Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

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LYING: Islam – Verdict On Deception

Is lying permitted in Islam? NO!

Several Ahadeeth of the Messenger of Allah not only censure the act of lying, but also reprimand any Muslim who lies.

Such a Muslim is judged as possessing one of the three features of a munafiq (religious hypocrite).

It is worth noting nifaq, hypocrisy, in Islam is a serious charge that the individual was never a Muslim in the first instance.

The character of lying is a lifelong disqualification to teach the Sharee’ah, as the Salaf did not receive transmissions of the Sunnah of my Prophet from any Muslim who has lied.

Should the said Muslim initially evade rejection, subsequent researchers on Hadeeth, the Muhadditheen, on detecting the presence of just one liar in the chain of transmission of a narration attributed to Muhammad the Messenger of Allah declare that narration a fabrication.

Some Muslims, however, perceive deception as an integral way of life.

When they are not outright deceptive, they embrace ambiguity to shield the truth.

In order to mislead, the words of those Muslims to a particular audience will be steeply at variance with remarks tendered to another audience.

What one sees is never what one gets. There is much more.

Some Muslims even fabricate or distort stories and make false accusations to violate the rights of fellow Muslims.

Nevertheless, all forms of deception – lies, duplicity, half-truths, white lies or pink lies – are haram.

Lying is permissible on two major circumstances:

1. To save one’s life, provided one does not in the process trample the freedoms of another Muslim.

Very few persons have ever experienced life threatening situations that require one to pretend, so this condition is extraordinary.

This exception to lying excludes providing false witness to reduce one’s prison term.

Some Companions of the Messenger of Allah were held hostage by kuffar. I am yet to be aware of any of them lying to their captors.

Yes, lying to non-Muslims is prohibited, except on circumstance of Jihad when, for instance, the Mujahideen or armed forces of Muslim lands can disguise their movements to evade detection.

Again that exception is extraordinary as of the 1.5 billion or so Muslims, relatively very few are in combat against non-Muslims.

2) To compliment a spouse.

For instance, an elderly man or woman who is of noble character can be given pleasantries – You are gorgeous, the most beautiful woman/ most handsome man in the world.

Another condition would be when reconciling two persons, notably a couple, on conditions that both sides desire a reconciliation and words uttered are not to serve the interest of the peace advocate nor should the words be potentially toxic to the relationship if either side uncovers the lies.

One comment on “LYING: Islam – Verdict On Deception

  1. Umm Sulaim
    June 19, 2014

    I have just been reminded of the prohibition to lie even in jokes.

    That is the gravity of the ban on deception.

    The one and only,
    Umm Sulaim

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