Rules of Inter-Communication 3


“The rules for having a productive and insightful conversation across religious and cultural lines are not all that different than the rules for having meaningful interpersonal relationships.”1


I stand on one side of the space

– This “great divide” –

From the other, where stand you…


I, a part of my culture,

You a part of yours.

You see how representing our own we only ever appear



Between the space

– This “great divide” –

If left un-traversed results in the binary alternatives:

Barbaric (arrogant) argument on one extreme and

‘Civilised’ (arrogant) diplomatic-silences the other.

Both end in disaster; both’s a-front.


But when enjoining to good,

We must void the bad

By avoiding the gap in our knowledge.

But how?

We must get to know the Other.



Only the journey to explore the meeting point

Is the terrain of civilised discourse.

We are united via our shared discussion

If we at least make a move to meet in the middle

– Not to agree on a false synthesis – that compromise of mediocrity,

But to whole-heartedly fulfil the balancing act

Of seeking originality on points of agreement

And agreeing to disagree on points of essential difference,

If we ensure our total comprehension of not just

our points of view but of the others’ value add-vantage points.



Only through civilised discourse, can we get “to know one another

And peace is only ever made by agreements.


And with the peace made by discourse,

Comes the sweet treat of trade,

The lay of love and

The fair grounds to entertain the truth in the open state of play.


With hearts on sleeves and much blood, sweat and tears, we strive

To engender this.

For this is certainly the Muslim non-hidden, non-stealth jihad agenda

– for the sake of God.


Face to face, we face up to each other to face forward,

and not lose face but to be that face-saving grace.


Though we might not see eye to eye,

We’ll both listen and talk, respecting the others’ face,

Minding how rudeness blinds us, deaf and dumb, with disgrace.


By Arif uz Zaman

February 2014


For Rules of Inter-Communication 2, please click here.


1 ‘Memories of Muhammad’ by Dr Omid Safi (2010), page 24



Filed under Arif uz Zaman: Poetry, Poetry

2 responses to “Rules of Inter-Communication 3

  1. maryamchahine

    Wonderfully expressed! It sums up what we need today in the world as we live among some of the greatest miscommunication ever witnessed. Love the image at the bottom, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jzk sis. You’re right. Sometimes problems stem from misunderstanding rather than from some inherent difference. If some of that were alleviated, perhaps we might be in a better position to be able to judge (more calmly) more reasonably.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.