are, every word we speak should be with care. We know how the word 'intolerance' caused a furore in the nation. Of late we have seen a number of people use that word. However, it remains a negative/ danger word. And while speaking or giving feedback, people like to be associated with positive words.

I have been wondering about a suitable Power Phrase for the word Intolerance. And this is what I think fits the bill : 'Being more accepting of others'. 

So if you want to point to someone that they are being intolerant, the better way to say it will be 'You should be more accepting of different viewpoints as well'. This sounds much milder than telling someone 'You are intolerant'. If you say that, be prepared for a bashing. It will stem out of the thought 'okay, so I am intolerant, let me show you how far I can go with that'!

A powerful communicator is one who speaks positively and effectively and avoids danger phrases. Everyone should make a Danger Phrase list from our experiences and find a Power Phrase for it and incorporate it in our communication.

Intention (Neeyat)

Everything in Islam is based on intention (Neeyat), which is clearly stated before any act. Marriage, prayers, any act. 

Even if you are fasting for Ramzan, everyday when you wake up for suhoor, and you finish your morsel, you have to state your intent to fast for the coming day. It is in the form of a one line prayer for uniformity. Or at least say in your mind. If you are fasting and never say your neeyat and deep in your heart your intention is to lose weight, then your fasting is not for God. No one except you and God will know that.

Even when we offer our salaat (aka namaaz), we begin with the intention (Neeyat) - 'neeyat karta/ karti hoon main teen rakaat namaaz Farz (depends on type of prayer) waqt Maghrib (depends on time of prayer) waaste Allah Taala ke muh mera kaaba shareef ki taraf. Allahu Akbar'. Of course you can say the neeyat in any language.

For those who don't know Urdu or Hindi, the above means 'I intend to offer 3 parts of obligatory prayer of time maghrib for God's sake while I face the kaaba shareef. God is Great'. Every Muslim in the world faces the Kaaba while praying wherever he/she is located. We have a compass with us to know the direction. There are even special kaaba indicator compasses, which show you location of kabaa from where you are located. 

Rakaat means parts of prayer complete with bowing down on your knees and head touching ground (called 'Sajda'). The types are farz, sunnat, nifil, waajib. All acts of Islam are divided into category. Some are obligatory (farz), some non obligatory but preferable (mostly acts of sunnah). Actually all laws are of 4 types. Will not go into those details in this topic. Times of prayer are Fajr (before sunrise), Zohar (when the sun is overhead), Asar (the time between the sun going down -late afternoon/evening), Maghrib (just a few minutes prior to sunset), Eesha (to be offered at night).