Imam Dr Zijad’s Corner: The Evil of Lying – Part 1

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Perhaps one of the most widespread sins in most societies today is the sin of lying. More people have been guilty of lying, in some form or other, than of any other sin which man has ever committed; and there is no doubt as to the final consequences of the sin if it is not repented of before one dies.

Lying has been defined by Webster as being “Untruthful, falsehood; something that creates a false impression,” etc. A Falsehood is defined as being a statement that distorts or suppresses the truth, and an untruth is defined as being an incorrect statement.

The others, on the other hand, defined lying as a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; a falsehood or something intended or serving to convey a false impression. From the second definition we can see that at least three things are necessary to make a statement a lie: a) the statement is false, b) a person making the statement knows it is false, and c) the statement is made with intent to deceive.

Remember, there is but one-way around telling the truth, and that is to lie. Any time a person undertakes to avoid telling the truth, he/she is going to lie if he/she says or does anything otherwise. If person chooses anything but truth the Messenger of Allah warns him/her: “It is great treachery that you tell your brother something he accepts as truth from you, but you are lying.”                       {Abu Dawud}

Lying is a disease that is acquired but not inherited. A person may acquire this disease because of many internal and external factors, among which are the following ones: weakness of personality, lack of confidence in the individual, the interest to attract people’s attention, the wish to make jokes and to entertain others, being keen to acquire and to obtain things that are not of one’s own. This habit could be developed because of being jealous of others, and the presence of a bad environment and having a company of those who have this habit as a manner of dealing with life.

Lying is a vice and liars are awful to be around in a society because of the mistrust that can appear among its members as well as a loss of peace that is a condition of a happy life in a society.

If it is so, then let us imagine ourselves living in conditions where lying is a standard and as man’s way of dealing with the members of the society. What do you think that a person will feel and what kind of life he/she will have in such society?

Every news one hears, he/she will not trust until he/she checks it out by himself/herself. Every simple question asked, one would not rest until he/she finds the answer by himself/herself. One will not be safe in dealing with the family, relatives, neighbors, the office or any other place because he/she does not trust the honesty of people and that what they say or do. It is not possible that anyone can lead peaceful, successful and fruitful life under such conditions. The Messenger of Allah said: “Leave what you have doubt about for that you have no doubt about; for it is truth that brings peace of mind and it is falsehood that brings doubt.”                 {Ahmad, Tirmithi, Nasa’i}

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