Respecting People’s Privacy is a Must in Islam
Maulana Nabi Raza Abidi speaks about the importance of having respect for people’s privacy. With the tongue, you can make yourself and the community ugly. Don’t pry into other people’s private lives and don’t talk about it.
This clip was brought to you by the SABA Global Islamic Mission. The SABA Global Islamic Mission is based in the SABA Islamic Center (Shia Association of Bay Area) and is located in San Jose, California. The SABA Global Islamic Mission and the SABA Islamic Center are led by Maulana Nabi Raza Abidi.
O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful. (Hujurat:12)
Prying into people’s lives is a serious sin. Verse number 12 of Surah al-Hujurat discusses three different negative qualities of snooping into people’s private lives in the following order:
(1) (negative thinking) or not having trust in others;
(2) Prying into the secrets of other people;
(3) Speaking bad behind someone else’s back.
The reason why the Qur’an has talked about/said these three hated qualities in this order is that the first feature ((not trusting) others) leads to one developing the second negative quality – prying into their private lives. Once a person has bad thoughts of another person, he would naturally begin to secretly watch and closely examine that person relating to/about his actions.
Obviously, when one starts to secretly watch and pry into others’ personal lives, he would not be able to prevent himself from speaking to others about what he has seen – in fact, he would openly and honestly discuss with others what he knows and so, he would have no choice but to speak bad and back-bite them. It is because of this reason that the Qur’an talks about/says these three negative qualities in the order that it has, so that the natural relationship between them is made clear.
In the previous discussions, more or less, the damage that being negative-minded in relation to others was discussed and at this point, we will discuss curiosity or as the Qur’an calls it, secretly watching others. Being curious about the affairs of other people is a negative feature that brings about both (honest and right) and (related to social pressure, how people act toward each other, etc.) harm which can be summarized in the following points:
1. It was talked about/said in our previous discussion that Islam has given four types of security for the community of believers:
a. Security of one’s life.
b. Security of one’s property.
c. Security of one’s honor and self-respect/built-in worth.
d. Security of one’s character and personality within the thoughts and minds of other people.
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