Respect: Personal Space and Privacy
Written by: Chereen
Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is respect their personal space and their right to privacy.
Whether a person has prosperity bless them or adversity afflict them, is it your duty to share what they are experiencing with others? If they have not asked you to advertise their news, is it yours to discuss with others?
The answer is no. Regardless of whether it is good or bad, people are entitled to respect. This includes respecting their personal space and their right to privacy. A person can be dealing with an affliction that they do not want to share with others, because it is something they want to battle on their own. It might be something they want to discuss with God five times a day, and to discuss with God alone is what makes them content. It could also be that someone has been blessed with something and you somehow find out. If they have not mentioned it to you or asked you to enclose it to others, then it has nothing to do with you. You can be happy for someone, or you can be worried about them, and the best thing you can do is keep them in your thoughts. You can pray for them, you can feel good for them, you can think about them and smile, but leave it at that. If it is not your news to share, then keep it enclosed in your heart and respect the person it belongs to.
You have to ask yourself what your intentions are when you go to a person’s house and start to discuss a person’s news with others. Or when you are sitting with an acquaintance and you begin to discuss something good you found out about someone, but then carry on to discuss them in other ways. A person can be on the brink of death, and if you have not started the conversation with “Let’s pray for this person, they are unwell,” and then proceed to pray for them and then end the conversation, what are you accomplishing? What is it doing to your heart when the conversation is simply to mention what you have learned? How will it benefit you?
“Part of the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving that which is of no concern to him” – Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)