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Writing Biography And Autobiography. by Taamas111 (m): 4:53pm on January 11
Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.

Can a Muslim write a biography and
publish it? I am asking this as the
Hadiths is a biography of our beloved
prophet(sallallah alaihi wa sallam), and
similarly any other Muslim can write his
life details? Although there is one issue
here, since anything done when you are
alone is known only to the Almighty
Allah and HE alone can condone or
condemn it unless one has also
informed others about it. I think such
issues need not be included in the
biography of a Muslim?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord
of the Worlds. I testify that there is
none worthy of worship except Allah,
and that Muhammad is His Slave
and Messenger.

It is permissible for the Muslim to write
the biography of someone and publish
it in a book. However, if this person is
still alive, he should ask his permission
because this matter is related to him
and is his own right. Moreover, one
should make sure about the information
he is going to write. Also, he should
avoid writing things which might be
disliked by the owner of the biography,
since mentioning something which he
dislikes is considered backbiting, even if
it exists in him, as stated in the Hadeeth
of the Prophet .

Moreover, there is no harm if the
Muslim writes something about his
personal life, for some of the righteous
predecessors did so. For instance,
Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i talked about
his journey, which was later reported by
his student Ar-Rabee’ (Ibn Sulayman)
. Also, As-Suyooti wrote his
autobiography in his book “Al-
Muhadharah” and so did some of the
contemporary scholars.

However, it is not permissible for the
Muslim to mention the sins he
committed, since the Muslim is
religiously required to cover up his
sins. This is an obligation. It was
narrated on the authority of Abu
Hurayrah that the Prophet
said: "All members of my Ummah will
be forgiven except those who expose
their wrongdoings. An example of
this is that of a man who commits a
sin at night and Allah Conceals it;
however, in the morning, he would
say (to people), ‘O so-and-so, I did
such-and-such yesterday.' Thus, at
night Allah Conceals his sin but in
the morning he exposes
himself.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah Knows best.


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