#SunnahFriday - Concealing Faults of Others
As Muslims, we must learn to conceal the secrets of others. The act of spreading to a third party what has been shared with you is highly frowned upon. It is sad that in today's society we are surrounded by people who do the direct opposite. They live to expose others and even go out of their way to dig out information on others.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "The one who carries tales will not enter paradise." - Bukhari
We must understand a day will come when we will all be judged and our deeds will be presented in front of us. We must concentrate on our own faults and work on correcting them; instead of looking for faults in others and exposing them.
“Whoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this life and the Hereafter.”
“O gathering who believe with their tongues but faith has yet to enter into their hearts, do not backbite the Muslims. And do not search into their private matters. Whoever searches for their private matters will have Allah follow up his private matters. And whose private matters Allah follows, He will expose him even [if his act were done] in his house.” - Ahmad and Abu Dawood
This does not mean one should witness a crime against a person and not report to the authorities. There preconditions that must be met before one can have his sins concealed.
- You cannot stop an act that has taken place, but if a brother is in the act of committing a sin and can still be stopped; then you must try to stop such an act. If the act has already taken place, then one must conceal such.
- The person whose fault is being concealed must a person of good reputation and thus, his act of sin could be seen as a lapse in judgement.
- The benefit of concealing the person’s sin must outweigh the benefit of letting the sin be known. If the benefit and the harm seem of an equal level, the sin should be concealed.
It was the practice of the Prophet (SAW) to conceal the sins of those who privately admitted their acts to him even if they did not state what they had done. This must however be done with a heart full of repentance and sorrow. He will then tell them to repent to Allah.
There are some people whose sins can not be concealed because they openly display their acts for the world to see. In this age of social media, we see tons of photos and status updates that clearly have people exposing themselves.
The Prophet (SAW) said: "All of my Ummah would be excused on the day of Judgement, except those who make their sins known. And verily it is a kind of exposing one's sins that a man does something sinful at night and then in the morning, when Allah has concealed his sin for him, says 'Hey so and so, I dis such and such last night.'. And the nighted passed with his Lord concealing him but he wakes up casting aside the screen of Allah for himself." - Muslim and Bukhari