Refraining from Inquisitiveness Amin Ahsan Islahi

Refraining from Inquisitiveness
Amin Ahsan Islahi

One of the directives mentioned in Surah Hujurat is that a person should not be nosy and inquisitive about others. While explaining this, Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… in this verse, the prohibition actually relates to being inquisitive for an evil purpose. In other words, here the intention of a person is to try to find some fault or mistake in the private life of another person and have access to the secrets of his family and family life. Sometimes, the motive of this probing is jealousy for it soothes a person to find out such facts about someone he considers to be his rival. At other times, the motive is hatred and animosity: he wants to humiliate another person by informing others of his faults. This latter tendency has now become a profession to which newspaper journalism has given a great impetus. Some journalists are in perpetual search of scandals and the journalist who is considered to be the most successful is the one who is able to lay his hands on a scandal in the private life of a famous person which makes his newspaper or journal sell like hot cakes. Such spying and probing is counter to mutual sympathy and brotherhood which are the foundations of an Islamic society; for this reason Muslims have been stopped from indulging in them. On the other hand, probing which a Muslim does to find out the circumstances of another person so that he can help him in his difficulties and needs or the spying and probing which an Islamic state does to be fully informed about the circumstances of its citizens, is neither implied here nor is it prohibited. On the contrary, such spying is a very virtuous act on the part of a neighbour so that he is aware of the circumstances and problems which his neighbour is encountering and is able to help him out. Similarly, for a state, this attitude is not just an act of virtue, it is in fact its responsibility to arrange to be informed of the good or bad circumstances of its citizens so that it is able to properly discharge its duties.

 

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