Curiosity simply means wish to know. When a person is curious about anything, it means he is interested in it. In itself, therefore, there is nothing wrong with curiosity. Whether it is a good thing, or a bad thing will depend on what people are curious about.
Curiosity is often silly, and sometimes it is wrong. In villages and small towns, there is generally a good deal of foolish curiosity. People with nothing better to do are full of curiosity about what their neighbors do. They want to know what they eat, what money they earn, why one woman has got a new sari, why another does not get married, why Ghulam Ahmad sold his cow, why Jan Muhammad came home so late one night, or why Zafar Iqbal bought a ring in the bazaar. Such curiosity is silly because these things themselves are so trivial. Also, it is no business of theirs what their neighbors do. It would be better if they minded their own business, and left their neighbors alone.
Such curiosity is not only foolish, but it sometimes makes mischief. For it generally leads to gossip, and idle gossip often gives rise to lies and scandal, which hurt innocent people.
All children are curious, and their curiosity is a good thing, he wants to know what they are and what they mean. So he is always asking questions. He is always saying, What? Why? How? When? Where? This is the way he learns, and grownup people should always be patient with curious children, and try to answer their questions.
And there is a noble curiosity-the curiosity of wise men, who wonder at all the great things God has made and try to find out all they can about them. Columbus could never have found America if he had not been curious. James Watt would not have made the steam engine if he had not been curious about the raising of the kettle lid. All the discoveries of science have been due to men’s curiosity—their desire to know. Curiosity about great and noble things is noble curiosity.