Covering faults of sinners

The Prophet ﷺ said,

“... and a person who covers the faults of another Muslim, Allaah will cover his faults in this world and the Hereafter.”

If you see your Muslim brother in a situation he does not like people to know about such action or behavior, cover his action.

“... a person who covers the faults of another Muslim, Allaah will cover his faults in this world and the Hereafter.”

However, this covering is not unrestricted, as scholars have described this principle. Some people deserve to be covered, such as if they have erred or slipped, and it has become known of them that they will not return to nor repeat this action. Such a person deserves to be covered. At the same time, if a person is known for lewd and evil actions, they do not deserve to be covered. Allaah’s laws of retribution, hudood, has to be established upon such a person. That person has to be deterred because if we cover such actions, we make Allaah’s hudood non-functional. These hudood have only been placed to deter such people. In that case, that person is not covered. We also hear those who call for unrestricted covering of actions using the like of the aforementioned hadeeth as a proof. We say, “Unrestricted covering is a prelude to permissibility, and then there is no reason for legislating hudood. If you find a person committing an evil action and you leave him without restriction, this is a prelude to permissibility. It is thus necessary to deter such a person and to stop that evil action from society. In that case, the person would be deterred and others who may be tempted in themselves to commit such an action, would be deterred too. This is why hudood is legislated to be open:

{وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَآئِفَةٌۭ مِّنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِين}
“… and let a group of the believers witness their punishment.” (AN-Noor 2)

in order for a person to be deterred from having the hudood enacted upon themselves, and so others can be deterred too.” Some people say, ‘Surely, not covering people’s faults is a means to the spreading of evil or lewdness.’ We say, “No! Covering in some cases in and of itself achieves the spreading of lewdness. If you covered so-and-so and so-and-so without restriction or condition, lewdness would spread among people. However, if the act of retribution is enacted upon the perpetrator of such evil action, the action would stop and lewdness would decrease and may cease in society. The point is that some people use some Texts in the wrong context. Without doubt, people who call for unrestricted covering of people’s faults, call for the cancellation of hudood. They also call for the spread of lewdness among people because the only thing which stops lewdness is hudood which were legislated by the All Wise, Legislator.