The support of people’s privacy in western legal systems does not have a long record but this right in divine religions and particularly the legal system of Islam enjoys a long background and certainly Divine religions more than any other legal systems put value and importance on this right and emphasized more on its following and observance.
In Torah and Gospel, Jews and Christians’ sacred books, there are many referrals and specific rules about violation of people’s privacy are mentioned.
The privacy right and the necessity of supporting this right in Islamic resources and the remarks of the great men of Islam is the recognition of this right this is greatly emphasized.
The importance of recognition of this right of Islam, besides the subject of its historical background and oldness (more than 14 centuries from the proclaiming of this right) is on the matter of significance from the viewpoint of the time of appearance of Islam.
The religion of Islam appeared in a situation in which institutionalized ignorant habits and savagery traditions in the Arabian Peninsula and other lands have overshadowed people’s lives to such degree that ‘the right to life’, as the most obvious right of a human being, was not supported. They buried their daughters alive with no difficulty and did not believe in any right of life or continuation of living for them.
In such a situation, Islam as a herald of human rights, insisted on the observing of all people’s privacy (regardless of their ideas and religions) and invited everyone to avoid from the violation of people’s area of privacy.
Islam never satisfies itself to express the right for human beings and in addition to expressing the right, determines its domain; the methods of accessing it and in its legal system provide the necessary executive gestures and functions to support it.
In the Islamic jurisprudence regulations, there are several rulings about the support of people’s privacy and confronting against violators and transgressors of this obvious human right. Meanwhile, the Prophet of Islam and Imams, (religious leaders after the Prophet) manners after the honorable Messenger of Islam (S) includes of many practical instances about the defense of people and personal privacy.
However, from the perspective of the religious law of Islam, increasing of knowledge and confronting ignorance and nescience are known to be the most essential elements and instruments to reach the perfection. In the area of others’ privacy, ignorance about others’ secrets and what is passing in people’s privacy is a lofty stage of knowledge and perfection. Because in this case, people encounter the sensual desires of knowing others’ private affairs and secrets and is victorious in this struggle and with his will and insistence keeps the respect of others’ privacy.