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Can I Tell Others About My Father’s Past Imprisonment?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


My father went to prison for seven years when I was eleven. He left prison, repented for his crime, and seems to have reformed. His incarceration affected me a lot.

When I get married, can I disclose this to my future partner? Since he has repented for his crime, would it be a sin to mention he went to prison?


I pray you are well.

In general, you should not mention his imprisonment to people – especially if he has repented and reformed – as this is likely to cause them to see him in a negative light. People who have stopped their mistakes and repented should be allowed to move on and draw closer to Allah without the stigma of past sins.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged veiling the mistakes of others: “Whoever veils a Muslim, Allah will veil him in this life and the Afterlife.” [Bukhari] This is if their actions are not actively harming others.

If you feel that a potential spouse should know about the matter, because of how it has affected you and the likely consequences of that on your marriage then it would be permissible to discuss the matter. However, you should try to keep the details to a minimum and to emphasize that he is a changed man.

It would also be permissible to discuss it if you need professional help to help overcome the difficulties you went through because of it. [Nabulsi, al-Hadiqa al-Nadiyya]

May Allah make it all easy for you.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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