Objecting and avoiding embarrassment

Q411 :I was once invited to a dinner by a friend of my sister-in-law. I noticed that the cutlery were made of silver, while the plates were trimmed in gold. I whispered my objection to my sister-in-law. Because she was a very intimate friend of our hostess, she went to the kitchen and brought different plates and cutlery which both of us used. I could not speak to our hostess about this or to her guests. Therefore, I kept quite. However, since then I feel that I should have made our objection clear.


A411 : Your behavior has been commendable throughout. You avoided embarrassing your hostess, as you certainly should have done. At the same time, you managed to get yourself the right utensils for eating. Perhaps I should state here that it is forbidden in Islam to use utensils made of silver or gold, or indeed to use any articles made of these precious metals for normal usage, apart from a woman using her jewelry. This is due mainly to the fact that these metals can form the currency, or at least [to some extent provide] the cover for the currency of nations. Hence, using these metals for daily business is not proper for the economy or for the social welfare of the community. Therefore, God has forbidden it. As for advising your hostess, your difficulty is understandable. You were in her house for the first time and she had friends and guests with her. Giving advise in such a situation is not recommended at all. What you should consider is first to strengthen your relationship with the lady. When you have done so and you realize that you have gained her trust, you may tell her in private, between the two of you, making it clear to her that you only want to give her a piece of advice. Most probably she will appreciate that. [Having conveyed the advice, you will have done your duty. Whether or not she accepts your advice should not be a matter for concern.]


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )