The Evil Consequences of Lying
O people! Fear Allaah and be among those who are truthful in their worship to Allaah and in their treatment of His servants. Be sincere to Allaah in your worship, with no showing off or seeking of reputation. Abide by the commands of Allaah in order to attain nearness to Him and obtain His good rewards; shun His prohibitions in order to avoid being far from His mercy and being liable to His punishment. Do not seek anyone's praise for your worship of Allaah, for He is the One Who does not stand in need of a partner. If anyone does anything in which he associates anyone else with Him, He shall abandon him to the one whom he associates with Allaah.
Be truthful to the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) without failing to follow his Sunnah and without introducing innovation to it. Be truthful to people when you deal with them, telling them the truth and explaining to them the reality. Allaah the Almighty orders you to be truthful when he says that which means:
“O you who have believed! Fear Allaah and be with those who are true [in word and deed].” (At-Tawbah: 119).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Stick to truthfulness, as it leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise; and a person will keep on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person.”
In this Hadeeth the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that there is an end for truthfulness, which is righteousness that leads to Paradise and a rank within it for the truthful, which is Siddeeqiyyah, or trustworthiness, that is next only to the rank of the prophets.
Allaah the Almighty says that which means:
“And whoever obeys Allaah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allaah has bestowed favour of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.” (An-Nisaa’: 69)
A truthful person is held in reverence among people in his life and after his death. He is the object of their confidence and praise and they supplicate to Allaah to bestow His mercy upon him after his death.
O Muslims! Beware of treachery in your worship of Allaah! Do not blemish your worship by showing off, pretence and hypocrisy. Beware of deceit in your adherence to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him); do not introduce innovations in his Sunnah and do not contradict his line of conduct. Beware of falsehood in your treatment with other people; do not tell lies, rather, tell the truth and only the truth. A believer can never be a liar, since dishonesty is a quality of the hypocrites.
Allaah the Almighty says that which means:
“… And Allaah testifies that the hypocrites are liars.” (Al-Munaafiqoon: 1)
“In their [i.e., the hypocrites] hearts is disease, so Allaah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie.” (Al-Baqarah: 10)
"They only invent falsehood who do not believe in the verses of Allaah, and it is those who are the liars.” (An-Nahl: 105).
A believer can never tell lies because he believes in the signs of Allaah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and he believes in the Prophet’s saying:
“Falsehood leads to Al-Fujoor (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fujoor leads to the Hellfire, and a man will keep on telling lies until he is written off by Allaah as a liar.”
How awful is falsehood and how base is the rank of the liars! Falsehood leads to wickedness, which is the deviation from the straightforward path, which in turn leads to the Fire of Hell, and woe to the denizens of Hell! A liar is mean-spirited, since he is notorious for falsehood in the sight of Allaah. How ugly is the description of falsehood, which is always avoided and feared to be known about among people. How can a person feel any peace of mind while he is branded as a liar in the sight of Allaah? A liar is always doubted by people, who often suspect his statements and transactions and even dispraise him after his death.
In the Qur’aan, Allaah mentions falsehood alongside idolatry when He says that which means:
“… So avoid the uncleanliness of idols and avoid false statement.” (Al-Hajj: 30).
Knowing all this, is it appropriate that a Muslim can adopt falsehood as a guide to his behaviour or a methodology for his life? Even the disbelievers in the pre-Islamic era did not foster falsehood as a method of life, or as a means of attaining their goals; when Abu Sufyaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, who was still a disbeliever at the time, was asked by Heraclius the Roman Emperor about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), he told him the truth, he later recalled this incident saying: “I swear by Allaah that if I did not fear becoming notorious for falsehood, I would have lied about him (i.e., the Prophet peace be upon him).” This was the case of the disbelievers in the pre-Islamic era; they kept aloof from falsehood and felt embarrassed lest falsehood should be ascribed to them. What then is the matter with you believers, who are endowed by Allaah with the perfect religion that enjoins and entices you to be truthful and tells you about its good fruits, and forbids you from falsehood and clarifies its evil consequences? Abu Sufyaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, who was still a disbeliever at that time, kept aloof from being described as a liar, even once, though he knew that there was great benefit for him to tell lies about the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him).
Some weak-minded people from the Muslim Nation may satisfy themselves with falsehood convincing themselves that it is lawful for them because of their carelessness, or a false belief that falsehood is lawful as long as it does not lead to usurping the rights of others, or to seek material gain for their enjoyment in this worldly life, or as result of blind imitation of others. All these false excuses are self-deception and delusion of thought. Carelessness as regards falsehood is the epitome of indecency, since telling a lie even only once penetrates the barrier between man and falsehood, bringing him face to face with it.
Like all other sins, falsehood is abhorred by the souls of the believers. However, if it is committed once, it becomes easy for man to commit it again, and if it is committed again, it will be easier for man to commit it over and over, until it becomes a part of one’s instinct and he commits it on purpose, and thus he will be held a liar in the sight of Allaah.
Falsehood is unlawful, even if it does not lead to devouring the rights of others unlawfully. It is not stated in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him) that the prohibition of falsehood is contingent on such a condition. Rather, when it is combined with seizing the properties of others unlawfully, the sin will be even graver and its punishment more severe. ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) recounted certain types of major sins, among which was the intentional false testimony, so when he (peace be upon him) was asked about the meaning of such a testimony, he replied:
“It is (one) with which the property of a Muslim is seized wrongfully, while he (i.e., the one testifying falsely) is a liar.”(Muslim)
He (peace be upon him) also said:“He who appropriated the right of a Muslim by (taking a false) oath, Allaah will make the Hellfire incumbent upon him and will declare Paradise forbidden for him.”So a person asked him: “Even if it is for something insignificant, O Messenger of Allaah?” and he (peace be upon him) replied: “(Yes) even if it is (as insignificant) as a twig of the 'araak tree.” (Ahmad & Muslim)
A person may tell lies for fun to entertain his companions, and thus become accustomed to telling lies and feel no grievousness in this. It was related in a Hadeeth:
“Woe to one who tells lies to entertain people! Woe to him! Woe to him!”
Some people may tell lies to small children because they know that such children will not criticise them. However, by doing this they embed lying in their character from a very early age. ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Aamir reported that his mother once called him, promising to give him something, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard this, so he said to her: “What will you give him?” peace be upon him) said to her: “If you were not to give him (what you promised), it would be recorded as a lie against you.” (Abu Dawood & Al-Bayhaqi)She answered: “I will give him some dates.”So he (
So fear Allaah, O Muslims, with regard to yourselves, your community and your religion! Do you not know that a religion is reflected and represented by its followers? If the Islamic nation is distinguished by falsehood, blind imitation, and seizing of the properties of others unlawfully, then where will the true Islamic characteristics be? If Muslims are to appear with such disgraceful characteristics then is this not a means of keeping people away from the religion of Islaam? This will mean that Muslims will be held in contempt by their enemies, who will feel superior when they realise that the Muslims are adopting their indecencies and bad morals which are condemned by Islaam. What a disgrace for those who followed the way of those destined to ruin and kept themselves away from the path of those on whom Allaah conferred His favours to - the prophets, the trustworthy, the martyrs and the righteous!