Why Islam rejects lying and deception in all forms
“O you who believe! Fear Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).”(9:119)
WHAT do you do if one of your dearest friends asks you if he or she looks fat in a certain outfit? Or if one of your relatives asks you about a very sensitive issue that, if you reply to the query, will cause humiliation to you and your family? In these circumstances, most of us would opt to tell a ‘white lie’, which according to society, is not a 'real' lie since you are telling it only to prevent someone from getting hurt or to protect yourself.
However, the line between ‘white lies’ and other kinds of lies is constantly being blurred. Why? Because it is easier and sometimes quicker to simply lie than to engage in a more productive discourse.
Lying is something that almost everyone does, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
We sometimes lie without even meaning to do it! Like if an annoying neighbour calls on the phone and you tell your child to say that you are in the shower or otherwise indisposed so you don’t get stuck on the phone for an hour. That’s a lie. Other lies are more evil and salacious.
Someone might tell a lie in order to get a better job. Isn’t it routine for many job seekers to embellish their CVs just a bit to get noticed? This type of lie might land a person a coveted job but it also might make someone else, who has the proper credentials, lose out on the position simply because they have been more truthful.
And what about lies concocted against Allah and His Final Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)? These lies are the most evil of all and created by the enemies of Islam who want to tarnish the Final Revelation from Allah at all costs.
Being truthful and trustworthy is among the greatest virtues a human can possess. Lying leads to corruption and deceit.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allah as a siddeeq (speaker of the truth). Beware of telling lies, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hellfire. A man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.” (Muslim)
Lies often roll off the human tongue just as fast as moths are attracted to an open flame, the consequences of both are sometimes equally flammable. Being truthful is an endearing quality that we all would be blessed to attain in our lifetime and is a commodity that is becoming more scarce in this world as the hands of time relentlessly spin round and round.
Sumayyah Meehan is a Kuwait-based American writer who embraced Islam.
11 January 2008