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24 July 2017 CE | 01 Dhul-Qadah 1438 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation


What’s a Secret


Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When a man says something, then glances left or right, his words are a confidence to be kept.” [Hasan hadith. Tirmidhi]

Children make their friends swear to keep their secrets. It is considered necessary to say the words “I promise I won’t tell anyone.” However, this is completely unnecessary for Muslims. A Muslim is bound to keep a secret without swearing or promising to do so. When a person glances furtively left and right, or speaks in whispers, these are indications that the person doesn’t wish others to know what he/she is saying. When a Muslim senses this then they automatically become bound by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to protect the other’s privacy and keep to themselves what they are being told, as it constitutes a “secret”.

Imam Nahlawi says: “Telling a secret means to inform others of a remark, action, or state which one learns of from someone who wants it to remain hidden, whether it be good or bad. This is hurting him, and hurting others is unlawful.”

“Whenever people meet, it is obligatory to keep secret any act that occurs, any word spoken, or any state attributable to someone, when these concern something one would normally wish to remain confidential.” [al-Durar al-Mubaha fi al-Hazr al-Ibaha, quoted in “Reliance of the Traveller” by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri] The secret may only be divulged if concealing it hurts the Allah-given rights of another. It may then only be divulged to the concerned party.

People get to know their in-laws in ways not known to others. To divulge their weaknesses to others is to harm them and reveal their secrets. Husbands and wives need to be particularly careful regarding what they say to others about their spouse. This is one of the most sensitive and important relationships that needs to be protected zealously.

Children are often sensitive about what is said about them. They get upset when parents tell others the amusing or not so amusing things their children say or do. If the child doesn’t want to be talked about then this too is a secret that should be kept.

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