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Islamic Fiqh- Ritual Acts of Worship- Fasting (Siam)- Lesson 5: Sawm of the Patient and the Traveler.
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

Islamic ruling on the patient's and the traveler's Sawm:

 Dear brother, we are still talking about Fiqhi matters concerning the month of Sawm (i.e. Ramadan). We stooped last lecture at the patient who fears (the lawful justified kind of fear, for there are other uncounted kinds of fear like Waswasah [abnormal worries], delusion or doubts) to observe Sawm in Ramadan and who is entitled to use the Rukhsah (An exception to a general law, granted to preserve life or remove hardship) of Iftar (breaking his Sawm), provided his fears have grounds of a compelling assumption that is based on experience. For instance, if someone suffers stomachache every time he observes Sawm, and he is told by an authenticated Muslim or by a pious Muslim and highly credited doctor that Sawm will hurt him, his worries are justified and they have grounds, so he is allowed to break his Sawm. What should this doctor say, so that the patient is allowed to break his Sawm? He should say to him that if he observes Sawm his illness will get worse or the treatment will take longer time, so in this case the patient can break his Sawm and offer Qada'.

 Man must avoid anything that might worsen his illness or lengthen the time of treatment which in both cases might cause his death. This ruling can be applied to the patient who suffers a certain illness (as mentioned earlier) only. Some Muslims mistakenly think that every illness is a justified reason to break Sawm, which is not true. The illness which justifies breaking Sawm is the one which has grounds of a compelling assumption that is based on an experience or the one that is considered by a professional Muslim pious doctor.

 As for the one on travel, if his Sawm does not harm him, or traveling is easy for him, it is not recommended to break his Sawm (like traveling to a place 20 or 30 kilometers away and in a comfortable car in winter). Allah says:

﴾ And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.﴿

[Al-Baqarah, 184]

 Nevertheless, it is permitted to him to break his Sawm, and he offers Qada'.

 Sickness is restricted with conditions unlike traveling. However, some scholars said, "The kind of travel that justifies breaking Sawm is the one during which the Muslim can shorten prayers (Qasr As-Salah)", which is to travel 80 kilometers or more. Other scholars said, "Traveling, regardless the distance, is troublesome, so the Muslim can break his Sawm, in all cases", because traveling per say is a justified reason to break man's Sawm unlike sickness which might disappear when man observes Sawm, and only when Sawm makes someone's illness worse, he is allowed to break Sawm.

Islamic rulings on the patient and the traveler when they die:

  If the sick person or the one on travel dies while they are breaking their Sawm as a Rukhsah, no Qada' should be observed, because Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ But if any of you is ill or on a journey﴿

[Al-Baqarah, 184]

 According to the previous Ayah, the sick person or the one on travel should observe Qada' the same number of missed days,, provided the Qada' is observed on other days (after Ramadan is over), but since this condition is not complete due to their death, then no Qada' should be observed. If the sick person becomes better and the one on travel settles down, the justifying reason (to break Sawm) no more exists, so they should observe Qada' as long as the sick is well and the one on travel settles down. However, if they die one month after Ramadan, and the sick person is well during that month before his death and the one on travel settles down during that month before his death, yet both of them do not observe Qada', Qada' should be observed by feeding one poor man for every day they break their Sawm by passing their will to their heirs if they are fully conscious before dying, and this is the ruling with that regard.

Qada' of Ramadan (fasting days missed due to traveling or being sick or any justified reason):

 Observing Qada' of the missed fasts can be done on end or separately, because Allah does not specify that in the following Ayah:

﴾But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. ﴿

[Al-Baqarah, 184]

 Someone may ask, "Should I observe Qada' of the missed fasts on end or separately?" The answer is that things which are not mentioned in the Quran are meant to be left as they are, and the Muslim is at liberty with regard to them". This but manifests Allah's Mercy. Hence, the Muslim should not ask about the matters Allah does not mention in the Quran, so that there will be no embarrassment. On the other hand, if the Muslim tends to do the recommendable in that respect, scholars tell him that it is recommendable to observe Qada' on end, but why is that? It is because in doing so, the Muslim will soon finish his Qada', and it is better than postponing them till another Ramadan arrives, for in this case there is a total different ruling. If a new Ramadan arrives, and the Muslim has not observed Qada' of the missed fasts in the previous Ramadan, he should observe the Sawm of the new Ramadan, and he cannot observe the old Qada' in it, for it is impossible for Ramadan to embrace along with its obligation Sawm, Kaffarah Sawm or Qada'. Hence, whoever postpones his Qada' till another Ramadan arrives should observe the obligation Sawm of the new Ramadan, given he cannot observe Qada' (of the previous Ramadan) in it, and the only time to observe that Qada' is after the new Ramadan is over, because according to Imam Abu Hanifah, this Qada' is for obligatory Sawm, and no Kaffarh is to be paid.

