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Kitman comes from the Arabic word katama and means “to hide” or “to conceal”. There are eight different hadiths which, in slightly different versions, attribute the following saying to the prophet Muhammed:

Seek fulfillment for things you want to finish in kitman.

(Ista´ino ala Injahi  hawaijikum bil kitman)

Possibly the most important hadith for this citation is from Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami´e nr. 943.

Article about Kitman

The following is an interesting example of islamic reasoning about kitman, found on

Last Update: Mon., Dec. 13, 2004- Dhul-Qi`dah 01-18:15 GMT


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Question and Answer Details


Harold   - United Kingdom


Ethics & Values


The Islamic Perspective of Concealing


What is the meaning of kitman from the Islamic perspective?




Name of Consultant

AAI Editorial Staff

This answer was kindly provided by brother Ahmad Sa`d, a member of Ask About Islam (AAI) Editorial Staff

Salaam Harold.

In the first place, I would like to state that your question is intriguing. It is really nice to touch on words that encompass different aspects of things.

Let us now jump to the core of your question and hit the pin on the head. In reality, the word kitman comes from the verb katama, which means to hide, to conceal.

As it appears from the different English equivalents of the word, it touches on so many aspects - some of which are good and others are bad.

Starting with the good aspects, we can say that a good type of kitman (concealment or hiding) is when you hide things still in process till they are complete. In our life, we may meet people who look with a malevolent eye to what we have, who are jealous that we have this and that, who are envious that we are blessed with this and that. Driven by their envy, hatred and dark intentions, they may plot for us or weave some traps. In order to be saved from their traps, we should keep hush-hush on things that are still in preparation. To this type of hiding, kitman is the best policy. In this regard, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says in the hadith: “Seek fulfillment for things you want to finish inkitman.”

He himself gave the best example of such a type in the early days of Islam. When the number of Muslims was still small and the community was still weak, there was a big need for concealment or secret call (kitman) so as to save the cause of da`wah (inviting people to Islam) from the fierce enemies.

When migrating to Madinah, no one was aware of the time of the Prophet’s departure from Makkah except two individuals - his Companion and fellow traveler Abu Bakr, and their guide Ibn Urayqit. Of course, it helped them a lot to get saved from the traps of the pagans.

Kitman is of much greater importance when we realize that it is a type of trust. When one discloses some of his secrets to you and asks you to keep them secret from others, then it is your duty to keep them secret as required by that person. Even between the two spouses, they have to practice kitman, i.e. they are in no way allowed to talk to others about the details or generalities of their conjugal life or intimate relations. Kitman may extend to cover the secrets of the whole state at the time of war and peace where a person who is loyal to his people cannot divulge to anyone or tell the enemy about his country’s affairs.

Now, let’s turn to the bad type of kitman, namely, withholding or hiding. An example of this type is the image of a person whom Allah has gifted with knowledge so as to benefit people with it. However, such a person practices the kitman of knowledge by hiding it. To such type of people the Prophet hints in one of his hadiths in which he states that their knowledge will be like a bridle for them in Hell.

Another ignominy of ignominies is that type of people whom Allah gives wealth and properties. Yet, they practice kitman of money, by withholding zakah and not offering charity. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, warns them: “Whomever Allah gives money but refrains from paying the zakah on it. This money will turn into a big snake, on the Day of Judgment, which will seize him by cheeks saying, ‘I am your money, I am your treasure’” Stinginess is thus a type of kitman, as is clear from the above. Hoarding goods and forcing people to buy them at high prices is also a type of kitman which should never be the trait of a Muslim.

The word, in its pure sense of a word, never stops to generate new meanings. It echoes in the mind and gives life to images hidden in the back corridors of the memory. But this is language, words from words.

Hope this helps you, and your feedback is much appreciated!

Thank you so much for your question, and please keep in touch.

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