Key to healthy communication: Resisting the urge to have the final word

M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam
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Harli Marten | Unsplash

Letting go and resisting the urge to have the last word in everyday talks or discussions can foster better communications and healthier relationships. The need for validation, control, or a sense of superiority can all be major drivers of the strong desire to have the final say in our day-to-day interactions. Suppressing this impulse, however, can lead to more fruitful conversations, constructive debates, improved understanding, and strengthened connections.


One should master the art of listening and lend an ear to what the other person has to say as insisting on having the last words often shuts down the peaceful exchange of ideas. We should give others the freedom to freely express themselves. This is only possible when we create space for them without trying to dominate or control the discourse by frequently passing decisive remarks. This receptiveness promotes a more inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels heard and respected and permits a better interchange of thoughts. Guiding Canadian missionaries in a virtual mulaqat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“If someone has a good point, they should share it in such a way that it does not seem confrontational but rather fosters a sharing of ideas that enriches knowledge. If one person understands something one way and there’s a deficiency, another should explain how to overcome it. If the other person has a gap in their understanding, they should comprehend the previous person’s point. This understanding is something every missionary should always keep in mind.” (Al Hakam, 17 May 2024, Vol. 7, Issue 322)

Advising on how to help the youth, Huzooraa said:

“It is necessary to speak to them. At such a young age, when one lacks knowledge and experience, the propaganda of our opponents can influence them, but it is essential to reach out and speak to them. In fact, before even speaking to them, it is essential to hear them out and let them talk. 

“There is an element of goodness in everyone. So, they should be heard and according to whatever they say, they should be spoken to, after which that element of good in them will ignite and, with God’s grace, they will able to see the truth.” (Al Hakam, 4 February 2022, Vol. 5, Issue 203)

Huzoor’saa insightful words presented above elucidate the idea that submitting to attentive listening towards others is the optimal approach for acquiring knowledge, providing guidance, and effectuating positive change in individuals.


It is important to understand that conversations and discussions are two-way streets. Imposing premature conclusions and intolerant responses effect the honour and integrity of meaningful discourse. After presenting one’s view, we should give ample opportunity and time to let the other person voice his opinions without interruption. This kind of polite and respectful engagement promotes an atmosphere of understanding and builds lasting bonds.

In accepting the idea of two-way communication, individuals not only express what they are thinking but also show that they are open to different points of view, which enhances the conversation and creates a genuine connection.


Getting over the temptation of having to say the last word shows humility and a willingness to learn. Giving advice to missionaries, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said:

“Furthermore, those who are good at their tasks, or who are more knowledgeable, must not become arrogant. They should try to share and teach their knowledge with humility rather than showing off on social media or getting caught up in useless debates and then insisting that they are right. What effect do these social media debates have on the progress of the Jamaat? Your ultimate goal should be to work for the progress of the Jamaat, not just to display your knowledge or convince those who already share your views. What benefit does that bring? History shows us that such attitudes have only led to the emergence of differing views, jurists, and schools of thought, which then widened rifts. We are not to create rifts but to work as one.” (Al Hakam, 17 May 2024, Vol. 7, Issue 322)

Even when we are tempted to jump in and offer our own opinion, when we actively listen to others, we allow ourselves to be receptive to fresh perspectives and new ideas. A discussion’s beauty rests in its capacity to deepen our understanding, dispel misconceptions, and foster personal development. Accepting this element necessitates letting go of the urge to prove your superiority with your last remarks. Huzooraa says:

“I have emphasised this on multiple occasions, particularly to the missionaries, to always bear in mind a couplet from the poetry of the Promised Messiahas:

بدتر بنو ہر ابک سے اپنے خبال مبں  

شابد اسى سے دخل ہو دارالوصال مبں

[‘In your mind, consider yourself worse than all else, perhaps you may enter the House of Union in this way.’]

“This is the crux of the matter: Your aim should be to attain ‘dar-ul-wisaal’.” (Ibid.)


Being able to resist the urge of giving imperative statements and final remarks can help improve productivity in a given task and encourage concord. Effective communication is the foundation of collaboration, while dominant assertion leads to discord. Fostering an environment where each person’s opinion is respected establishes a sense of unity and shared responsibility. Consequently, this gives rise to a more creative and peaceful atmosphere.

The Holy Prophetsa showed mercy and kindness to everyone around him, irrespective of their colour and creed. This non-assertive approach led to the establishment of a unified and peaceful society, otherwise, Allah the Almighty says:

لَوۡ کُنۡتَ فَظًّا غَلِىۡظَ الۡقَلۡبِ لَانۡفَضُّوۡا مِنۡ حَوۡلِکَ

“If thou hadst been rough and hard-hearted, they would surely have dispersed from around thee.” (Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.160)

Wise exhortation

Ending this habit of pursuing the last word can aid in resolving disagreements and ensuring lasting solutions. When both sides want to have the final say, arguments can get more heated and defensive. We may establish common ground and construct bridges by taking a step back and making space for understanding and compromise.

When it comes to tabligh, Allah the Almighty says:

اُدۡعُ اِلٰى سَبِىۡلِ رَبِّکَ بِالۡحِکۡمَۃِ وَالۡمَوۡعِظَۃِ الۡحَسَنَۃِ وَجَادِلۡہُمۡ بِالَّتِىۡ ہِىَ اَحۡسَنُ

“Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in a way that is best.” (Surah an-Nahl, Ch.16: V.126)

In the explanation of the above verse present in the Five Volume Commentary of the Holy Quran, it is stated:

“Lastly, taking the word [حکمۃ] in the sense of ‘what restrains from ignorant behaviour’ the verse would mean that the talk of Muslims should not be beyond the comprehension of those to whom the appeal is made. They should say things which may help to resolve the doubts of others and not display or demonstrate their own talents and learning. 

“The words, ‘goodly exhortation’ mean ‘a discourse which softens the hearts of the hearers and makes a deep impression on them.’ […]

“The words, ‘and argue with them in a way that is best,’ mean that while arguing we should make the most solid and unassailable argument we possess as the pivot round which all other arguments should revolve and which they should support.” (Vol. 3, p. 1737)

Fostering interpersonal harmony

Relationships can be strengthened by exercising self-control when it comes to giving the last word. Healthy conversations form the basis of healthy relations, whether with near ones, friends, or partners. Mutual respect and trust are established when the loved ones are given the opportunity to express themselves without hindrance. It manifests a commitment to acknowledging and comprehending the feelings and emotions of those around us.


It is all the more important to note that this practice of resisting the urge to have the last word does not imply passivity or surrendering one’s opinions. Rather, it promotes measured and thoughtful responses as people are able to express themselves more eloquently and clearly when they pause to consider what has already been stated before adding something new. Overcoming this impulse to say the final words in a conversation is a valuable skill that can improve many facets of our life. Hence, let your actions serve as the last words, for it is through them that the true magnitude of one’s character and intentions resonate.

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