 According to other Schools of Thought, waiting till a new Ramadan arrives without observing Qada' denotes negligence, and so one should not only observe Qada' after the new Ramadan is over, but also he should pay Kaffarh by feeding a poor man for every day. Let me repeat the ruling according to Abu Hanifah; whoever breaks his Sawm in Ramadan for a lawful justified reason (like sickness or traveling), and he does not do Qada' till a new Ramadan arrives, he should observe the Sawm of the new Ramadan and then he observes the postponed Qada' after the new Ramadan is over.

Islamic ruling on pregnant women, nursing msh3er and the elders:

 As for the nursing mother (whether she is nursing her own child or another woman's child) and the pregnant woman, if any of them fears for their own wellbeing or the wellbeing of the infant, they can break their Sawm and offer Qada' after Ramadan without paying Kaffarah, because their Iftar is out of helplessness, and their situation is considered like the one of the sick person and the one on travel.

 Regarding the elderly (who have difficulty in observing Sawm), if they are rich, they break their Sawm and pay Kaffarh by feeding a poor for every day, but if they are poor, they neither observe Sawm, nor pay Kaffarah. Allah says:

﴾ And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.﴿

[Al-Baqarah, 184]

 However, if the elderly become able to observe Sawm after Ramadan is over, Kaffarah will not be accepted and they should observe Qada', because paying Kaffarah is done only if the elderly are unable to perform Qada'.

Islamic ruling on those who die before observing Qada' of Ramadan:

 Whoever dies before finishing Sawm Qada' (because of a lawful justified reason like sickness or traveling), and he mentions that in his will, his heirs must pay Kaffarah on his behalf by feeding a poor person for every day, provided this Kaffarah is no more than one third of the heritage, because the heirs are entitled to a full two thirds of it. Accordingly, if the heir should pay 50 Liras for every day of the deceased's Qada', and the Qada' is 30 days, the total sum is 1500 Liras, and if this sum of money is more than one third of the inherited money, the heir pays only what equals the one third and not the entire sum. The Kaffarah of every day of the deceased's Qada' is like the Kaffarah paid by the old person who has difficulty in observing Sawm in his old age, and so it equals half Mudd (= 3/4 kg.) of wheat or one Mudd of dates or barely.

 If someone dies without mentioning his Qada' in his will, his heirs are not obliged to pay anything, and the guardian of the will should not take any of the heirs' money to pay for the deceased's Qada' as long as the latter does not mention it in his will. However, it is permissible for them to pay that money as Sadaqah (charity), and the same goes for Zakat (that is not paid by the deceased).

Voluntary Sawm:

 Whoever starts a voluntary Sawm or Salah, but then he breaks them (for a reason or another), he should observe Qada' because the Fiqh ruling says, "Whoever starts a voluntary act of worship should complete it as indicated in the Ayah, 'And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad PBUH), the Hajj and 'Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allah.' [Al-Baqarah, 196]."

 The Ayah clearly indicates a ruling, according to which the voluntary act of worship should be completed, and completing it (according to the Ayah) is obligatory, because it is done for the purpose of drawing close to Allah, so it should be maintained from being broken. Since completing it is obligatory, offering Qada' upon breaking it is obligatory as well.

Whosoever observes voluntary Sawm may break his Sawm if he has justified reason:

  Based on the abovementioned, it is not allowed (according to some scholars) to break the voluntary Sawm without a justified reason. However, other scholars said that it can be broken without a justified reason because of the following Hadith:

((The one who fasts the optional fast is commanding himself. He may fast or break the fast.))

