Is it haram to keep secrets from your parents?

Question: Is it haram to keep secrets from your parents?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Secrets vary in nature, so there is no black and white answer for this.

If one has been entrusted with a secret, it is considered an ‘amana, a trust, and one may not betray it. Betraying trust is a characteristic of hypocrites, and one must do one’s duty to fulfill one’s trust and teach one’s children to do this as well. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks he tells a lie; whenever he is entrusted he proves dishonest; whenever he promises he breaks his promise.“ [Bukhari]

That being said, there are some secrets that absolutely should not be kept from parents. If one knows about a certain abuse or problem taking place, one must rush to one’s parents or authorities to help the victim, while keeping it a secret could even be impermissible (haram). I pray that Allah blesses us all with such wise judgment and protects all Muslims from harm. 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, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.