Those who openly sin – II

Those who openly sin – II
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Allah likes bashfulness and likes to conceal people’s faults. He also likes those who conceal their faults. According to the consensus of the Islamic scholars, it is impermissible to expose those whose sins become exposed unintentionally. Why is this the case? It is because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) commanded us to conceal the faults of other Muslims saying: “Whoever covers up the fault of a Muslim, Allah will cover up his fault(s) on the Day of Resurrection, and whoever exposes the fault of a Muslim, Allah will expose his faults.” [Ibn Majah] This is because such acts spread evil within the community.

It is, however, recommended to expose those who are known to be indifferent and who openly expose their sins, because concealing their matter could make them dare to do more and transgress other people’s rights.

This of course is regarding sins that have been committed in the past, but if one is to witness a sin being committed in front of him, then he must do his utmost to prevent it from taking place, because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, as reported by Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him“Whoever amongst you sees an evil must change it with his hand; if he is  unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart - and that is the weakest form of faith.” [Muslim]

As stated earlier, it is recommended to cover the faults of others, but the Islamic scholars have exempted from this recommendation the following categories of people: Those who are within the chain of narrators in Prophetic narrations; those who bear witness in front of judges in order to preserve or uphold the rights of others; those who are candidates for being in charge of charities, endowments, the property of orphans, and things of the sort. This is because nobody is allowed to conceal the faults and sins of such people due to their sins being detrimental to people’s rights. However, one should limit the exposure to the relevant authorities.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) once asked his companions: “Is there any one of you who, when wishing to have sexual intercourse with his wife, goes into the room, closes the door, and envelops himself?” They replied: "Yes." Then, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked: “Is there any one of you who later sits with his friends and informs them about what occurred between him and his wife?” His Companions remained silent. After this, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) turned towards his female companions and asked the same questions, and so one of them stood up and said: "O Messenger of Allah! I swear by Allah that both the men and the women disclose what takes place in their bedrooms to others." Upon hearing this, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The similitude of those who do this is like that of a male and female devil who meet on the road and have sexual intercourse publicly, while others are watching them.” [Ahmad]

Allah hates those who talk about this matter, even if done lawfully between a man and his wife. It is because it is something that entices people to immorality and moves their desires that it was ruled as prohibited by Allah. Even if one was only to mention that he slept with his wife, it is still prohibited and considered lack of dignity.

A look around us will reveal how widespread the phenomenon of openly exposing sins has become, and how common it is amongst people. Anyone who puts a sticker or picture that contains any type of immorality or debauchery, of any kind, on his car or elsewhere, while knowing that it is prohibited and while people can see it, is included in the category of people who openly expose sin.

Many people have fallen into this, openly exposing sins despite the dangerous warning in the Prophetic narration with which we started, where the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Every member of my nation will be forgiven, except those who expose their wrongdoings.” How would the case of the one who is not forgiven be? We ask Allah to protect us.

Some people play music and raise the volume so that the speakers bellow out the sound, then they roll down the car window, thus spreading this sin among people. Some people dance in front of everyone, openly, in the streets and on beaches. Women go to the markets without Hijab so that everyone can see their legs, arms and hair, and they walk in front of men exposing their immorality and dissolute behaviour. Advertisements for parties that contain dancing, music and immorality are everywhere. All these things and other grave matters are being openly propagated, and it is our responsibility to fight this phenomenon.

Doctors and other professions are exposed to certain secrets that people have, and thus it is prohibited for them to expose these unless what is exposed has a general benefit for the Muslim community, or if there is a harm that could afflict it. One could use general terms and not mention a specific name in order to warn others, unless it is not possible except by declaring the name, in which case one is obliged to disclose it.

One of the most important things to conceal is what takes place between a man and his wife during sexual intercourse. Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him reported: “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The most evil of people to Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the man who consorts with his wife and then publicises her secret.”" [Muslim]

Once, a man came to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and said: “I have committed a sin, so apply its penal law to me” but the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ignored him and turned the other way, as an indication that one should not request that penal laws be applied to him when he sins secretly, and that repentance would suffice him.

Concealing sins is necessary to prevent immorality from spreading within the community, because its spread attracts more of it; therefore, those who spread immorality through the news, media, parties, magazines and the like will face a grievous punishment.

It is not recommended that one exposes himself to the authorities if he commits a sin that results from his natural weakness, rather, he should repent and conceal his matter and not inform anyone about it, unless it is to receive advice or an Islamic ruling, as mentioned above.

 

Allah likes bashfulness and likes to conceal people’s faults. He also likes those who conceal their faults. According to the consensus of the Islamic scholars, it is impermissible to expose those whose sins become exposed unintentionally. Why is this the case? It is because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) commanded us to conceal the faults of other Muslims saying: “Whoever covers up the fault of a Muslim, Allah will cover up his fault(s) on the Day of Resurrection, and whoever exposes the fault of a Muslim, Allah will expose his faults.” [Ibn Majah] This is because such acts spread evil within the community.

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