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Islamic Perspective of Concealing
is the meaning of kitman from the Islamic perspective?
answer was kindly provided by brother Ahmad Sa`d, a member of Ask About Islam (AAI) Editorial
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
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
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.