بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ8
يُخَادِعُونَ اللّهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُم وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ9
فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللّهُ مَرَضاً وَلَهُم عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ10
“And of the people are some who say, “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” but they are not believers. They [think to] deceive Allah and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not. In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 8-10]
Rasul Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three:
1. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise).
3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest. (If you keep something as a trust with him, he will not return it.)”
[Sahih Bukhari – Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 33]
Lying, has become so prevalent in society that most people don’t even consider it a sin anymore, let alone consider it ‘as a basis of hypocrisy.
There are two forms of lying:
Lying to ourselves
Lying to others
Lying to Ourselves
Lying to oneself means having the wrong intentions in actions. This happens when we forget that the main reason behind our action is to please Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). We give priority to our nafs (soul) and hence try to satisfy it.
Actions that are done to satisfy or please the nafs (soul) are nullified in sight of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) . The point to note is that even the smallest change in the intention behind an action amounts to lying to oneself even if that action was in fact an act of worship.
A deed may ‘supposedly’ have been done to please Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) yet somewhere along the way, an evil thought was incited by Shaitan and the intention changed to please the nafs. For example, in situations where the salah (prayer) was prolonged, or had more ‘supposed’ Khushou‘ (humility) because someone else was watching. Another example is when the reason for participation in a religious argument/debate was to show off your knowledge of deen (religion) or prove another person wrong. Giving advice with a feeling of arrogance and not of genuine well-wishing, is also lying to one’s own self.
All the examples mentioned above amount to lying in some way or another. Identifying this type of lying is difficult unless we’re constantly watchful of our niyyah (intention). The only one who would know how often one falls prey to this is the person him/herself. Hence, it brings harm to one’s ownself only and to one’s own akhirah (Hereafter). It has no effect on the society or to anybody else directly.
Lying to others
The other form of lying is lying about situations and actions. This includes false statements and all other forms of lying through written words or spoken. These may have adverse affects on the family, relationships, matters of trade/business, matters of the deen (religion), the upbringing of our children and the whole society in general.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).”
[Al-Qur’an – Surat At-Tawbah (The Repentance):119]
Based on this I have created a To Do list that one can follow to keep oneself out of a state of lying to oneself or others.
- One must not fear people. When one fears Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) alone, He will take care of the rest.
- Always, always, always keep the akhirah (Hereafter) in mind, not just the fear and punishments, but also the Pleasure of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)!
- One must not lie to one’s children, because it is being counted as lies in one’s own account and in the process one becomes a wrong role model for them.
- Doing tawakkul (trust) upon Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
- One must make d’ua (supplication) specifically to keep oneself conscious of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and to not lie.
- One also must keep the punishments in mind. Beginning with Surah Baqarah, verse 9, where Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says there is repeated torment because of their lies, throughout the Qur’an wherever we learn about the punishments, we must keep them in mind in In sha Allah.
- One should not do things that will make one lie or want to hide a situation.
- When one speaks one lie, it will almost always lead to another, and another, and it goes on. It is a vicious cycle.
- One should not forward information without verifying it because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, to the effect that, ‘it is sufficient that he be called a liar who narrates everything he hears’.
- Keeping in mind that one will not be trusted if one lies and relationships are based on trust. Therefore, the cycle is as follows:
Rasul Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.” [Sahih Bukhari – Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 116]
Suggested reading: Rulings on liars and lying – by Yusuf Estes