Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 52 | 2016 > Silence and Speech Etiquette
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Silence and Speech Etiquette

A Contribution to the Study of Islamic Ethics 

Ida Zilio-Grandi    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

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abstract

When speaking of silence, the Koran employs three different verbal roots (ṣ-m-t, s-k-t, n-ṣ-t); on the basis of this linguistic profusion, Arabic Islamic culture has elaborated a complex conception of silence, which embraces an element of abstention, linking it to passivity and stillness, and a cognitive element, linking it to listening and learning. The exegetical corpus and above all the moral literature, represented here chiefly by the learned Sunnite Ibn Abī al-Dunyā of Baghdad (d. 281/894)’s Kitāb al-ṣamt wa ādāb al-lisān, equate silence with verbal discipline and award it the status of an Islamic value, to the extent that it is posited as an optimal attitude in the believer’s relation with God and with other members of the Islamic community.  

Published
June 30, 2016
Accepted
March 17, 2016
Submitted
Nov. 20, 2015
Language
EN

Keywords: KoranSilenceIbn Abī al-Dunyā

Copyright: © 2016 Ida Zilio-Grandi. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.