Skeletons in the Closet!

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The term ‘skeleton in the closet’ refers to a deep, dark, mortifying secret from a person’s past that they hope will never be discovered. However, since the skeleton is located in such close proximity – secreted within the closet in the house – it’s imminent, accidental discovery is actually rather likely.

There are many husbands and wives who may have old ‘skeletons’ in their closets, although they have now reformed their ways and are currently leading clean lives. Perhaps they were involved in an illicit relationship in their teens or at some other point before their marriage, or perhaps they had other unsavoury habits that they prefer remain buried in the past. In many cases, if these skeletons had to surface, they could completely destroy the marriage and even a person’s reputation and dignity in society. In this regard, there are a few things that we should bear in mind.

The first is that we must make sincere taubah for the sins of our past. Sincere taubah means that we should sincerely regret and express remorse, from the depths of our hearts, for our sins. Thereafter, we should do our best to abandon the sin and remove it from our lives. We should never thereafter reminisce about the ‘good’ old days, thinking about an ‘old flame’ and feeling nostalgic. If one does this, one will be taking enjoyment from the memory of a sin, and this is itself a sin and an indication that one’s repentance was incomplete and insincere, as one’s heart is devoid of remorse.

Likewise, we should destroy all evidence of the sin e.g. photos, messages, letters, gifts from the illicit friend, etc. Doing so not only indicates that one’s heart is prepared to sever itself and disconnect from this sin for good, but it also prevents the evidence from surfacing and complicating one’s marriage and life. There have been innumerable cases where a person’s Facebook posts from their teen days have come back to haunt them years later and even caused their marriage to fall apart.

Obviously, one should NEVER succumb to a moment of madness and personally inform their spouse of their previous illicit activities, as it will be akin to a person digging his grave with his own spade. Similarly, we should avoid anything that could act as a trigger and cause our old feelings to resurface. For example, if we know that a person with whom we were once involved works at a certain business, then we should avoid that place at all costs, as our heart can betray us in the blink of an eye and plunge us back into our perilous past.

Finally, we must continuously make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to forgive our sins and faults and keep them concealed, in this world and the next, as it is Allah Ta‘ala alone Who can preserve our dignity and respect.