We mumineen frequently hear the terms in vaaz and bayans. I came across a very in depth article by a renowned Islamic scholar : Murtada Muthari ' Spiritual Teachings of Nahj -al Balaghah' in which he has brought out the subtle meanings and the difference between the three terms. Hope readers of my blog will surely derive insight and knowledge.
HIKMAAH - WISDOM
MAW'IZAH - SPIRITUAL AND MORAL ADVICE AND ADMONITION
KHITABAH - EXHORTATION AND ORATORY
Excerpts from the article:
Hikmaah is the struggle against ignorance and maw'izah is the struggle against negligence and indifference.
Hikmaah deals with the intellect and maw'izah appeals to the heart.
Hikmaah educates while maw'izah prepares the intellect for employment of its reserves
Hikmaah is a lamp and maw'izah is an eye opener.
Hikmaah is the language of the intellect, while maw'izah is the message for the spirit.
Accordingly, the personality of the speaker, plays an essential role in maw'izah, which is not the case with hikmaah. In hikmaah two minds communicate in an impersonal manner, but in maw'izah the situation is like the passage of an electric charge, that flows from the speaker, who is at the higher potential than the listener.
The speech which originates from the heart enters another heart and the words which originates from the tongue, do not go beyond the ears.
MAW'IZAH AND KHITABAH
Maw'izah and Khitabah :
Maw'izah differs from Khitabah (Oratory) Although Khitabah also deals with emotions, but it seeks to stir and agitate them. Maw'izah on the other hand is intended to pacify emotions and seeks to bring them under control.
Khitabah is effective when emotions are inert and stagnant. Maw'izah is required when lusts and passions become unmanageable.
Rhetoric and oratory snatch control from the hands of calculating reason, and hand it over to tempestuous passion, but maw'izah appeases the tempestuous passions an prepares the ground for calculation and foresight.