GUIDELINES FOR ‘PRIVATE EMAILS’
How often do we find ourselves having to email a sister (if you are a brother) or a brother (if you are a sister) privately, about a matter that is really not one that can be shared with everyone on the MSA board? There are three guidelines that fall under this:
1) Always make sure it is something that really can’t be avoided. Don’t just email him/her privately because it’s more personal that way, or because you just get a kick out of it. Really think to yourself: Do I absolutely have to email him/her about this matter privately? If you answer yes, see the next guideline.
2) ALWAYS CC a third party in the email. Rarely do we need something to be addressed that is SO private, that we can’t add even one more person to the conversation. If you really think this is the case, ask yourself what is it that you are discussing with the brother/sister that is so personal that you can’t tell anyone else, and is this something you should really be discussing with them?
“And do not follow desires such that you are misguided from the Way of Allah”[38:26]
CCing a third party will keep you in check during the conversation. There are things that can happen in a 2-person conversation that are less likely to happen in a 3-person conversation. If you still think you cannot CC third party, see the next guideline.
3) If you absolutely cannot CC a Third Party: Fear Allah, and keep the email as short as humanly possible. This is one of the easiest avenues that Shaytaan can enter to ruin your life, so don’t even give him that option. If the case is really that you cannot CC anyone, then understand that you still have a third party in that email/conversation and it is shaytaan.
The Prophet sallallahu 3layhi wasallam said: “Never is a man alone with a woman except that Satan is the third party with them.” (Al-Tirmidhi 3118, Narrated by Umar ibn al-Khattab)
And know that Allah swt is Watching you from Above the seven Heavens, and He sees what you are doing.
“Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth? There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three, but He is their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), nor of five but He is their sixth (with His Knowledge), not of less than that or more, but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be; and afterwards on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.” Surah Mujadilah, ayah 7
So keep the email as short as possible and do not mention anything that does not need to be mentioned. If you can, point it out to the email-recipient “I did not CC a third party for such and such reason, but let’s keep this conversation short and to the point.” This shows them that you are not interested in anything but a quick answer to your inquiry, otherwise, it sends people a really WRONG message when you email them privately.
Stay tuned for more!
(Check out the old posts under “MSA advice”)