Islam aims at establishing the principles of justice, mercy, and equality among all peoples. In Islam, there is no distinction among people on the basis of their colour, race, sex, nationality, religion, or any other criteria. In this regard, Almighty Allah says: “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.” (Al-Hujurat: 13)
Being a mercy to all creatures, Islam commanded its adherents to recognize this fact and deal with their servants justly showing them kindness and good treatment. In the meantime, servants should be honest and not reveal the secrets of the houses where they serve.
Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states that: “Islam commanded Muslims to be merciful to their servants and treat them kindly. In this regard, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “They (servants) are your brethren upon whom Allah has given you authority. So, if one has one’s brethren under one’s control, one should feed them with the like of what one eats and clothe them with the like of what one wears. You should not overburden them with what they cannot bear, and if you do so, help them (in their hard job).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
On the other hand, servants are ordered to be honest and trustworthy with their masters. This is the general sense indicated by the following verse that relates what the daughter of Prophet Shu`ayb, peace be upon him, said about Prophet Musa (Moses), “One of the two women said: O my father! Hire him! For the best (man) that thou canst hire is the strong, the trustworthy.” (Al-Qasas: 26)
Trustworthiness appears manifestly in three main fields: money, honor and secrets. Keeping secrets is urgently required especially in this case because servants are most likely to know the personal secrets of their masters.
Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Thabit that Anas Ibn Malik said: “Once Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, found me playing with the kids. He greeted us, then he sent me for an errand, so I went home lately. On my arrival my mother asked me: ‘What kept you so late?’ I said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, sent me on a mission.’ She said: ‘What was it?’ I said: ‘It is a secret.’ She said: ‘Do not reveal the secret of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, to anybody.’” Anas added: “If I had told anybody about it, by Allah I would have told you about it, Thabit.” (Al-Bukhari reported part of this Hadith as well)
Here we see that the mother of Anas Ibn Malik advised him not to reveal the secret of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. This shows us the way in which guardians of the servant deal with him; they should not ask him to tell them his masters’ secrets or relate what happens in their house. Also, Anas’s insistence not to disclose the Prophet’s secrets is an attitude that should be imitated; he refused to disclose the Prophet’s secrets even to the closest person to him.
Hence, we know that a servant who discloses his master’s secrets is a traitor. By this, there is nothing wrong in giving him a leave as a protecting measure against his harm, and maybe his dismissal will be a good lesson for him and for others, so that everyone would refrain from disclosing others’ secrets.”