Ok, I don’t really know where this thought came from…I am not one for abstract thinking; usually, an event triggers a thought, but this one bloomed out of nowhere. Odd, but I’m not complaining. Do you know how sometimes you’ll be reading some kind of self-help book, and they’ll have a quiz, and one of the inevitable questions will be “If your friend is wearing something not suitable for her, would you tell her?” And the options would be a)Yes, I’d tell her flat out; b)Yes, but I’d do it diplomatically; c)No, she might take offense if I do; d)No, it’s none of my business. Or some variation of those options. And then, the book (or magazine article) would give an analysis of the option you chose: If you chose a)you’re a very straight-forward person (duh); b)you take your time to say the right thing at the right time and are a very good friend; c)you’re a people-pleaser (like it’s a disease); d)you’re a coward (oh really?).
Well, I was thinking, would the same analysis apply to a question that was deeper, more meaningful than your friend’s clothing choices? For example, if you saw your friend doing something totally haraam (say, drinking alcohol). I you chose to tell her flat out that it’s haraam, you’d be considered judgmental. If you chose to advise her diplomatically, you’d be sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong. If you chose to not tell her because she’d take offense, you’d be choosing to not tell her for all the wrong reasons. If you chose to completely mind your own business, and not even notice, then you’d be open-minded.
My question is this: Why are the rules totally different between something as shallow as clothing and something as deep disobedience to our Creator? Why do we generally demand honesty for things that are essentially meaningless, but get offended when advice is offered for things that matter (be it religion or personal real life issues)? For me personally, I want nobody to be telling me that what I chose to wear to that party or this school event looks bad on me. Don’t rain on my parade, it’s just clothing! I also don’t want everyone all up in my business about how to practice my faith or live my life, unless they can do it in a way that is instructive and not demeaning. But, that’s just me. Now, am I imagining that the rules would be different in the two situations? And if they are different, then why are they different?