How Do I Deal With Nosy Sisters Who Ask Personal Questions?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: There are certain sisters in my community who ask very personal questions and want to know everything about other people’s business. How do I approach these sisters? Is it bad to avoid other Muslims if they have bad character?

Also, how long should one wait before announcing they are pregnant? I’m concerned about evil eye from certain people in the community.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Good character

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said:
“The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

The true test of character lies in interacting with people. The more you avoid something, the harder it will be for you. Allah is telling you something through the tests you dislike. Do you struggle with drawing boundaries? Do you lack the skill of assertiveness? These skills can be learned through practice, trial and error, at workshops or in a counsellor’s office. Use your discomfort as an opportunity for personal growth.

A general rule is to respond calmly, and use ‘I’. For example, when asked something inappropriate, try responding with, “I don’t feel comfortable answering that. Let’s talk about something else.” This may be very difficult to do at first, but over time, inshaAllah, it will get easier.

Privacy

Some people show concern by asking questions that seem too personal. This can feel very invasive, especially when you’re not used to this. Most of time, this inquisitiveness stems from sincere concern. However, their well-meaning questions can be stressful when they ask about topics that are sensitive to us e.g. family issues, our health etc. I encourage you to practise mindful breathing techniques, and to make dua for ease.

Balance privacy with politeness, and have a good opinion of others.

Pregnancy announcement

At the very minimum, I would recommend waiting until the end of the first trimester. It would be best to avoid posting any photographs of ultrasounds, especially on social media. Respecting the privacy of the unborn foetus is one important factor, and protecting the ‘awrah (nakedness) of the pregnant woman is another.

Please see:

Spiritual Struggle: The Trial Of Dealing With People
Making 70 Excuses for Others in Islam – A Key Duty of Brotherhood

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi‘i fiqh, Arabic, Sirah, Aqidah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajwid. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.