It feels great and secretive to lie to people. They might even believe you not knowing you’re lying. Lies are told for several reasons: To seal a deal, to avoid being wrong, out of fear, to keep a relationship, and to create amusement. Lying seems not a very hard thing to do, it’s just an easy way of twisting, bending or presenting the truth in the opposite form. Grownups lie, kids do — men and women alike. It is hard for someone to declare that he has never lied, for some people lie even without knowing they do (Well, maybe it has been planned, so they just do it). When we lie, our conscience pricks us, leaving us with guilt and we hate ourselves for it (If we are not habitual liars).
The world is full of liars — from Chief Executive Officers of firms, Accountants, Secretaries, Receptionists, Sales Managers, Bankers, Businessmen and women, Academicians, Religious leaders, Spouses, Children and Politicians. With the way people lie, one would think lying is a good thing to do, whereas it is a bad habit. A very bad one. There are people who even seek their source of livelihood in lying, they are called comedians (Well, when the humorous part of them are taking away), for it is not lying when one is telling the truth and it appears funny.
However, in ensuring a sane society, a society which propagates truth and abolish all forms of falsehood, Islam enjoin Muslims to be truthful in all their affairs — relationships, businesses, social interactions and what have you. This is because truthfulness is the only thing that stands the test of time. Lying places a person on a weak scale with regards to trust, when people become consistent liars, we tend not to trust them with ourselves, not even our families and properties. The Most blessed of all Mankind; Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was nicknamed ”Al-Ameen” (The Trustworthy), because he never lied to his people, even before he was blessed with Prophethood. He remains a mirror and a perfect template for Muslims as the Qur’an rightly says:
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.
-Sura Al-Ahzab, Ayah 21
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) refer to lying as one of the characteristics of an hypocrite. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There are three signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
In ensuring that Muslims are trustworthy through being truthful in their dealings, and in maintaining a sane society, Allah laid down injunctions with regards to liars. Allah says repeatedly in numerous verses of the Qur’an:
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
-Sura Al-Mursalat, Ayah 15
The Prophet also warned the Muslim nation to adhere to truthfulness as it had its rewards. This was narrated by Abdullah bn Mas’ud that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Adhere (you people) to truth, for truth leads to good deeds and good deeds lead to Paradise, and if a man continues to speak the truth and makes truth his object he will be recorded as truthful before Allah. Avoid (you people) falsehood, for falsehood leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to Hell, and if a man continues to speak falsehood and makes falsehood his object he will be recorded as a liar before Allah.” (Agreed upon).
Lying has never been and will never be the solution. If saying the truth about yourself and your achievements will make you lose a job, say it, Allah will bless you with something better. If saying the truth about your past and your conditions will make you lose someone you propose to marry, say it, Allah will replace them with someone better. If saying the truth about your products and what you have to offer will cost you a business transaction, say it, the provisions with Allah will never end. If saying the truth will move people away from you, say it anyways, for Allah’s mercy will move closer to you than your jugular vein.
We should learn the art of honesty. We should learn to speak the truth at all time, no matter what it will cost us. The truth hurts, yes. But it is the only thing that can set us free. Remember, wherever you are, whatever you do, be a Muslim.
—SHEHU, Abdus-Salam Aladodo.