 Accepting an invitation to food is one of the justified reasons to break the voluntary Sawm, because the one who invites you pays money to honor you in this invitation. Therefore, it is improper to let him down by saying, "Sorry I am fasting." The Prophet PBUH got angry upon hearing that one of his companions was invited to food, and he declined because he was fasting, and the Prophet said:

((Accept the invitation and offer Qada' of this missed fast))

 This made scholars permit breaking the voluntary Sawm if there is a justified reason, like being invited to food, or like welcoming a guest to your house, for you cannot keep fasting while he is not, and it is a kind of honoring to eat with him. Other scholars permitted breaking the voluntary Sawm. Nevertheless, completing the voluntary act of worship is an obligation, so breaking it entails Qada' even though engaging in it is a voluntary act of worship. It is like greeting sh3er which is Sunnah (voluntary), but when someone greets you, greeting him back is an obligation. Allah says:

﴾ When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.﴿

[An-Nisa', 86]

 It is up to you to greet sh3er or not, but once you are greeted by sh3er, you are obliged to greet them back.

Special rulings on Sawm:

 - If the individual reaches puberty, or if the Kafir embraces Islam in the middle of one of Ramadan's days, they should keep fasting the rest of the day. Hence, if a non- believer is in an argument with a persuasive believer in Ramadan and at 12:00 PM this man embraces Islam, at that very moment, he should fast the rest of the day. This is done out of honoring Ramadan, and as an act of imitating the Sa'em (the one who observes Sawm), and starting the next day after embracing Islam, he should fast, because he meets both the capability and the requirements of Sawm, and he should not do Qada' for the day when he embraces Islam (or reaches puberty). However, spending the rest of that day fasting is an act of respect towards Ramadan.

 - The woman who is in her menstruation or in post-partum bleeding should break her Sawm and do Qada' later on. Though she is ordered to break her Sawm (in such situations), she is permitted to hide that she is not fasting from her children, because it is hard for her to explain the reason to them (due to their young age), or because she does not want her children to undermine Sawm in Ramadan (by seeing her eating). Thus, to avoid the embarrassment, she is permitted to pretend that she is fasting.

 - If the sick becomes better, if the one on travel settles down or if the woman is purified of her period or Nafas (post-natal bleeding) in the middle of a day in Ramadan, they all should (as an obligation) abstain from food, drink and other Sawm nullifiers the rest of the day out of honoring this great month.

 - If someone offers Suhur (the last meal consumed by the Muslim before Fajr) thinking that the Fajr does not break yet upon hearing the recitation of the Quran, and then he finds out that the recitation is the one after Fajr, or if someone breaks his Sawm thinking that Maghrib time is in, and that the sun has set then he finds out the otherwise, what should he do in these two cases? He should do Qada' for that day without paying Kaffarah, because he does not intend to break his Sawm; he does not have the Niyah (intention) to break his Sawm,, so he does Qada' without paying Kaffarah.

 - If someone witnesses the new moon of Ramadan alone, he should fast the next day, and if he does not, he should do Qada', and though all Muslims should observe Sawm together, the one who sees the new moon alone should observe Sawm the next day out of cautiousness. Lots of As7adeth indicate that Sawm of Ramadan is a congregation act of worship in the sense that it should be observed by all the inhabitants of each country at the same time:

((Your fasting day is when you all fast))

[Abu Dawod by Abi Hurairah]

 You belong to a society and you are a citizen in an Islamic country, so when the government announces the arrival of Ramadan, all people should observe Sawm and the same goes for announcing the end of Ramadan, for all people should stop fasting. Fasting alone or ending Ramadan alone is not a right or proper Islamic social behavior.

 - As I mentioned last lecture whoever sees the new moon of Shawwal alone should not break his Sawm the next day, but rather he should observe Sawm out of cautiousness, and if he breaks the Sawm of the next day, he should do Qada' without paying Kaffarh (because of being suspicious).

 Unlike starting Ramadan which needs only one witness of the new moon, ending Ramadan (when the weather might hide the new moon due to clouds or dust) needs the testimony of two men or one man and two women. However, if the sky is clear, ending Ramadan needs the testimony of a group of Muslims who see the new moon of Shawwal.

 These are some of the basic rulings on Sawm according to the Fiqh books of the Hanafi School of Thought, and they are taken from Al-Libab fi Sharh Al-Kitab. In the coming lectures, insha' Allah (if Allah wills), we will tackle Al-I'tikaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid) and other related issues to it and to Sawm such as Zakat and Sadaqah.

