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Kuwaiti scholar says spying on spouse is a ‘sin’

“There are areas of privacy that may not be shared and they become secrets. People have to respect them,” he said.

By Habib Toumi / Gulf news / 14 Mar 2014

Checking a spouse’s cell phone or computer without his or her permission amounts to committing a sin, a Kuwaiti religious scholar has said.

“From the religious perspective, a spouse must not access his or her spouse’s mobile phone or computer without his or her authorisation,” Ajeel Al Nashmi, the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Scholars’ League, said. “Neither the wife nor the husband may spy on each other or check each other’s emails or messages without a proper permission. Whoever does it is a sinner,” he said in remarks published by Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Thursday.

The only exception is when there is strong and reasonable suspicion about unacceptable behaviour, he said.

“Even then, the purpose of checking the phone or the computer should be for the purpose of providing advice, and not to create a scandal,” Al Nashmi, the former dean of the religious college in Kuwait, said. “In such cases, the husband and wife have to be truthful with each other and discuss the reasons for his or her suspicions. The spouse may be honest enough to explain his or her behaviour and then, there is no need for spying, especially [since] Islam forbids it,” he said.

Although individual cases about suspicion may have several layers and dimensions, the general principle in Islam is that a spouse cannot spy on his or her spouse, the scholar said.

“There are areas of privacy that may not be shared and they become secrets. People have to respect them,” he said.

The scholar’s anti-spying warning is issued as companies take advantage of advanced technology and promote new smartphone applications that quietly forward locations, emails, calls and texts that can be used to spy on spouses.

 

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