In this world, there is truth and there is falsehood. One is from Allah; the other is from the Shaitaan.
Praise be to Allah who has ordered the believers to tell the truth and urged them to be among the truthful.
Being truthful is one of the necessities of a human society, one of the virtues of human behaviour, and brings great benefits, whilst lying is one of the major elements of corruption in human society, and the cause of the destruction of social structure and ties, one of the most evil features of bad conduct, and causes widespread harm. Hence Islam commanded truthfulness and forbade lying.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said (2/414): “It means: be truthful and adhere to truthfulness, and you will be among its people and will be saved from calamity, and this will make a way out for you from your problems.”
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ 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 Allaah 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 Allaah as a liar.” (Reported by Muslim, 4721)
This hadeeth indicates that truthfulness leads to righteousness (al-birr), an all-embracing concept that includes all kinds of goodness and different kinds of righteous deeds. Immorality is basically an inclination towards deviation from the truth, and the immoral person (faajir) is one who is inclined to turn away from the path of guidance. Hence immorality and righteousness are diametrically opposed.
Truthfulness includes being truthful towards Allaah by worshipping Him sincerely; being truthful towards one’s own soul by making it adhere to the laws of Allaah; and being truthful with people in one’s words and by keeping one’s promises, and in dealings such as buying, selling and marriage, so there should be no deceiving, cheating, falsifying or withholding of information. Thus a person should be the same on the inside and the outside.
Being truthful requires honesty and sincerity in words, deeds and all situations. Being truthful inwords entails restraining the tongue from telling any lies even for jokes. It was related in a Hadeeth: “Woe to one who tells lies to entertain people! Woe to him! Woe to him!”
Muslims remain the custodians of truth in this world. They should not easily abandon that lofty perch, no matter how severe the threat to their personal, physical, professional and economic wellbeing. Muslims must speak the truth.
Not being truthful makes one a LIAR
Lying, it is highly forbidden, and is of varying degrees of abhorrence and sin. Allah says in Surah az-Zumar:
“Surely Allah does not guide him aright who is a liar, ungrateful.” (Surah az-Zumar 39:3)
It can be understood from the verses of the Qur’an that a liar calls for divine curse and invites the anger of Allah (S.w.T.).
““Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us].”” (Surah Āli- Imrān 3:61)
A large number of Qur’anic verses and traditions condemn the sin of lying and describe its evil consequences.
The most obnoxious form of lying is falsely attributing things to Allaah and His Messenger, because this involves fabrication about the religion and is an act of outrage against Allaah. Hence one of the characteristics of the Prophet ﷺ is that he truthfully conveyed that which Allaah commanded him to convey. So the Prophet ﷺ, said, “Whoever lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” (Agreed upon).
The basic rule with regard to lying is that it is not permitted, but there are certain circumstances in which Islam permits lying to serve a greater purpose or to prevent harm. Situations that it is allowed:
To conclude 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!
Another dimension of truthfulness is amanah meaning trustworthiness. The people take trust in a very limited, sense and consider it to mean the protection of others’ deposits, although in Allah’s religion this has a very broad and unlimited sense.
In the eyes of the Shari`ah, trust has a very broad sense. This word contains an ocean of meaning, but underneath it all is the sense of responsibility, the sense of having to appear before Allah and to account for one’s actions, the details of which are given in the hadith:
“Every one of you is a guardian and everyone will be asked about his subjects. Imam is a guardian. He will be asked about his subjects. A man is the guardian of the persons in his household. He is answerable about them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s house. She will be asked about her responsibility. The servant is the guardian of the articles of his master. He is answerable about this responsibility of his.“ (Al-Bukhari)
In worldly affairs, Trustworthiness further enhances the integrity and sound moral conduct that is inherent in the notion of honesty. Being trustworthy implies being honest, fair in dealings and punctual (in terms of both regularity and timeliness) as well as honouring trusts and keeping promises and commitments. An important part of the noble Islamic character is being trustworthy. Prophet Muhammad was known, even before his Prophethood to be Al Amin (the trustworthy one).
While the qualities of truthfulness and trustworthiness are entwined, there are slight differences. Truthfulness implies a lack of deceit while trustworthiness entails honouring and fulfilling commitments, promises, trusts and covenants. It covers moral, social, legal and religious obligations. Being truthful in promises and covenants is one of the characteristics by which the believers are known. Both promises and covenants involve saying something about an issue to confirm that you will uphold the trust. This is especially so with regard to one’s duties towards Allah. Allah praises the believers by promising them Paradise,
Trust, and being worthy of another’s trust, is inherent in being one who is submitted to the will of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ explained the seriousness of upholding the rights due to others when he said, “Allah says, ‘There are three people whom I shall be their opponent on the Day of Judgment: A man who was given something in My Name and then betrays; A man who sells-off a free man (as a slave) and consumes the price; and A man who hires a labourer, makes use of his service then does not give him his wages.’” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari).
Reliability, honesty and trustworthiness are characteristics that must be present in anyone who claims to be a believer.
Trustworthiness is a quality that is essential if a society is to function as one unit, bearing in mind the needs and aspirations of all its citizens. The Muslim nation should be one unit, one nation. The only thing that makes one member of the unit better than the other is his piety or righteousness. Amongst the many qualities that blend together to make righteousness, is trustworthiness.
Being trustworthy entails keeping commitments as discussed above and one form of commitment the Muslims are usually not very good at is being Punctual. One yougive time to someone it is a form of a verbal commitment a covenant between the two and so it should be fulfilled.
Sadly in the present day and age we see that it is ok to come and hour or so late to the parties, it has become a norm so much so that the host after inviting the people at a time are not ready by then expecting everyone to be late. This is not a Trait of a Believer. He keeps his commitments and values his own time and that of the host.
Allah says: Oh you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not do. [Quran, 61:2-3].
The blessing of time is one of the greatest blessings that Allaah can bestow upon His slaves. Allaah even swears by time in some cases, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“By Al‑‘Asr (the time)” [al-‘Asr 103:1]
– because of the importance and blessing of time.
And the Prophet ﷺ said: “Make the most of five things before five others: life before death, health before sickness, free time before becoming busy, youth before old age, and wealth before poverty.” See Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1077.
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of and thus lose out: good health and free time.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6412.
We ask Allaah to make us sincere and truthful in word and deed. And Allaah knows best.