Silah bin Ashyam Al-Adawi:

  Let us move to the biography of one of Tabi'een, whose name is Silah bin Ashyam Al-Adawi.

 "Silah bin Ashiam used to maintain night prayers so he was a monk at night and a great soldier during the day, and this exactly how the companions of the Prophet PBUH were described. When the night spread all over the universe, and when people went in deep sleep in their beds, this worshiper used to offer Wudu, stand in his prayer niche and start praying in ecstasy because of closeness to Allah. Thus, his soul was enlightened with Divine Radiance with which his insight could enlighten the entire universe and see the Signs of Allah in the horizons. In addition, he was fond of reciting the Quran at Fajr." Allah says about reciting the Quran at Fajr:

﴾Perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, 'Asr, Maghrib, and 'Isha' prayers), and reauthor the Qur'an in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur'an in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night).﴿

[Al-Isra', 78]

 "When the last part of the night begins, Silah used to lean over the Quran and start reciting it with a very melodious gleeful beautiful voice. During this state of soul, he either tasted the sweetness of the Quran which fills the hearts with love to Allah and makes the brains fearful of Him, or he felt that his heart was about to melt due to his submission to Allah. He never quitted offering night prayers whether he is settled or on travel and whether he is busy or not."

 It was narrated that Ja'far ibn Zayd al-'Abdi said, "We went out on campaign to Kabul [the capital of Afghanistan today] looking forward to conquest it, and among the army was Silah ibn Ashyam. When the darkness of the night spread while we were on our way, the soldiers stopped to eat and then they sought some rest. I followed Silah to see what he will do, so he did the same, and he went to sleep as they all did…" He used to do so out of sincerity; Silah did not want to make any noises while he heads to offer his night prayers. "I said to myself, 'Is this Silah who is known by his worshiping at night to such an extent that his feet get swollen?' Then I decided to watch him all night to see what he will do.

 When the other soldiers fell in deep sleep, Silah left his bed and started walking away from the camp disguised by darkness, then he entered a lush jungle covered with wild grass on which no man set a foot for a long time. I decided to follow him, and upon reaching a far spot in that wood, he headed towards Qiblah, offered Takbeer and started his prayer. I looked at his face and all I saw was a radiant moon, a calm body and a tranquil soul. He seemed to find affability in estrangement, closeness to Allah in being away from people and brightness in the dark night. As he continued offering his Salah, a big lion approached him from the east side of the wood, and I felt as if my heart was dislocated from its place out of fear till the lion was few steps away from Silah. By Allah, he did not flinch away from his Salah, or give the lion any attention, so when he prostrated, I said to myself, "Now the lion will pounce upon him", but when he raised his head from Sujood and sat, the lion stood before him as if it was checking him out, Silah looked at the lion in complete calmness, and he uttered few words with his tongue which I could not hear…" It seems that he sought refuge with Allah from this lion. "Suddenly, the lion turned around and went away just like it came." Whoever fears Allah, Allah will make everything fears him, and whoever does not fear Allah, Allah will make him fear everything.

 "When the Fajr broke, Silah offered Fajr Fard and started praising Allah in words I have never heard before. He said, 'O Allah I ask You to ransom me from Hellfire, for will the like of me dare to ask You (for) Paradise?' He kept repeating those words till he burst in tears like I did. Then, he went back to the camp in a state as though he had spent the night on his mattress so that sh3er would think that he spent the night sleeping as they did. I followed him to the camp after becoming very exhausted of being up all night, of being tired and of being terrified of the lion."

Silah bin Ashyam was lenient in his Da'wah (calling people to Allah):

 In addition to all that, Silah was one of the gentlest Du'aat (callers) to Allah, and he never left an occasion or incident but he used it to preach, advise and remind sh3er. His methodology in doing that was to "invite to the Way of Allah with wisdom and fair preaching", so that the far souls and ruthless hearts will turn back to Allah.

 "Silah bin Ashyam used to spend his days worshipping near a graveyard. Whenever he would walk to his place of worship, he would pass by a group of young men who would waste the hours of the day in frivolous entertainment. Silah used to stop and say to them, 'Tell me. If a group of people intend to go on a journey, but they spend their days playing on the road and their nights sleeping in their tents, when will they reach their destination?'

