Intrusion, Private Conversations, Etiquettes In Gatherings, Spying – [Distinction Between Reality, Ambiguity, Permissibility and Impermissibility]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said: The basis of Banee Aadam’s misguidance is as a result of ‘General Terms’ and ‘Ambiguous Meanings’ [i.e. terms & meanings which can either be utilised for truth or falsehood when not explained in detail and distinguished], especially if they come in contact with a confused mind, then how about when [evil] desires and misguided enthusiasm is added to that? Therefore, ask the One Who keeps the hearts steadfast [i.e. Allaah] to keep your heart firm upon His Religion and not allow you to fall into this darkness. [Ref 1]
The basis of a person’s Islaam is to testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad [sallal-laahu-alayhi- wasallam] is the Messenger of Allaah, to believe in Allaah, declare that Allaah is One without partner, obey Allaah’s commands, keep away from what Allaah has forbidden and single out Allaah in worship. And safeguarding this path [necessitates] the prohibition of every expression [term or word] that contains Shirk Billaah [i.e. ascribing partners to Allaah] or Kufr, or will lead to one of the two. [Ref 2] In the Qur’aan, there are many words that are utilised to rebut the words [or terms] that are in opposition to the call of the Messengers, the revelation that was revealed to them and the truth they brought. [Ref 3]
One of the general fundamental principles [in Islaam] is to know that words [or terms] are two types: Words that are mentioned in the Qur’aan and [authentic] Sunnah, therefore, it is obligated on every believer to affirm them – affirm what Allaah and His Messenger have affirmed, and negate what Allaah and His Messenger have negated. The words [or terms] affirmed by Allaah is truth and the ones Allaah negated are [negated] in truth, for indeed Allaah speaks the truth and guides to the straight path. The words [or terms] of the Sharee’ah are sanctified, and it is from perfection in knowledge that one seeks after the [sound meanings] which the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasalam] intended by them, in order to affirm what he affirmed and negate the meanings he negated; for indeed it is obligated on us to believe and bear witness to everything he has stated and follow him in everything he has commanded.
As for the words [or terms] that are neither found in the Qur’am and [authentic] Sunnah, nor did the Salaf hold a consensus regarding whether they are negated or affirmed, then it is not incumbent on anyone to agree with the one who negates them or affirms them until its intended meaning is explained. So, if its intended meaning agrees with the [revelation, commands, prohibitions etc] conveyed by the Messenger, it is affirmed; but if its intended meaning is in opposition to the [revelation, commands, prohibitions etc] conveyed by the Messenger, it is rejected. [Ref 4]
Intrusion means affecting someone in a way that annoys them and makes them feel uncomfortable …causing disruption or annoyance through being unwelcomed or uninvited….interrupting a peaceful situation etc
Question To Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah):
When a Muslim shows disapprove of evil (committed by) another person, he (i.e. the doer of the evil) replies to him saying, “You are intrusive” or ‘’Do not interfere in that which does not concern you’’. Is this speech correct in such an instance and what should be the reply to (this person)?
This speech of his is incorrect. To say to a person who disapproves of his evil that “You are intrusive” or “This is not your concern”’ is not correct because Allaah (The Most High) commanded us forbid evil and enjoin good. It is obligated on us to enjoin good and forbid evil according to our ability, whether the one who is commanded or prohibited likes it or not. And he [i.e. the one who rejects the evil] should reply to him (saying), “Indeed, this concerns me because Allaah has commanded me to enjoin good and forbid evil, and that is because the believer to another believer is like a solid building- one part supporting the other. So that which concerns a Muslim [in this instance] is a concern of his brother”. [Ref 5]
Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] says:
And one of those etiquettes [to be observed in a] social gathering [or when sitting together] is that two [people] should not have a private conversation in isolation of a third person [i.e. a third person who is also present in the same gathering or sitting], because that will offend him. He may harbour an evil suspicion towards them – that they are either conspiring against him or reviling him, or backbiting him, or may think that they are looking down on him. The Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’When three persons are together, then no two of them should hold secret counsel excluding the third person’’.
The Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’When you are three persons sitting together, then no two of you should hold a secret counsel excluding the third person until you are with some other people too, for that would grieve him’’. [End of quote. Ref 6]
This hadeeth is [about the] etiquettes that should be observed when sitting together. If there are three people [together], it is forbidden for two of them to speak in private; because if they speak in private without the third person, he will harbour some doubts – fearing that they are talking about him. Also if they speak in secret without him, he will feel that they are looking down on him and that they do not give him any value, and that is why they hide their affair from him and speak in private without him, because they do not trust him. This will enter his heart and that is why the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’For that would grieve him’’- Meaning: It will bring about sadness in his heart, so he says [to himself], ‘’They are either speaking about me or looking down on me’’, so he becomes sad. Therefore, from the etiquettes of sitting together is that one speaks openly, and speaking should not be between two people in isolation of a third person. As for when there are many people in a sitting – more than three – there is no harm if two people speak in private because the other people are many and they will not harbour anything in their hearts.
This is from the etiquettes of sitting together. The hadeeth forbids two people from speaking to each other in private, whilst isolating a third [person who is also present in the same sitting]. It shows that if there are more than three people, then there is no harm if two people speak in private due to the statement of the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam], ‘’Until you are with some other people too.’’ So if the reason behind the caution is non-existent [i.e. if there are many other people in the same sitting], then there is no harm [if two people speak in private]. [End of quote. Ref 7]
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [rahimahullaah] said:
And also if there are four people, they [i.e. three people] should not speak privately in isolation of the fourth person. The intent behind this is that there should be more than one person remaining if the rest are having a private conversation. If a group speaks privately in isolation of another group, then there is no harm in doing so as has preceded in the hadeeth reported by Aa’isha that the Prophet spoke to Faatimah in private [about something] in the house, but not to his wives. [End of quote. Ref 8] Here is the Hadeeth: Imaam Bukhaari Said, ‘’Chapter: Whoever has a confidential talk with somebody in front of the people and the latter does not disclose his companion’s secret, but when his companion dies, he discloses it. http://www.salaficentre.com/2016/10/heart-warming-incident-prophet-sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam-beloved-daughter-faatimah-radiyallaahu-anhaa/ [Ref 9]
It Is Not Allowed to Listen to The Conversations of The People If They Are Not Pleased With That
Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [hafidhahullaah] said:
It is forbidden for a person to just come and sit with a person who is talking to another person because it may be that they are engaged in a private conversation. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “Whoever listens to the talk of some people who do not like him [to listen] or they run away from him, then molten lead will be poured into his ears on the Day of Resurrection. [Sahih Al-Bukhaari Number 7042]. This is a severe threat, so one should not listen to the speech of the people if they do not want anyone to know what they are talking about. [End of quote. Ref 10]
Shaikh Zayd Bin Haadi [rahimahullaah] said:
It may be that two or more people gather to speak about a particular affair that concerns them, and they do not want anyone else to know about it; but then a person or more than one person becomes an obstacle by listening to their speech and [wants] to know what they are talking about, whilst they are not pleased with that. This is an act of transgression and foolishness – that a person involves himself into something that does not concern him. And from the perfection of a person’s Islaam is to leave that which does not concern him. However, there is an exception to this prohibition such as when a person listens into the speech of those who are focused or [involved] in seeking to breach the state of safety and security of the Muslims. [Ref 11]
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘As-Sawaa’iq Al-Mursalah Alal Jahmiyyah Wal Mu’attilah’ – Vol 3. page 927. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Excerpt from ‘Mu’jam Al-Manaahee Lil Laf’dhiyyah’ page 34. slightly paraphrased. Publisher: Daar Al-Aasimah. 3rd edition 1996]
[Ref 3: Excerpt from Mu’jam Al-Manaahee Lil Lafdhiyyah’ page 10. slightly paraphrased. Publisher: Daar Al-Aasimah. 3rd edition 1996]
[Ref 4: Excerpt from ‘Al-Haqeeqatus Shar’iyyah Fee Tafseeril Qur’aan Al-A’dheem Was-Sunnatin Nabawiyyah’ page 17. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 5: Source: Al-Manaahiy Al-Laf-Dhiyyah’ Page 144]
[Ref 6: An Excerpt from ‘It’haaf At-tullaab Bi-Sharh Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab’ page 149. paraphrased]
[Ref 7: An Excerpt from ‘Tasheelul Ilhaami Bi-Fiqhil Ahaadeethi Min Bulooghil Maraam’ 6/172 paraphrased]
[Ref 8: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ Vol 4′ page 192′ footnote number 2′. paraphrased]
[Ref 9: Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh al-Bukhaari Vol 4′ page 191]
[Ref 10: An Excerpt from ‘It’haaf At-Tullaab Bi-Sharhi Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab’ page 149′ paraphrased]
[Ref 11: An Excerpt from ‘Awnul Ahadis Samad Sharh Al-Adabil Mufrad’ Vol 3 page 281′. paraphrased]