CHAPTER viii / Addressing the general public or select groups

Addressing the general public or select groups

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These are two widely differing aims. If you were to speak to highly intelligent people in a simple style, explaining every little and simple detail,

As you need to do when addressing people of average intelligence, you will offend them, as they will consider this approach to be beneath them.

On the other hand, if you were to address the general public in a concise manner, making only a hint here and a brief reference there, as you should do when you speak to educated and intelligent people, you will heavily tax their mental faculties.

Hence, if you want your meaning to be equally understood by both groups, you have to address them separately, using different styles and approaches.

The matter is the same as when addressing children and adults. No single style is good for both.

To address highly educated, intelligent people in the top echelon of society with the same words addressed to people who are uneducated, of limited intelligence and occupying a lower position on the social ladder, and to fully satisfy them all is something beyond human ability.

Indeed, it is not found anywhere other than in the Qur’an. It is the same book found most satisfying by those who appreciate literary refinements.

At the same time, ordinary people find it easy to grasp, free of ambiguity or confusion. It gives pleasure to both groups, placing no burden on either.

“Indeed, We made this Qur’an easy to bear in mind: who, then, is willing to take it to heart?”

(54: 17.)

page iii

Logical conviction and emotional satisfaction

Two forces are always active within a human being: the intellectual and the emotional. They have different roles and directions..

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