There is no human being who escapes mistakes. That is human nature. Making mistakes is indeed a human shortage but after making a mistake, we should immediately repent and ask forgiveness. But sometimes, we tell stories that can be considered as a disgrace to others instead.
نا عرضنا الأمانة على السماوات والأرض والجبال فأبين أن يحملنها وأشفقن منها وحملها الإنسان إنه كان ظلوما جهولا
“Indeed, We have revealed the mandate to the heavens, the Earth, and the mountains, so all of them are reluctant to take up the mandate and they are afraid that they will betray it, and be entrusted with that message by humans. Indeed, man is very dzolim and very stupid.” (Surah Al Ahzab : 72)
But what if we tell someone else’s sin or disgrace? Is this permissible in Islam?
Islam forbids us from opening or telling our own shame after Allah closes it. This is according to history.
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيْزِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيْمُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ عَنْ ابْنِ أَخِي ابْنِ شِهَابٍ عَنْ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ عَنْ سَالِمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ يَقُوْلُ
: سَمِعْتُ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلَّمَ يَقُوْلُ ( كُلُّ أُمَّتِيْ مُعَافًى إِلَّا الْمُجَاهِرِيْنَ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْمُجَاهِرِةِ أَنْ يَعْمَلَ الرَّجُلُ بِالْلَيْلِ عَمَلًا ثُمَّ يُصْبِحُ وَقَدْ سَتَرَهَ اللهُ فَيَقُوْلُ يَا فُلَانُ عَمِلْتُ البَارِحَةَ كَذَا وَكَذَا وَقدْ بَاتَ يَسْتُرُهُ رَبُّهُ وُيُصْبِحُ يَكْشِفُ سَتَرَ اللهُ عَنْهُ)
Having told us Abdul ‘Aziz bin Abdullah, had told us Ibrohim ibn Sa’d from the son of my brother Ibn Shihab from Ibn Shihab from Salim bin Abdullah, he said, “I heard Abu Huroiroh say, “I heard the Prophet sallallaahu’ alaihi wa Sallam said,
“Each of my ummah will get forgiveness from Allah Almighty except al Mujaahiriin, for example, there is a man who does a (bad) deed at night, then he meets dawn and Allah has covered his shame (in the form of bad deeds). Then, the man said, “O Fulan, I have done this and that bad deed.” “So that is the person who at night God has closed his shame and then opened his own shame in the dawn.” (HR. Bukhori no. 6069 and Muslim no. 2990)
Shaykh Muhammad bin Sholih Al aim Uthaymeen Rohimahullah said, “Al Mujaahiriin are people who show that he has sinned against Allah Almighty.”
The Apostle said, “Every one of my people is forgiven except those who are blatant (commit immorality). And including blatant is someone who committed immoral acts at night, then in the morning he said: O fulan, yesterday I did this and that, even though God had closed it, and in the morning he opened the lid of God to him.” (HR Bukhori Muslim)
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حَلِيمٌ حَيِيٌّ سِتِّيرٌ يُحِبُّ الْحَيَاءَ وَالسَّتْرَ
Surely Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is most gracious, eternal, and supreme. He loves the shame and attitude (hiding shame). (History of Abu Dawud and Nasâ-i)
It is said that a man came to Rasulullah and said, “Yes, Rasulullah. I once treated a woman at the end of Medina and I did not just touch her (meaning to forgive her), so I came to you. Give me the punishment you want!”
Then Umar Radhiyallahu anhu said, “If you cover yourself, truly Allah Almighty has covered it,” and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam silently did not answer, then the man stood up and left. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also ordered someone to follow and call the man before. Then, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam read to him the word of Allah Almighty wa Jalla:
وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ ۚ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ
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Prayers Can Erase Deeds of Sin
“And establish prayer on both sides of the afternoon (morning and evening) and at the beginning of the evening. In fact, good deeds erase (sin) bad deeds. That is a reminder to those who remember.” (Hûd/11: 114)
One friend asked, “Yes, Raslullah, is the verse specific to that person only?” The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said,”(No) but for all humans.” (Muslim)
Telling the disgrace itself is feared to trigger other people to do the same evil. Allah says,
إن الذين يحبون أن تشيع الفاحشة في الذين آمنوا لهم عذاب أليم في الدنيا والآخرة والله يعلم وأنتم لا تعلمون
“Indeed, those who want (the news) a very abominable act are spread among the believers, for them a painful punishment in the world and in the hereafter. And God knows while you do not know.”
Ibn Hajar Rahimahullahu in his book Fathul Bari said that whoever wants to show disobedience and tell of his immoral acts, he has caused his Rabb to be angry with him so that He does not cover up his shame. And whoever wants to cover up his immoral deeds out of shame for his Rabb and man, then Allah Tabaraka wa Ta’ala will cover up his shame. (See Nadhratun Na’im p. 555 – 5554)
Therefore, let us immediately repent when making a mistake and close the shame closely.