September 12, 2011

Chinese Whispers

I bet we’ve all done it before, unintentionally, absolutely unaware of the consequences of our actions. It’s something so trivial that you probably won’t even think about it twice, or even include it in your ‘wonder what happened?’ list down the track.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are happily having a conversation with a couple of friends, and just ‘suddenly’ one of them becomes awfully quiet & withdrawn which normally would not have been the case?

Most of the time, there can be numerous other reasons for this, but sometimes, it can be because of something we do.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has warned us of this 1400 years ago, and if only were we to pay heed to such advice, we could deter those awkward moments. He said:

“Two people should not converse privately with each other in the presence of a third.”  Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8 hadith no. 303.

The reason for me raising this topic is first and foremost as a reminder for myself than anyone else. It so happened that I was at a gathering recently, where I didn’t know too many people and found myself mingling aimlessly through the crowd. I then started having a light conversation with an acquaintance and midway through our chatter she turned to someone beside her and said something to her. Now, normally I wouldn’t think much of this, but due to the situation I was in – already feeling ‘out of place’ and not knowing one too many people around, my mind automatically deciphered this meaningless gesture to mean something more than it probably was.

In hindsight I realize how silly it was of me to make such huge assumptions, but on the flip side I was in the shoes of someone who probably felt the same way because of me! SubhanAllah.

Not only should we be mindful of the people around us but also teach our children to do the same. Children have the tendency to walk up to you and whisper in your ear when you are having a conversation with someone, or furthermore do the same amongst their mates. Though seemingly harmless, Shaytaan plays his tricks to use this against us to cause rifts and give rise to suspicion which in turn leads to misunderstandings.

 This was not from the manners of our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) and we too should strive to avoid such acts that will bring harm.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “I have been sent to perfect the best of manners.” 

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