When is There Benefit in Exposing Your Brother’s Faults ?

وَمَنْ سَتَرَ مُسْلِمًا سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ…

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,” Whoever
conceals a Muslim , Allah will conceal him on the Day of Judgment…

Collected by Muslim 2699

Benefits and lessons derived from this topic:

  • Ibn Al-Mullaq-qin (may Allah have mercy on him)
    said,” The type of concealment   intended here refers to a person’s state of affairs. This hadeeth recommends that a person who isn’t
    known to be to be a corrupt individual and has a few slip ups then mistakes should be concealed. And sometimes this person does acts that are haraam, unlike the person who is known to be sinner (publicly). It’s not recommended for this kind of person to have his faults covered. In fact his affair should be raised to those in charge in the Muslim lands.” [
    Al-Mu’ayin ]


  • Al-Alaamah Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Mubarak (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Whoever conceals a Muslim, Allah will
    conceal him on the Day of Judgment…” 
    These words establish a recommendation to cover up the Muslims’ faults, mistakes, and errors. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him ) said,

 مَنْ سَتَرَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ سَتَرَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ كَشَفَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ كَشَفَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ حَتَّى  يَفْضَحَهُ بِهَا فِى بَيْتِهِ

Whoever conceals his Muslim brother’s faults and weaknesses, Allah will conceal his faults and weaknesses on the Day
of Judgment. Whoever exposes his Muslim brother’s faults, Allah will expose his faults to the point that he will be disgraced in his own home
.[ ibn Majah 2643 Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him)graded this hadeeth as being Saheeh li Ghayree he] [ Muhasinud deen ala matn Ar-ba’een]

  • Ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said,” These words in the hadeeth impel a Muslim to
    cover another Muslim’s faults. However there are texts which restrict this to be done only when covering a person’s faults is good. Covering up or concealing a person’s mistakes, faults , and errors are divided into three categories:

1.    Covering these faults is good

2.    Covering these faults is bad

3.    It’s unknown if covering these faults is either good or bad

Now, if the covering of a person’s fault is something good, then this is requested in Islam and praised. Let’s take for example: You see a man who is known to be pious, have good character and religious. In other words he has a good reputation. You happen to see him err and you know his condition. He committed this mistake by fate and divine decree, and now he’s repentant. It’s praiseworthy to conceal the errors of a person like this, and doing so is good.

The other situation is when covering these faults are bad and evil. For example: You find a person sinning or holding hostility towards other people. If you conceal his faults, it will only boost his evil and tyranny. Therefore, concealing this person is something blameworthy and it’s a must to expose his affair to the people who can nurture him. So if it’s a married woman the affair
is reported to her husband. And if it’s a child the issue is raised to his father. If the person is a teacher the matter is taken to the principal, and so on.

The last issue is when it’s unknown if covering these faults is either good or bad. Hence in this situation, the better thing to do is to conceal them. It’s mentioned in an narration: “ Making a mistake in forgiving would be
better than making a mistake in punishment
.” [ At-Tirmithi 1424. At-Tirmithi graded this hadeeth as being weak].

So in conclusion, if a person is confused as to whether concealing the Muslim or exposing him is the right thing to do, then covering his faults here is more befitting. Nonetheless, the person should follow up on this individual’s affair
and not neglect it. Reason being, later on it might become clear that he isn’t worthy of having his faults, errors and mistakes covered.”
[Explanation for An-Nawawee’s Forty Hadeeth]

TN:  Ahul bid’ah are boycotted identical to the sinners who broadcast their sins. This boycott is only done when the proper conditions and requirements are met.

Translated and compiled by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha, Qatar © 1/7/1432

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