The Secret Beyond Matter

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Lying Is Forbidden

One of the greatest errors is for people to act according to their own logic, or to the value judgments widespread in their society, which often is far from Islam, and not to the logic prescribed by Allah in the Qur'an. In other words, they approve of, ignore, or implement, comfortably and without thinking, the very behavior of which Allah disapproves and thus will punish in the Hereafter. Lying is the most prominent behavior of this type. Even though most people know that lying is a bad moral characteristic, some people merely pay lip service to this knowledge because so many people have turned this serious character defect into a habit. Allah points out this fact in the following verse of the Qur'an:

If you obeyed most of those on Earth, they would misguide you from Allah's Way. They follow nothing but conjecture. They are only guessing. (Surat al-An`am, 6:116)

Interestingly, most people who come into contact with a liar know when he or she is lying, but do not bother to expose the lies. In other words, they allow the liar to continue spreading his or her lies. Lying is a secret language among people, one about which everybody remains silent.

When something valuable is broken, for instance, the person who broke it may lie and deny having done so, thereby saving the day according to his own mentality. In fact, he puts himself in a very bad position, because if it is revealed that he is lying, he will greatly damage the very pride that he is trying to protect. Even more important, he has earned Allah's disapproval. To the same extent that a Muslim avoids eating pork and makes sure to pray five times a day, he is scrupulous about not lying.

However, people who do not consider that lying is forbidden immediately resort to lies to protect themselves whenever they find themselves in a difficult position. Maybe at that moment they rescue themselves from what really is a difficult position, or believe that they have done so, but, as unrepentant and dishonest people, they will be held responsible for their lie in the afterlife.

Allah tells us in the following verse that those who do not believe in the Qur'an's verses are liars:

Those who do not believe in Allah's Signs are merely inventing lies. It is they who are the liars. (Surat an-Nahl, 16:105)

Some people lie with great ease because they do not think about the Hereafter or believe that lying causes any harm. An example of this is the expression "white lies," which signifies small untruths that are believed to be innocent and harmless, or that rescue the person from a particular situation. However, any type of lying indicates insincerity, hypocrisy, and falsity under any circumstances, for those who engage in it are deceiving and disrespecting others. For this reason, "white" lies are the same as "black" lies, and have their own harmful effects.

Allah has forbidden lying, as has our Prophet (saas), as seen below:

"Shall I not inform you of a great sin? Beware, it is to speak falsehood..." 1

"False witness has been made equivalent to attributing a partner to Allah. Avoid the abomination of idols and speaking falsehood as people pure of faith to Allah, not associating anything with Him" 2

"Be careful of falsehood as it is the companion of the sinners and both will be in Hell." 3



1. Imam al-Ghazzali, Ihya Ulum-Id-Din (New Delhi: Islamic Book Services, 2001), 3:121.

2. Sunan Abu Dawud Hadiths.

3. Imam al-Ghazzali, Ihya Ulum-Id-Din, 3:119.

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