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think before you speak

There was an article on Wall Street Journal this week about a financial advisor who dresses differently according to the age and background of his clients: a suit and tie for baby boomers and jeans and a tee for millennials.

That reminded me of the time I worked at a bank. We got trained on each generation and how to talk and deal with each. That's the key success in a business: know your audience and shape your strategy around their values and needs.

Tying this to Islam, we underestimate how diverse the Muslim population is and how much our speech, attitude, behavior and common sense are shaped by our culture outside of Islam.

So what is common sense?

"Ordinary, normal, or average understanding" without which a man would be "foolish or insane"⠀"The general sense of mankind, or of a community"

In a simpler term, common sense is the 'normal' for each community.

Normal I grew up with is not the normal someone in UK grew up with. I have first-hand experience with this growing up in the US and my interactions with relatives and in-laws back in Tajikistan.

The subtle cues trigger certain responses in them which don't do anything to me. And at the end of the day, I seem insensitive, sometimes way too direct, and other times even plain stupid. 'No, people, I'm not stupid. I just don't think like you do and don't have the same expectations as you do.'⠀

And this is and will be true from one culture to next. Literally, Muslims reside ALL OVER THE WORLD. Every crook and cranny.

To expect us to be the same in speech, action, attitude, and common sense is ridiculous. So please keep this in mind next time you interact with Muslims, especially online. To be effective, you will need to customize your interactions based on who you are talking to. Tone down your expectations in understanding intentions and messages of other Muslims. Also tone down in judging them because what you think is rude may be accepted speech for them. ⠀

Also, think before you speak.

What you want to share may be taken very wrong depending on the culture your audience grew up in. 🌷Umeda


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