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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

Why does a Muslim group need a non-disclosure agreement with its employees?

uring the recent discussion on a wife's complaints against the well known Muslim leader, also a director of a national Muslim organization on civil rights, the community learned about the term NDA or Non-Disclosure Agreement. It is also known as a confidentiality agreement (CA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), proprietary information agreement (PIA) or secrecy agreement (SA),

In the USA, it is a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that they wish to share for specific purposes but wish to restrict access to. It is a contract through which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement.

Doctor-patient confidentiality (physician-patient privilege), attorney-client privilege, priest-penitent privilege, bank–client confidentiality, and kickback agreements are examples of NDAs, often not enshrined a written contract between the parties.

. An NDA creates a confidential relationship between the parties to protect personal and proprietary information.

In some cases, employees dismissed following their complaints about unacceptable practices (whistleblowers) or discrimination against and harassment of themselves may be paid compensation subject to an NDA forbidding them from disclosing the events publicly. Such conditions in an NDA may not be enforceable in law, although they may intimidate the former employee into silence.

People trying to figure out the nature of this allegation learned the organization made many people sign NDAs against their will. Someone asked if Islam allows these secret agreements in an organization that claims to serve Islam.

The Quran uses the term Najwa for these kinds of contracts and discusses secret agreements or confabulations in several verses. It calls such agreements as the doings of Satan. Some of them are as follows.

[All other kinds of] secret confabulations are but of Satan's doing, so that he might cause grief to those who have attained to faith; yet he cannot harm them in the least, unless it be by God's leave: in God, then, let the believers place their trust! (58:10)

NO GOOD comes, as a rule, out of secret confabulations - saving such as are devoted to en­joining charity, or equitable dealings, or setting things to rights between people: and unto him who does this out of a longing for God's goodly acceptance We shall in time grant a mighty reward. (4:114)

Topics discussed in this verse:

Do they not know that God knows [all] their hidden thoughts and their secret confabulations, and that God knows fully all the things that are beyond the reach of human perception'? (9:78)

We are fully aware of what they are listening for when they listen to thee: for when they are secluded among themselves, lo! these wrongdoers say [unto one another], "If you were to follow [Muhammad, you would follow] only a man bewitched!" (17:74)

So they debated among themselves as to what to do; but they kept their counsel secret, (20:62)

their hearts set on passing ­delights; yet they who are [thus] bent on wrongdoing conceal their innermost thoughts [when they say to one another], "Is this [Muhammad] anything but a mortal like yourselves? Will you, then, yield to [his] spellbinding eloquence with your eyes open?" (21:3)

Or do they, perchance, think that We do not hear their hidden thoughts and their secret confabulations? Yea, indeed, [We do,] and Our heavenly forces are with them, recording [all]. (43:30)

Do you, perchance, fear lest [you may be sinning if] you cannot offer up anything in charity on the occasion of your consultation [with the Apostle]? But if you fail to do it [for lack of opportunity], and God turns unto you in His mercy, remain but con­stant in prayer and render [no more than] the purify­ing dues, and [thus] pay heed unto God, and His Apostle: for God is fully aware of all that you do. (58:13)

You are aware that Allah forbade people [to intrigue through] secret confabulations, yet some [always] revert to that aggressive conduct, and dis­obedience to the Apostle? Now whenever such [people] approach thee, [O Muhammad,] they salute thee with a greeting which God has never countenanced; and they say to themselves, "Why does not God chastise us for what we are saying?" Hell shall be their allotted portion: they shall [in­deed] enter it - and how vile a journey's end! (58:8)

O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you [intend to] consult the Apostle, offer up something in charity on the occasion of your consultation: this will be for your good and more conducive to your [inner] purity. Yet if you are unable to do so, [know that,] verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispen­ser of grace. (58:12)

Are you not aware that God knows all that is in the heavens and everything on earth? Never can there be a secret confabulation between three persons without His being the fourth of them. Nor between five without His being the sixth of them. And neither between less than that, or more, without His being with them wherever they may he. But in the end, on Resurrection Day, He will make them truly understand what they did: for, verily, God has full knowledge of everything. (58:7)

There are a few questions we should ask those in Muslim organizations who claim to be serving God yet forcing their employees to sign NDAs.

  1. What is happening in the organization fun on public funding that the public should not know?

  2. Why force an employee to sign an NDA?

  3. Why use the label of Quran and Islam to practice this unIslamic contract/

  4. Why do you want to hide and from whom? Do you not believe that God knows all?

  5. Are you involved in any immoral or illegal work that you want to protect from public eyes?

  6. Would you release people from these NDAs if you are honest and truthful?

  7. We hope that the organizations following this practice while claiming to follow the Quran will shed light on this.

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