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Degrees and Different Forms of Lying

MIT
4/18/2016
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All the praises and glorifications are due and belong to Allah Alone. May His peace and blessings be upon the His final Prophet and Messenger; the Prophet Muhammad, upon his family, companions and such among his followers who follow his guidance and teachings.

 

Lying is a detestable sin that warranted stern warnings in the teachings of Islam. The act of lying is dispraised in many verses of the Glorious Qur’an and in many Noble sayings of our dear Prophet Muhammad, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It is a major sin that may attracts heinous punishment on the Day of Resurrection if the perpetrator does not repent from it.

 

Lying is the source of all sins and is the shortest way to Hell. The Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Beware of lying because lying leads to dissoluteness and dissoluteness leads to Hell. A person keeps on telling lies until he is written before Allaah as a liar.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].

 

Degrees or types of lying

 

There are various types of lying; be it lying in deeds, sayings or intentions. The first is lying in sayings. It means deliberately telling something that is not true or real. This type has different forms that vary in the degree of guilt. The following are some degrees of lying:

 

1-Inventing lies against Allah. The gravest and worst type is telling lies about Allaah the Exalted. Allaah The Almighty Says:

 

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ۗ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ

 

{And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allaah a lie} [Quran 6:21]

This also includes deciding what is lawful and what is unlawful according to personal whims and not according to the Sharee‘ah. That is why Allaah the Almighty rebukes the disbelievers when they claim that what they say is the legislation of Allaah. Allah says:

 

وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَٰذَا حَلَالٌ وَهَٰذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لَا يُفْلِحُونَ

 

But say not -for any false thing that your tongues may put forth،- "This is lawful, and this is forbidden," so as to ascribe false things to Allah. For those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper.” (Qur’an 16: 116)

 

2. Relating to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) what is not authentic of him. Intentionally relating a saying to the prophet or an action, which is not true about him, is the second greatest forms of lying. This action culminates the perpetrator to be being condemned to the hell fire.  The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said: “Whoever tells a lie about me intentionally let him settle in his seat in Hell.”[Saheeh Al-Jaami‘ As-Sagheer: 6519]

 

3-lying to take possession of what belongs to others. Many people due to their greed for wealth may lie or give false testimony just for a material gain. Won’t such people remember the day they will be made to stand before the Majestic lord who knows the hidden and what is behind the hidden?  ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, May Allaah be pleased with him, said, “It is better for me to tell the truth even if it would demean me – and it rarely does – than to tell a lie that may elevate me – and it rarely does.”

 

4-lying to make others laugh.  The Prophet, (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: “Woe to him who lies to make people laugh. Woe to him! Woe to him!”[Ahmad and Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi – Hassan]

 

Other forms of lying include lying in deeds and intentions.  These two are also regarded as lying, which attracts the anger of Allah and all the severe warnings on lying. A scenario of how lying occurs in deeds is for one to do something in order to deceive others into believing that something actually happened, while it did not, or to express the existence of something that does not really exist. Lying in deeds could be more dangerous or more effective than lying in sayings. An example of this is what was narrated in the Quran about the brothers of Yusuf (Joseph), may Allaah exalt his mention, when they came to their father at night weeping and with his shirt stained with false blood. Therefore, they lied both in their deeds and in their sayings. [Al-Akhlaaq Al-Islaamiyyah:1/529]

 

Nevertheless, for lying in intentions, is when one intends to do something for the sake of anyone or anything other than Allaah. This is supported by the Hadeeth of the three types of people who would be the first to be thrown in Hell: the martyr, the scholar and the one who used to give charity.

Each one of these three would claim that he did what he did for the sake of Allaah but they would be told that they are liars. The first would be told, “you fought so that people would say that you are courageous.’ The second would be told, “You gave in charity so that people would say that you are generous,” and the third would be told, “You learned so that people would say that you are a scholar. Therefore, lying is indeed the source of all sins and it brings utter disgrace upon the liar.

In conclusion, it must be stressed that, lying is not a characteristic of a true believer. One who has such a dispraised behavior in him must make effort to uproot it seeking the Aid of Allah. I pray that Allah put us among those who speak the truth, live with the truth, and die upon the truth.  May Allah’s special salutations be upon our beloved Prophet, his family and all companions.

 

 






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