The world would be a better place if people minded their own business. Isn’t that what Islam says too?
“I’M STARTING WITH THE MAN IN THE MIRROR.”
The more we grow up, the more we learn about the hardships and battles this world and its people bring. Every decision you make-the age you decide to get married at, the number of kids you choose to have, the job you choose to do, the clothes you choose to wear- every single thing you do for yourself and your satisfaction will always involve a person poking their nose in your actions.
Nobody thinks about looking at their reflection in the mirror before looking at someone else with judgmental eyes.
Before you planned to do something for yourself
Have you ever stopped wondering, “What would people say?”
Whenever you think of doing something, you’re overloaded with so many questions which involve the opinions of others.
Is it even necessary? It’s your life, and no one ever will live it for you, so why care what others would say? It’s not like they have to bear the consequences of your actions. You do something good, and you get its benefits. Likewise, you do something terrible, and so do you get its return. When people don’t mind their own business, it always causes many unnecessary rifts and confusion.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) clearly emphasized the dreadfulness of being a busybody:
“Most abominable in the sight of God is that you say what you do not do”- Quran, 61:2
So, I took some time to think, why don’t people ever focus their lives instead of making the lives of others miserable? Here are some things that I could gather.
A few pointers to understand why people don’t mind their own business –
People who judge are mostly considered to be insecure about themselves. They find joy in complaining about things as it makes them feel superior to others, which allows them to hide their faults.
By doing this, they are only fooling themselves as degrading others according to set your standards doesn’t make you worthy of praise but improving and focusing on yourself does.
For some people, the habit of being judgmental just runs in their blood. They feel the need to include their opinions in everything and quickly jump to conclusions or be biased by listening to one side of the story or rumors. Even when their opinions are not called for.
NO SET GOALS
When you have goals in life, you wouldn’t be wasting time, poking your nose into others’ personal affairs. People who don’t mind their own business have no dreams they would want to achieve. They don’t have a proper motive in life and therefore don’t know what to do with it, so they find gossips and rumors to be surprisingly interesting and entertaining when bored.
“I know everything,” attitude. People who don’t mind their own business think they know more and would do anything to let every Tom, Dick, and Harry in this world know that they have enough knowledge about whatever’s happening around them and that they are right.
Though I could have added more points, these would suffice to understand why people don’t let you live in peace. That said, here’s why Islam says to avoid making decision for others when not asked for.
Here are some reasons to mind your own business
Time is the most valuable thing no one should ever waste. When you mind your own business and have a clear focus on yourself, you are not wasting time interfering in the lives of others and therefore will have plenty of time to improve yourself.
There are ONLY 24 hours in a day, and you can use this time to do anything other than minding others’ businesses.
You can make plans to achieve your goals, focus on improving your relationships with your family and friends, or even have a sound sleep that would at least refresh your soul and save you from sinning (did you know that sleeping the correct way is sunnah which means you get rewarded for doing something so easy? How beautiful is that?) Unlike when you cause problems and discomfort to another person by not minding your own business.
LEARN AND GROW
We only learn from our mistakes when we know the reason behind them. The more we learn about our weaknesses, the more we are likely to succeed and have better opportunities in life as we have more knowledge and experience.
However, if you don’t mind your own business, you won’t learn anything as you don’t face the consequences of an action another person makes. To grow, you got to face the consequences of your own activities, and that’s by minding your own business!
SET AN EXAMPLE
They say “sweep in front of your own door,” to help others and have them seek your advice, you must help yourself first. Solve your own problems, learn your own weak points, build and succeed in your own career and discipline your own kids.
If you are not stable yourself, how could you expect others to look up to you? If you have minded your own business, achieved stability in life, and have set an excellent example to others by doing so, you will be more equipped to help others and be worthy of a confidant.
Is minding your own business considered to be selfish?
No, not if you proceed to understand the crystal clear difference. Sometimes, minding your own business can be really helpful to others as they now have the freedom to make their own decisions and be confident in it. They also wouldn’t have to be afraid about the question –“what would people think?”
However, this only applies if that person is not in trouble and can support him/herself. Otherwise, you really need to stand up for that person, and that’s not a sin as it’s considered a help.
Like watching the ocean swallow down a drowning man and saying he’s just swimming, you can’t turn a blind eye to a man in trouble without lending a helping hand and just say you are “minding your own business.” Until you’ve gained proper practice, understanding the difference would be confusing, so to make it easier, you could ask yourself these simple questions before you interfere:
- Have I been requested for help in this situation, or am I just intruding?
- Will my involvement cause any unnecessary confusion or discomfort?
- What kind of difference would my opinion make in this situation?
Yes, minding your own business can be challenging as it involves facing your insecurities, fighting your jealousy, and practicing self-control. But once you learn its beauty, this world would be a compassionate place with successful people spending time wisely.
Nevertheless, if you don’t, there’ll come a time when you’ll look back and regret the times you wasted judging people (who minded their own business and are now content) instead of improving yourself.
You’d have no other choice but to drown in the storm where you could have glided through the waves.