Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
If someone has told me a secret or I know a fault or sin of theirs, and I disclose it to others, then how should I go about repenting from it? I know that sins that include the rights of others need the rights to be returned as a precondition for repentance.
So how should I do this? Does this differ if the person knows whether or not I have disclosed the flaw or secret? Kindly clarify, may Allah reward you abundantly.
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being conscious of the enormities of the tongue and may He make it easy for all of us to protect ourselves from them.
Namima (disclosing something that the other person does not want to be known) is sinful and one should get into the practice of checking one’s words before speaking. This is, not by any means, easy, but practice makes perfect and it helps when one puts effort into one’s repentance. My teacher taught me that when one says something sinful, they should return to the spot where they spoke it, and make dhikr there, and then pray two cycles of the Prayer of Repentance (Salat al-Tawba) later on.
There are no pre-conditions to repenting for namima. One should especially not tell the other party what one said, as this would worsen relationships and cause heartbreak.
Rather, see the links below for the conditions of tawba:
What Are the Conditions of Making Tawba? (Transcript) – Ustadh Abdullah Misra
Prayer of Repentance: Salat al-Tawba
Talking About Sins of Others
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.