Yesterday I saw someone commented on a video I posted on YouTube. It was a beautiful recitation of Suratul Imran, the surah about Mariam Um Isa (Mary the mother of Jesus), may Allah be pleased with her). I was happily reading through the comments enjoying that it had comforted and relaxed many people when one caught my eye. A person said that this surah (Qur'anic chapter), Surat al-Imran, happened to be her favourite surah. Someone responded just below it (it doesn't matter who) "not being rude but how can you have a favourite surah". I replied by saying that, " This happens to be one of my favourite surat as well. All of the Qur'anic verses speak to our hearts with every word, but there are some that reach deeper to different people at times. Just as Muhamed (saw) told us of the qualities of Ayatul Kursi and how it is the best ayah. I would praise our brother or sister in Islam for finding this surah so precious." I then got a reply saying "I knw what your saying bro but i just want to say that all of the verses and surahs are beautiful but you are righty though." Besides the fact that I'm a sis not a bro, let's think about what happened in that quick exchange of words between us three people. One person said something positive. The next person said something positive but in a seemingly negative tone. The third person (aka me) tried to compromise between the two. Just think about all the interpreting that went on and the weight we put on other peoples words. Before they replied I thought they were attacking what the other person was saying, because of other experiences I have had with people who seem to find something negative to peck out of every sentence you say. I definitely do not want to be one of those people, and do not see myself as one, al7amdolillah. And I felt that I did not attack the other person in what they had said but neutrally gave my advice on how I would react. How ever I did feel a certain way about it, and I felt that this person was simply trying to stir up trouble. Now that the person responded I feel completely different about what they could have meant, and rather than seeing bluntness or harshness in the phrase I see perhaps a lack of knowledge of the English language. I know whenever I speak a different language I am usually as blunt as possible, just to make sure what I am trying to say gets through, and it can often come off as harsh. We really need to be careful about what we say, how we say it, and how we listen to what others are trying to tell us. There's a saying about looking through life with a positive lens, meaning you'll see a positive outcome no matter what is ahead of you. There are many different kinds of lenses. The same goes with listening. If you have a conversation with a certain kind of, I don't know what, headphones on that filter out what you don't want to hear, you're only get half of the story and doing injustice to the speaker as well as yourself. We're only human. Instead of listening like a hawk to make sure so-and-so gives the "correct" response, make sure that you are listening correctly. May Allah guide us to not judge so quickly or too harshly, to support each other in every positive thing we do, and bond us through our mistakes, not divide us. Ameen.