By Khaula Siddique
We have all had experiences where we have had to deal with rude people either making an insensitive comment or asking a question that crossed a boundary in social etiquette. How do you deal with it? It can be a difficult situation depending on the when, where and who! Yes, it is good to avoid confrontation, but if we always let it go then how does the other person ever learn that they need to be more sensitive to other people’s feelings?
What is the rudest thing you have ever been asked and how did you respond? Muslim Moms.ca founder, Erum Zehra recently asked this question in the group. There were some interesting answers, maybe you can find one that you can use in a similar situation!
Commenting or Asking About Someone’s Weight
The “well-meaning” auntie who asks you when you are due ( is she really clueless or is that just snark?!) or comments on how much weight you have gained since she last saw you. This seems to be one of the most common go-to “mean girl” things to say when someone else may feel a little jealous- so don’t take it to heart!
One group member who was asked when she was due (even though she was holding her two-month-old baby at the time!) just responded with a smile and an “Inshallah” (we applaud her graciousness!). Another group member suggested she should have said “around the same time as you!” and tbh I kinda like it!
Dear ladies, please don’t be that girl! It is never okay to comment on someone’s weight (even if it is your arch nemesis!) if it is truly a concern I am sure those close to the person in question are in a better position to take care of her. Women are all in the same boat when it comes to standards of appearance, let’s work hard together to change those unrealistic ideals!
Are You Even Muslim?
Many group members had the unfortunate experience of being told they weren’t really Muslim as they didn’t belong to the commentator’s ethnic group. This one really shocked and disappointed me, it is hard enough to be a Muslim in a non-Muslim community, should we be pointing fingers at one another or building each other up? One of the things Islam teaches us is to be non-judgmental! Which is what I feel should be the reply to such an inappropriate comment. This situation was especially hurtful because of the racist aspect, I can’t believe in this day and age we are still dealing with racism! Can we all try to be a little kinder and celebrate all the beautiful diversity that Allah swt created for us to appreciate?
Another “are you even Muslim?” comment often comes when someone considers themselves “holier than thou”. Are you fasting? Did you say your prayers? Why aren’t you covering your head? Let’s please remember that everyone has their own journey of faith and the only Judge is Allah swt. We should be cheering each other on. I feel like there is only one way to respond to this one, “you aren’t going to be buried in my grave with me, so don’t worry about it!” Yes? No? Let us know how you would deal with this one!
What’s Wrong with Your Baby/Child? Are You Sure You Are Pursuing the Right Treatment?
Who better than a mother could know what’s better for her child? And please don’t stare! It is so inconsiderate! That mother already has so much to deal with, the last thing she needs is that kind of nosiness! We should remember the level Allah swt gives to mothers who dedicate their lives taking care of special needs children, one of the hardest journeys for a mother. Smile at that baby like you would any other baby, do the baby talk, and make the baby laugh. Ask the mother if she is taking enough naps and that she should make sure she is taking care of herself! Let her know where to get nice baby clothes on sale if you know about it. That will be more than enough, thank you!
This is such a tough one, how would you respond? Let’s remember to have these talks with our kids so we can raise a generation of considerate Muslims and free our community of insensitivity.
What is the rudest question you have been asked and how did you respond?
About the Author
Khaula Siddique, artist at Khaula’s Art, has written for Dawn Pakistan and now paints stories on large walls. She loves bringing art to the community and achieves this through interactive art activities and public art projects. When she is not painting, she is over-indulging her large eccentric orange tabby who part-times as her critic and her muse. You can find her art shenanigans on her website, Khaula Siddique.com.