 One day, he passed by them and asked the same question, so one young man understood Silah's words. Turning to his companions, he said, 'O people! By Allah, he is referring to us, for we play during the day and sleep during the night, so how will we reach Paradise?' He then followed Silah, and became his companion in worship until he died." This is the gentle Da'wah (call to Allah).  Allah says:

﴾ And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah's) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 159]

A lesson for whoever intends to enjoin Ma'roof:

 "While he was heading once with a group of his companions somewhere, they ran into a young good looking man who was dressed in a long garment which he dragged on the ground in haughtiness. His companions were about to rebuke and teach the young man a lesson, but Silah stopped them and said, 'Let me do the talking', then he approached the young man and gently said using the tone of a close friend and a caring father, "O son of brother, may you do me a favor?" The young man stopped and asked, "Sure, How can I help you?" Silah then said, "Will you lift your garment from the ground, for this will keep it clean, will show your fear of Allah and will reflect your obedience to His Prophet PBUH.'…" This is how people should offer advice; it must reflect prudence, politeness and wisdom. "The young man said in shame, 'I will gladly do so', then he lifted up the garment. Silah then said to his companions, 'This is better than what you were about to do, for you should teach him instead of rebuking him, and had you badmouthed, rebuked and fought him, he would have fought you back and would have kept dragging his garment in haughtiness.'…" This story is a lesson to those who intend to enjoin Ma'roof (good deeds) and forbid Munkar (bad deeds). Whoever intends to enjoin Ma'roof, then let him enjoin it gently.

 "A young man came from Basra to meet him (Silah) and he said, 'Teach me Aba As-Sahba'a (i.e. Silah) of what Allah has taught you', upon hearing that Silah rejoiced and his face was delighted and he said, 'You remind me, O son of brother, of the past that I shall never forget. When I was young just like you, I went to the companions (of the Prophet PBUH) who were still alive, and I asked them to teach me, and they said, 'Make the Quran your self-restraint (from sinning) and the spring of your heart'…"It means, read it, understand its rulings and apply them. "…and do not ever abandon reciting it continuously in melodious voice. Be advised by it and advise Muslims with it and invoke Allah abundantly as much as you can.' The young man said, Will you honor me by saying Du'a for me, May Allah reward you with goodness?' Silah then said, 'May Allah endear to you what is eternal and make you dislike what is temporal, and may Allah bestow upon you certainty with which souls find their serenity and on which the religion is built.'..."

The benign habits of Silah bin Ashyam's wife(Mu'athah):

 Silah happened to have a cousin called Mu'athah Al-Adawiyah (a female Tabi'yah) who met A'ishah (the Mother of Believers), may Allah be pleased with her, and learnt from her then she passed what she learnt to Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on his soul.

 "Mu'athah was a devoted pious worshiper, and whenever the night came she used to say, 'This might be my last night', so she spent the night in offering Salah till the day broke, and when the day came, she used to say, 'This might be my last day', so she spent it in concern (fearing that she might do something that would Allah) till the night came. She used to put on light clothes in winter, so that the cold weather would prevent her from going to sleep and cutting short her prayers.

 She used to spend the night in offering Salah and reciting the Quran, and whenever sleep tickled her eyes she used to say, 'O self, the day, on which you will descend the grave, shall be a long day, and you either end up in happiness or in misery, so choose Mu'athah in which situation you would like to be on that day.'…" Mu'athah was the wife of Silah, and indeed she was the best kind of wives.

The courage and chivalry of Silah

  Besides being an ascetic and a worshipper during the night, Silah was a combatant soldier and a courageous fighter, for the battle fields rarely knew soldiers as strong and brave as Silah, or as good in fighting with sword as him to such an extent that he was a subject of competition among Islamic leaders to take him under their command, so that they would invest his bravery in great victory they all longed for.

 It was narrated that Ja'far ibn Zayd al-'Abdi said, "We were in an expedition and Silah was one of the soldiers with his companion Hisham bin Amer, so when we met the enemy, the two companions took off like an arrow from among the Muslims soldiers towards the enemy's soldiers and they started killing and stabbing them with spears and swords till they left lots of bodies in the front of the enemy's army. Accordingly, the leaders of the enemy said to one another, 'If those only two did that to our soldiers, how would it be if the rest of their army engaged with us in a battle? We see that we should surrender to them and submit to them with obedience.'

