Non -verbal Politeness in English Etiquette Books and Prophetic Sunnah


  • Muhammed Badeaꞌ Ahmed English Department, College of Education for Humanities, Tikrit University, Tikrit, Iraq
  • Ayhan Abdul Mun’im Ghaffori English Department, College of Education for Humanities, Tikrit University, Tikrit, Iraq



Etiquette, Facial expression, Non-verbal politeness, Prophetic Sunnah, Proxemics


Non-verbal politeness is an important feature that characterizes human communication. Through this type of communication one can find a high degree of sophistication and civility in the language of the body, as this type of language can say and express more than language itself. Thus, there should be a use of certain cues to express courtesy and politeness such as: facial expression, eye contact, gestures, posture, and proxemics. This study aims at explaining the role of the different forms of non-verbal politeness in Prophetic Sunnah and the British etiquette books in particular, then analyzing these texts within the eclectic model of this study, highlighting points of similarity and difference between the two cultures. It is hypothesized that the two cultures display different orientations to the ways of acting non-verbally. The model adopted in this study is Martin and Nakayama (2010) with reference to Andersen (1999), Poyatos (2002) and Koneru (2008) within the framework of Brown and Levinson’s model of politeness and in accordance with Hofstede's (2001) cultural values. The main conclusions of the current study are: (i) Non-verbal politeness almost goes hand in hand with other forms of verbal politeness. (ii) Non-verbal politeness is employed differently in both the Prophetic Sunnah and English etiquette books. (iii) Islamic Sunnah as compared to English etiquette books concentrates on cordiality and maintaining positive politeness among Muslims, while English etiquette texts emphasize individuality and negative politeness.


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