A Deed That Will Lead to Grief and Evil Suspicion When Sitting Together or Socialising

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) says:

And from the 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 [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 he might 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’’. [Ref: A] 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’’. [Ref: B] [Ref:1]

This hadeeth is (related to the) etiquettes to 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 (who is also present). 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 rest of the 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 in isolation of 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 object of 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). [Ref 2]

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz (rahimahullaah)

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. [Ref 3] 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 4]


[Ref A: Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ Hadeeth Number 6288 Vol 8. Darussalam]

[Ref B: Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ Hadeeth Number 6290 Vol 8. Darussalam]

Ref 1: It’haaf At-tullaab Bi-Sharh Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab’ page 149′ Paraphrased. See Arabic text below

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Ref 2: Tasheelul Ilhaami Bi-Fiqhil Ahaadeethi Min Bulooghil Maraam’ 172 Vol 6. paraphrased. See Arabic text below

sh_fawzaan2

Ref 3: Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ Vol 4′ page 192′ footnote number 2′. paraphrased. See Arabic text below

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Ref 4: Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh al-Bukhaari Vol 4′ page 191..see Arabic text below

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