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Secrecy of Private Matters (Guarding Secrets)

September 4, 2014
Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 85
Secrecy of Private Matters (Guarding Secrets)

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant, will be questioned about.” (17:34)

685. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The most evil of the people to Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the man who consorts with his wife and then publicizes her secret.”
[Muslim].

686. `Abdullah bin `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: My father `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said: When (his daughter) Hafsah (May Allah be pleased with her) became a widow, I met `Uthman bin `Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) and offered Hafsah for marriage to him. `Uthman said: “I shall think over the matter.” I waited for a few days and then `Uthman met me and said: “It occurred to me that I should not marry at present.” Then I met Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) and said to him: “If you are willing, I shall marry my daughter Hafsah to you.” Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) remained silent and did not utter any word to me in reply. I grew more angry with him than with `Uthman. I had waited for only a few days when Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) asked for her hand in marriage and I married her to him. Thereafter, I met Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) who said, “Perhaps you were angry with me when you offered Hafsah to me and I said nothing in reply.” I said, “Yes, that is so.” He said, “Nothing stopped me to respond to your offer except that I knew that Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) had mentioned her and I could not disclose the secret of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). Had Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) left her, I would have accepted her.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

687. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: On one occasion all the wives of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) were with him when his daughter, Fatimah (May Allah be pleased with her) who walked after the style of his father, came there. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) welcomed her saying, “Welcome, O my daughter”, and made her sit on his right side, or on his left side and then whispered something to her at which she wept bitterly. When he perceived her grief, he talked secretly to her again and she smiled (with happiness). I said to her: “Messenger of Allah (PBUH chose you from amongst all his wives to speak secretly to you and yet you cried.” When he left, I asked her, “What did Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) say to you?” She said, “I will not divulge the secret of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).” When Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) passed away, I said to her: “I adjure you by the right I have in respect of you to tell me what Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) had told you.” She said: “Now (when Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has died), I will tell you. When he whispered to me the first time, he told me, `Jibril (Gabriel) used to listen to my recitation of the Qur’an and then recite it back to me once or twice a year, and this time he has done it twice; and so I perceive that my death is approaching. Then be mindful of your duty to Allah and be patient and steadfast, for I shall be an excellent predecessor for you.‘ On this I wept as you saw. When he perceived my distress he talked to me secretly the second time and said, `O Fatimah, are you not pleased that you will be the chief among the believing women or of this Ummah?’ This made me smile as you saw.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

688. Thabit (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came to me while I was playing with the boys. He greeted us and sent me on an errand. This delayed my return to my mother. When I came to her, she asked, “What detained you?” I said; “Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) sent me on an errand.” She asked, “What was it?” I said, “It is a secret.” My mother said; “Do not disclose to anyone the secret of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).” Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said to Thabit (May Allah be pleased with him): By Allah, were I to tell it to anyone I would have told you.
[Muslim].

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