"Part of the perfection of one's Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him." (Tirmidhi)
I know I go through phases where I blog some and then I go quiet some and then blog some and then go quiet some... I guess I could say that I haven't had much inspiration or motivation and I have been trying to work on my own emaan and trying to advise myself with the advice I would normally give others. Therefore, I don't really feel entitled to be writing about how to be this or that while I'm currently trying to figure out things for myself.
BUT that being said, there is definitely something that I really wanted to talk about. It has to do with being considerate of others and watching our manners. I wanted to bring up an anecdote of my own so you all can know what kind of impact it may leave on an individual. It hopefully will make us all mindful about our manners and to leave that which does not concern us.
A few months ago I was introduced to this sister who I had never met in person nor had I ever spoken to on the phone. I was introduced to her because a mutual friend thought that she could help me out with an issue concerning my personal life. I texted with her some and then I ended up speaking to her on the phone. I had noticed already a judgemental tone but I chose to brush it off and reminded myself that she was a sister who had good intentions. So that was that and a week later she texted me saying she was in town and she wanted to visit me. So she came to visit me and my mother. Keep in mind this was the FIRST time I ever met her but she made herself so comfortable in my home that it almost seemed like she was a relative of my mother's! Perhaps it was her culture that she put before Islam, but she began to undermine my husband's authority and speaking out of line with matters that did not concern her. She began pressuring me into things that were out of my control and she was being extremely judgemental with my personal affairs and private life. She talked with what seemed like a very condescending tone. I was SHOCKED and APPALLED to say the least ! Who did this woman think she was? I couldn't believe my eyes. I have never met someone so oblivious and so acrid ! I was so taken aback that I just sat there acquiescently because my mother was there and I just was too shocked to respond. Her opinions were arbitrary and had nothing to do with Islam and to this day I still shake my head at the thought of the whole encounter. HasbiAllah ! I have already been going through ups and downs this year and I have been constantly trying to fight through my emaan lows. I remember I had a great weekend the day before she came and I told myself I would try to stay positive despite all my life's events but that very same day she visited my home I felt nothing but chagrined! Chagrined is the perfect word to describe how I felt and still feel whenever I think about that incident! She even overstayed her visit and my mother even was feeling restless. Yes, she had mentioned a handful of things about the hijab that I found actually relevant to her existing in my home but other than that, I was ready to ask her to leave and never come back! Finally, she left and that was the last of her. I never contacted her after that and she never contacted me either so I think she must have gotten the hint insha'Allah. As soon as she left I could not help but feel negative, sad and back to zero with all that I had worked on to keep myself up. My emotions, my spirits and my outlook became very low. I was felt absolute dismal !
Sisters, I want you to please learn from this experience.
This experience has given me insight to know that I never want to make a sister feel the way this sister had made me feel. It really opened up my eyes to why it is important to have good akhlaq and why having good character and manners is so beloved to Allah! Making your fellow sister feel more sad or depressed than she already is, is something that is extremely frowned upon. Even if that sister did not know what I was going through, she should still take into mind that whatever my current situation was, she should have been mindful with her words and especially she was a GUEST! I only met her that one time and already she thought she was entitled to spewing her unwelcomed opinions and advice. I never even asked her for advice or opinion on ANY matter so I really wasn't sure why she was sharing them. She should have been encouraging rather than negative. She should have been positive instead of putting salt on my open deep wounds!
Whenever we speak to a sister who we are not familiar with or who we are extremely close with, we should always remember to understand where they are coming from. Asking a sister, "When will you get married??" or, "You guys have been married for how long now? When are the babies coming?" is not only inconsiderate but it shows a lack of thoughtfulness and deficiency in one's manners. Do you not think that the sister wants to be married? Do you not think that sister wants to have children like you? What if she has not found the right spouse after several attempts with different brothers? Or what if she is unable to have children? Have we ever thought of these things before asking such questions that do not even concern us in the first place? What is it our business to ask when is someone getting married or when are they having children? Unless you are willing to pay for their wedding or pay for their hospital fees, please leave that which does not concern you. It is not an excuse to use that these are "conversation starters" ! They will not bring any benefit to you nor will they increase love between you and someone. These are PERSONAL, PRIVATE matters and if they wanted to tell you, they would tell you without you even having to ask.
Please sisters, I have seen this happen to myself and to my friends WAY too many times. This is not from Islam to cause dismal to our sisters or make them feel chagrined! We are supposed to encourage and always speak good words to them and give them hope! We should let them know that Allah is always with the patient and His reward and promises are true! We should be uplifting them instead of making them feel helpless and hopeless! This is one reason why I have only a handful ( if even) of sisters who I can confide in because in all honesty, and it is sad to admit this, I cannot trust many sisters to give me positive reinforcements or happy encouragements.
Another thing I wanted to bring up was those sisters who are so entrapped in their own happiness they are completely oblivious to other's around them who are struggling with trials. Some newly wedded sisters and new mothers are drowning in their own happiness they forget that their zealousness isn't something that everyone wants to hear about or care about. Many sisters forget that not everyone wants to hear about what you and your husband do on weekends or what your husband does with your new baby when you are out with friends. Not everyone cares about what you made your husband for dinner or what things you bought your new baby! Unless you are with another sister who has the similar lifestyle that you have (new husband, new baby, kids etc.) then yes that would be a beautiful topic to talk about with each other! But if you are talking to a sister who is single, or who is married but with no child, or divorced then shouldn't you be mindful of the conversation topics you chose to talk about? Let us try to be more considerate of others and to be more thoughtful. We wouldn't want us to feel left out, troubled, or feeling low about ourselves now would we? So why should we make others feel that way?
Next time you meet your friend, new or old, please remember to think before you speak. Even if you do not know their whole lifestory doesnt mean you need to pry into their personal life. If they bring it up then that is fine but if they do not talk about it, then leave it and do not ask things that do not add value to your life whether you knew about it or not! Be mindful of what that sister could be going through. Perhaps she doesnt talk about wanting kids or being married because she is divorced, in a long distance relationship, financially unstable, infertile or whatever the reason may be! It is not your business unless she makes it your businsess.
Let us reflect upon these aHadith and try our best to have the best manners and character whenever we meet and speak to our sisters in Islam. May Allah guide us all to good and forgive us and make us of those with beautiful character and manners ameen!
(DISLCAIMER: my thoughts and experience expressed in this post is merely for educating and though I really frowned upon the actions of the sister, I do not dislike her as a sister in Islam and I ask Allah to guide her and give her what is best for her in this life and the next ameen. I just found it very beneficial to share from my own experience because it is more raw and real which may help us to reflect upon our own actions)