Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Need help for depressed friend

Best friends


this is my first time ever doing something like this, i have a friend who has been in a lot of difficulties, and she tells me everything. Here is the problem she made me promise that i will not tell anyone about her secrets, due do that i can not specify here what kind of things either....i know i am swinging a bat in plain air here ...but its worth a try.
I want to help her she lives like 8 to 9  hours away and we only get to talk on phone, I know that you are not supposed to break a promise, and what i want to know further is that if you break a promise to help your friend then i want to tell these things to her parents, so they could do something. ....its 50 50 chance that things will go telling her things to her parents i could not only lose our friendship and her trust in me, but i can actually make it worse, she would be greatly disappointed and she will cut off from me and the only support she is getting from me will be lost(INSHAALLAH this will never happen) . I am seriously scared with this ...ONLY FAITH AND PRAYERS IN ALLAH ARE THERE....

please i want to know if you can break a promise with the intention of helping, but with that breaking of promise there could be positive and negative signs not to mention breaking a promise itself is a great sin . What does islam say about that...i need something specific ...please reply as soon as possible.

let me know if my post makes any sense

JAZAKALLAH for your consideration

Muslim Friend.

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6 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Generally, if someone tells you something in confidence, you should keep that information to yourself. Even if you are concerned about someone, sometimes involving third parties can make things worse because you never know how that third party will take the information. You may assume they will be caring and helpful, but in reality it might go a whole different way. The best thing to do with a friend who is having a lot of problems is to encourage them to find a counselor or someone else they trust to confide in, so they can get the help they need.

    There are a couple exceptions however: if someone is making threats to hurt themselves or another person, or is actively being abused (physically or sexually) by another person, I think it's best to get an appropriate authority figure involved. In the end, someone's safety and life is worth more than the anger they may feel about you breaking confidence, or the lost friendship. It's better to have saved someone's life, than to have kept a secret that results in them being harmed further or dying. This standard is good enough for professionals like doctors and psychotherapists to use, so as a friend you can feel confident drawing the line there as well.

    -Amy Editor

  2. Hello Muslim Friend,

    About 4 months ago I faced a similar issue. I decided to share it with my best friend's parents. She was then my girl friend to be honest. A coin has two faces.

    I did it for a higher cause. I decided to contemplate it with her parents about her problem. However, ever since my life changed. Obviously, you would do it thinking that you are doing this to help her. However, She and her parents might think otherwise. The decision was taken in the fit of anger. All hell broke loose post my erratic decision. I was under the impression that I did it for the higher cause to save her but She failed to understand.

    My best friend is no longer my friend. She probably hates me. After that day, She has never spoken to me. Even worse, her number has changed. I always felt that she was suffering from emotional cancer. I was trying to cure it by a pain balm and not chemotherapy. Her father did give her the chemotherapy. However, the side effect of that is that the good bacteria( me) and bad bacteria (problem) both are killed.

    Quran consistently asks us to stand true to our testimony. However, it also asks us remain truthful. Thus, you can break your promise if it is for a just cause.

    The hurtful part is, I couldn't take the abrupt ending. As the saying goes, ' Angry people cause hurt and get hurt'. Indeed , I was debilitated under a mountain of guilt. My guilt and pain was such that I ended up needing help and meeting a counselor.

    I would suggest you to refrain from going all guns blazing. Instead, just as Amy recommended to take your friend to the counselor. A counselor may prove to be a better person than her parents at this point of time.

  3. As Salamualaikum,

    Muslim Friend, it depends on what kind of secret you are referring to. If it was about a Haraam act, you need to break it and help her keeping her informed and letting her know that this sin will do nothing but destroy her.

    Otherwise, there are two options:

    1. Help her yourself by giving her strength to face the challenges of life and don't reveal her secret to anyone.
    2. If you think you are not being able to help her, tell her that and take her to someone who can help her. If she feels comfortable, she can even post on this website (considering that whatever she writes will remain anonymous)

    But if you tell anyone without her consent, it could have an adverse impact which could worsen her issues and as you said, will leave none on her side.

    And remember this Hadith:

    "He who relieves a hardship of this Dunya (this earthly life) for a believer, Allah will relieve a hardship of the Day of Resurrection for him; he who makes it easy for an indebted person, Allah will make it easy for him in the Dunya and the Hereafter; he who covers a Muslim (his mistakes and shortcomings), Allah will cover him in the Dunya and the Hereafter; Allah will be in the slave 's need, as long as the slave is in his (believing) brother's need…" [Saheeh Muslim]

    May Allah Relieve your friend from her problem

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

  4. Assalamoalaykum Muhammad Waseem,

    Brother I want to know how to post our questions as I have submitted it 15 days ago. Its in PENDING list on 2nd page. I hope its on the right place.

    Sorry for typing here because I regularly check for the reply but wonder if I have posted correctedly.

    JazakAllah khair.

    • Wa Alaikum as Salam Maheen,

      You submitted the post on the 5th of October. There are many posts pending from even the 25th of September. So, ideally, it would take another 15 days (more or less) for your post to be published. Please be patient.


      Muhammad Waseem Editor

  5. So I have submitted on right place 😀 Thank you.

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