 In the year 76 Hujri, Silah bin Ashyam was participating in a battle along with his son, and he said to him, 'My son! Fight, so that you achieve martyrdom, and I await Allah's Reward for patience.' His son fought courageously and was killed in that battle. Silah, in turn, followed his son and kept striving in the Cause of Allah till he died as a martyr next to his son. When their death news reached Al-Basrah, women headed to Mu'athah Al-Adawiyah to offer condolences, but she said, 'If you are here to congratulate me, then you are welcom, but if you are here for the otherwise, go back where you came from and may Allah reward you with goodness. Since they (her husband and son) were killed in the Cause of Allah in a just battle, and since they are honored with being martyrs, I should be congratulated rather than being offered condolences.'..." This was how his wife reacted to their death, may Allah honor their noble faces, and may Allah reward her with the best reward, for the history of humanity had never brought forth more pious and submissive Muslim couple than that(i.e. Silah and Mu'athah).

The lesion of mockery:

 I would like to move to one of the tongue flaws, which is mockery. Mockery and making fun of people are forbidden due to the following Ayah:

﴾ O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one's brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: "O sinner", or "O wicked", etc.]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.).﴿

[Al-Hujuraat, 11]

 A mere word, phrase, gesture, behavior, imitation, sign or sentence which leads to mockery is forbidden in Islam as it is indicated in the previous Ayah.

((One of the Prophet's wives (Aishah) was jealous and she said: 'It is bad enough that Safiyyah is such and such. (Some of narrators said: she is short).' The Prophet PBUH said: "You have said a word which, if it were mixed with the water of the sea, it would spoild it.))

Meaning of mockery:

 The meaning of mockery is to contempt, to disdain and to point out people's flaws and errors in a way that makes sh3er laugh at them, and this can be done either by words, actions and mimicking or by making a gesture aiming at it disdaining, undermining, humiliating and belittling other peoplee. Allah says:

﴾It may be that the latter are better than the former;﴿

[Al-Hujuraat, 11]

 As for women:

﴾Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former,﴿

[Al-Hujuraat, 11]

 As if Allah the Almighty is saying, "The one you are scoffing at might be better than you." However, it is fine to make fun of someone at his presence while he is enjoying it. Some people like being mocked and they enjoy it. Thus, mocking them in such a case is considered a kind of joking and not something forbidden. Hence, when someone makes fun of himself, you will not be a sinner if you laugh at him, because he likes it when people laugh, and if he laughs upon being mocked by sh3er, then they are not sinners by doing so, and this is just joking. On the other hand, belittling a brother Muslim and hurting him therein is forbidden in Islam, and it breaks your connection with Allah. The Prophet PBUH said:

((O Ahnaf, he who laughs a lot will be less respected, and he who is always joyous will be underrated))

[Rawdat Al-Uqala' by Ibn Habban fomr Malik bin Dinar]

Breaching of secrecy:

 I would like to mention one more flaw of the tongue, which is breaching of secrecy. This flaw is forbidden in Islam due to the harm it causes to sh3er in addition to undermining the rights of friends and acquaintances.

((Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "When a man narrates a narration, then he looks around, then it is a trust."))

[At-Tirmizi from Jabir bin Abdullah]

 When someone tells you something and then he makes a gesture to hush upon hearing a noise, this gesture means clearly that what he is telling you is a secret, and so it should not be disclosed by you as a Muslim. Unfortunately, some people are entrusted with secrets, and even if they are told to keep that secret, half an hour later this secret goes viral, which in no way reflects the morals of the Muslim. A mere gesture is enough for you to keep someone's secret. Of course this is not applicable to the secret if it is about violating one of the Shari'ah rulings. In other words, if someone entrusts you with a plan of doing harm to someone which violates Shari'ah, this will be another story due to the following Hadith:

((Meetings are confidential except three: those for the purpose of shedding blood unlawfully, or committing fornication, or acquiring property unjustly.))

 Whatever is said in the aforementioned three meetings is not considered a secret, for you should not go silent upon hearing that someone is about to take what does not belong to him, and keeping his secret in this case is a sin.

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