Etiquette for Sohbet/Suhbah¶
In a tradition, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Acquiring knowledge in company for an hour in the night is better than spending the whole night in prayer.”
Whether in virtual or actual space, a sohbet is an opportunity to draw deep nourishment and inspiration. To which end please observe the following:
- Be in wudu.
- Be attentive in presence. Ensure you don’t rush into a sohbet after attending to matters that will affect your ability to focus.
- Sit in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.
- Wear loose, clean, and comfortable clothes.
- Turn off your telephone and other electronic devices that might interfere.
- If this is a virtual sohbet ensure you have enough battery in your laptop or device and good internet connection.
- Keep your microphone switched off.
- Ensure you join the sohbet at the designated time.
- If you are joining late, turn off your microphone and camera so that you don’t disturb other participants as you enter.
- If you have a question related to the topic of discussion raise a virtual hand and wait for the facilitator, organiser, or Shaykh to recognise you.
- Do not interject when someone else is speaking, particularly the Shaykh.
- The virtual sohbet should normally include no more than 12 including the Shaykh and the organiser/ facilitator.
- If there is a particular subject to be discussed, the organiser should let everyone know well in advance so participants can prepare for the meeting.
- If you do not have a particular question don’t formulate one unnecessarily – it is not necessary to speak or comment in order to benefit.
- When you do speak, be as brief as possible.
- Regard your participation as a blessing and not as cause for enhanced self-regard.