Private Conversations 

People always interact with each other.

Can some people talk privately if another person is present?

  • People always interact with each other. They meet on various occasions and for different reasons. People get together at school as pupils and teachers. They gather in the masjid as Muslims. They get together and socialize as friends and family members.
    When people meet each other they should have consideration for one another’s feelings, be respectful and always act politely. This will ensure that everyone in the group is happy and gatherings are peaceful and orderly. Muslims must always display good manners.
    When they socialize they should try their best to make others feel comfortable. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and the best character.” (Al-Bukhaari) The Messenger of Allah ﷻ gave clear instructions defining acceptable social behavior.
    He has made particular mention of how Muslims should behave when they attend gatherings and the things they should refrain from.
    Although Muslims are allowed to have private conversations, there are situations in which it is impolite to engage in such conversations.

قال رسول الله ﷺ لا يتناجى اثْنَانِ دُونَ الثَّالِثِ فَإِنْ ذَلِكَ يُحْزِنُه (رواه البخاري)

The Prophet ﷺ said, “When you are three persons sitting together, then no two of you should hold private conversation excluding the third person until they are with some other people too, for that would grieve him.” (Al-Bukhaan)

  • In this saying, the Messenger of Allah  has prohibited a private conversation between two people in the company of a third person whom they exclude from the discussion. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ further explains that it would be allowed if there are more than three people present in that particular company.
    Therefore the prohibition in this hadeeth applies to a group of three people only.
    The situation mentioned in the hadeeth may also arise in the case where two people speak a language that the third person does not understand.
    So if there are more than three people sitting together the ruling against having a private conversation does not apply. Muslims should however not engage in confidential talks in the company of others if it is going to cause some of them to feel out of place. The reason for this kind of behavior being disallowed is that it causes others to feel bad. The above mentioned hadeeth does not apply to all private conversations.
    People may have private discussions outside of the above mentioned situation. There are circumstances in which it is necessary to speak to someone else in private.

Anas bin Maalik said,” The iqaamah for the prayer was announced while a man was talking to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ privately. He continued talking in that way till the Prophet’s ﷺ Companions slept, and afterwards the Prophet ﷺ got up and offered the prayer with them.” (Al-Bukhaari)

  • Anas bin Maalik also said that the Prophet ﷺ has told him a secret, which he has not shared with anyone else.
    When discussing privately with others, Muslims should not involve themselves in sinful talks. They should rather discuss good, beneficial matters and encourage each other to do good deeds.
  • The aim of all the rulings of Islam related to socializing is to ensure that people do not hurt each others feelings and as a result destroy their unity.
    Muslims must be polite at all times to everyone they have any kind of relationship with. This applies to Muslims and people who are not Muslims, alike.
  1. Two people should not have a private conversation in the company of a third person.
  2. Islam encourages bringing people together.
  3. It is important to avoid private talks if it is of no benefit.

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