- Not disclosing any secrets the exposing of which could cause harm to the family or to any of its members.
With regard to the first matter, the evidence that this is haraam is the hadeeth: One of the most evil of people in the sight of Allaah on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who went in unto his wife and she went in unto him, then he disclosed her secret. (Reported by Muslim, 4/157). The meaning of going in unto one another is that he approaches her and has intercourse with her, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): while you have gone in unto one another [al-Nisa 4:21].
Further evidence is to be seen in the hadeeth of Asma bint Yazeed, who said that she was with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when men and women were sitting with him, and he said: I think there are some men who talk about what they do with their wives, and that there are some women who talk about what they do with their husbands. The people stayed silent. [Asma] said: Yes, by Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah, [women] do that and [men] do that! He said, Do not do that, for it is as if a male devil met a female devil in the street and had intercourse with her whilst the people were watching. (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 6/457; also reported in Aadaab al-Zafaaf by al-Albaani, p. 144). According to a report narrated by Abu Dawood, he said: Are there men among you who when they have intercourse with their wives, they close their doors and lower their curtains and ask Allaah to conceal them? They said, Yes. He said, And then do they sit and say, I did such and such, and I did such and such? They kept silent. Then he turned to the women and said, Are there any among you talk [about intimate matters]? and they kept silent. Then a young girl sat up on one of her knees and craned her neck so that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) could see her and hear her, and said, O Messenger of Allaah, indeed the men talk and the women talk. He said, Do you know what that is like? It is like a female devil meeting a male devil in the street and having intercourse with him whilst the people are watching. (Sunan Abi Dawood, 2/627; Saheeh al-Jaami, 7037).
With regard to the second matter, which is disclosing marital arguments outside the home, in many cases this only makes matters worse. Involving outside parties in a marital conflict usually deepens the split, and it reaches a stage where the couple will only communicate via intermediaries when they should be the closest of all people to one another. This should not be resorted to except in cases where they cannot resolve matter face to face, in which case we should act in accordance with the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from hers; if they both wish for peace, Allaah will cause their reconciliation [al-Nisa 4:35].
With regard to the third matter, which is harming the family or one of its members by spreading their secrets this is not permissible, because it is covered by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm. (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/313; al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, no. 250). An example of this was narrated in the Tafseer of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): Allaah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Nooh and the wife of Loot. They were under two of our righteous slaves, but they both betrayed their [husbands] [al-Tahreem 66:10]. Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported the following in his tafseer of this aayah:
The wife of Nooh used to know about his secrets, and whenever anyone believed in him, she would tell the oppressors among the people of Nooh about it. As for the wife of Loot, whenever Loot welcomed anyone as a guest, she would tell the people of the city who used to do evil things (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/198), i.e., to come and do immoral things to them.
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