The Power of Speech
(Adapted from the anecdotes of Shaykh Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi RA)
Speech has a powerful effect. It is a major factor in changing people. it’s a tool which does not turn people away but rather like a spell, enchants them in consuming the inner sentiments of the speaker. Because of this delicious delicacy of the ears, people take a keen interest in listening to speeches, and it never leaves the audience without having a spontaneous reaction on them, be it a small one.
On the contrary, the less dramatic art of writing does not have the same reach and interest as speech. The audience of writing, at times, is restricted to a group or specific genre of audience (most commonly the educated class) which obviously does not cater for the wider audience.
Looking at the effect of academic teaching (another form of Da’wah), it is In fact even more restricted than writing, because it only holds benefit to one group: those who seek it ! it is worth noting that even though writing is restricted to a particular audience, (like the many few who will be reading this!) it does not restrict the range of its influence and reach, whilst the former (academic teaching) does.
So in conclusion, speech is the most general and unrestricted platform a preacher of Islam can use through which he can benefit an enormous count of people, Muslims and non-Muslims. Imagine ! Four to five thousand individuals, and I dare say even more, can learn about Islam in a short amount of time. Speech is a complete, unlimited and easy way of preaching, so use it backed with authentic knowledge !
Original anecdote found in Al-abd Ar-rabbani pg 115 as qouted by Mufti Zayd Nadwi, Adaab taqreer wa tasneef pg,19