A good rule of thumb is to go by this life maxim:
“Lower your gaze not just from the opposite sex but also lower your gaze from the faults of others. Lower your gaze from that which does not concern you. Lower your gaze from that which people want hidden. Lower your gaze from that which makes you angry. Lower your gaze from things that will make you jealous.”
While I might be a little bit guilty here with my internal thoughts on this soapbox, why is it that people who have no business knowing your personal settings, who aren’t genuinely concerned or care about you end up asking personal, inappropriate, intrusive or downright rude questions? Sadly, they don’t care if they make you uncomfortable by:
- Asking a school-goer:
“Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
Why so much curiosity?
“What did you get in your exam?”
Some parents will ask this question in the hopes that your grade is less than their child. Then, they can take it upon themselves to look down on you.
“You didn’t get a chance in that university? Aww!”
You can smell fake sympathy right there!
- Asking unmarried ones:
“When are you getting married?”
Seriously, is it the biriyani that they want to eat?
“Why aren’t you married?”
Because… I don’t feel like it yet.
“You’re old enough to get married.”
Is there a fixed age to get married?
- Asking and telling individuals:
“You lost so much weight! You don’t look good.”
Are you Judge Judy or my mother?
“Why did you gain so much weight?”
Why are they so concern about other people’s eating habits or looks? Here is a fun fact; depression can make you gain weight. Not food only.
“She’s fair… She’s pretty… She’s dark and with makeup she doesn’t look so bad.”
Shallow much? Why the incessant fixation on colorism?
- Asking aged people:
“Where do you want to be buried?”
Under the ground…duh! It’s so insenstitive. I’m sure they have their burial details planned out already. It’s better not to pry unless they personally asked for YOUR guidance.
“Do you feel lonely?”
Are you ready to provide such support if the answer is yes?
“Do you miss your husband or wife?”
Who doesn’t miss a loved one who has passed away? Ugh!
- Asking married couples:
“How much do you earn?”
Do you want a gift or will you give me more?
“When are you having a baby?”
When it’s the right time.
“What does your husband do?”
He works like everyone else!
“How are your in-laws?”
That’s digging for some gossip right there!
Beloved uncles and aunties, its time you don’t ask such questions to people. Why? Because…
- Asking inappropriate questions or sayings can make someone feel humiliated, astonished or angry.
- It is personal.
- It is not nice.
- There’s a barrier which should not be crossed.
- It is time to do something productive with your personal time rather than asking such things and to keep your inquisitive mind in check.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Part of the perfection of one’s Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.” — Sahih at -Tirmidhi
Now, it’s time we know some of the reasons behind theses annoying questions. So why do they really ask?
- They do not realize that what they are asking is not ok.
- To make another person feel shame.
- As a result of having been on the other side of this equation and wanting to put someone else in the same position.
- The desire to help though it can be the wrong way to do it.
- The desire to connect with you while not realizing that this can be a weird way of communicating.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Speak a good word or be silent.”— Sahih al-Muslim
The hadith encourages us to guard what we are saying. A person who wants to speak should think upon what he or she is about to say before uttering it. If it has benefit to it, then he or she may say it; otherwise he or she should refrain from doing so. The hadith also discusses some of the ways a Muslim’s faith should influence the way one relates to others.
Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani writes: “This hadith speaks about three matters, and in doing so it brings together everything that good manners entail with respect to both word and deed.”
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Most of your sins are because of your tongues.”— Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir 10300
Now it comes to, what do we do? And how do we respond? Well responding from a position of kindness is the best way to restore our own sense of stability. Our tongues are like double-edge swords. They can work for us or against us, both in this world and the Hereafter. Allahﷻ will hold us accountable for what we say. When we have nothing beneficial to say, silence is golden. Remember, anger never teaches well but makes a situation worse and kindness teaches in a better form and goes a long way.
Insha’Allah let’s hope that the not so innocent people mentioned here stop asking these annoying questions!