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General Guidelines for Dialogue & Discussion

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DIALOGUE is an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.
Dialogue is a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange.

DISCUSSION is the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to EXCHANGE ideas.
Discussion is an act or instance of discussing; consideration or examination by argument, comment, etc., especially to explore solutions; informal debate.

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General Guide lines for a Good Discussion:

The purpose of a good discussion is to work with others to come up with the best set of ideas or ways to deal with a situation. In an argument or a debate, only one side wins. In a good discussion, everybody wins!

Here are some quotes to draw inferences:

“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — (Imam Shafa’i)

"Invite  to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided."(Quran;16:125)

“Let not the hatred of a people swerve you away from justice. Be just, for this is closest to righteousness…” (Quran: 5:8).

"Whoever intercedes in a good cause has a share of it, and whoever intercedes in an evil cause has a portion of it."(Quran:4:85)

"If thou call them to guidance they hear not.  Thou wilt see them looking at thee but they see not."(Quran:7;198)

"Verily, the vilest of all creatures  in the sight of God are those deaf, those dumb ones who do not use their reason."(Quran:8:22)

"Verily, God does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves; and when God wills people to suffer evil [in consequence of their own evil deeds], there is none who could avert it: for they have none h protect them from Him."(Quran:13:11)

"This, because God would never change the blessings with which He has graced a people unless they change their inner selves  and [know] that God is all-hearing, all-seeing." [Qur’an;8:53]

"That was a people that has passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what They did, and ye of what ye do! of their merits there is no question In your case." (Quran:2:134.)

"O believers! If some wicked person brings you any news, inquire thoroughly into its truth (lest) you should cause (undue) harm to a people unknowingly, and later feel regret for what you have done."(Quran:49:6)

"..... and that he who was to perish should perish through a clear proof, and who was to survive might survive through a clear proof. Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing (Quran:8:42)

"And do not follow a thing about which you have no knowledge."(Quran:17:36)
"Good and evil are not equal. Repel (evil) with what is best, and you will see that the one you had mutual enmity with him will turn as if he were a close friend."(Quran:41:34)
""..... Be not among those who argue for the sake of argument."(Quran:6:114)

"If you obey the majority of those on earth, they will make you lose the way of Allah. They follow nothing but whims, and they do nothing but make conjectures."(Quran:6:116)

"Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant."(Quran:7;199)

Some Points for Considerations for Good Discussion:

  1. Think before you write or speak.
  2. Be precise, to the point, offer one point/idea in one message.
  3. Read carefully to what others have to say, don't reply in hurry, respond logically in brief. Provide references / web links where possible. Don't ignore arguments offered by others, avoid repetitions.
  4. Don't ridicule others.
  5. Don't insist on your point if other does not agrees with you.
  6. Don't be emotional, keep cool, flexible and tolerant. Rigidity is like a poison for discussion.
  7. Do not interrupt when some one else is writing 
  8. Make use of what others have to say when it is your turn.
  9. Only say what you truly believe.
  10. Make sure to contribute to the discussion.
  11. Don't be stubborn, support good ideas that other people have, even if they are different from your own.
  12. Search for the best solution even if it is different from the way that you thought at first.
  13. Its not necessary to immediately reach an agreement, EXCHANGE of ides/opinions may add to your knowledge. 
  14. Be polite, don't use abusive language or harsh words.
  15. Be focused on the topic under discussion, don't widen the discussion to irrelevant topics. 
  16. Close the discussion on positive note even if it remains inconclusive. 

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