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Praise be to Allaah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We
seek refuge in Allaah from the evil of our own selves and from our evil deeds.
Whomsoever Allaah guides, none can lead astray, and whomsoever He sends astray,
none can guide.
Lying is an evil characteristic, which all religions and
systems of ethics warn against and which man's innate common sense (fitrah)
agrees that it is wrong. Those who possess chivalry and sound reason also say
Truthfulness is one of the pillars on which the moral
survival of the world depends. It is the foundation of praiseworthy
characteristics, the cornerstone of Prophethood, the result of taqwaa. Were it
not for truthfulness, the rulings of all divinely-revealed laws would collapse.
Acquiring the characteristic of lying is akin to shedding one's humanity,
because speaking is an exclusively human trait.
(Bareeqah Mahmoodiyyah, Muhammad al-Khaadimi, 3/183)
Our purely monotheistic sharee’ah warns against lying in
the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and there is consensus that it is haraam. The liar
will have bad consequences in this world and in the next.
According to sharee’ah, lying is not permitted except in
specific cases which do not lead to loss of rights, bloodshed or slander of
people’s honour, etc., but which concern saving lives, reconciling between
people, or creating love between husband and wife.
There is a never a day or a moment when sharee’ah permits a
person to tell lies or to say whatever he wants based on lies. One of the things
that have become widespread among the common people is the so called “April
Fool’s Day”, where they claim that the first day of the fourth solar month
is a day when lying is permitted without being subject to any shar’i
Many bad things may result from this, some of which we will
The prohibition of lying.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
only those who believe not in the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons,
signs, revelations, etc.) of Allaah, who fabricate falsehood, and it is they who
Ibn Katheer said:
“Then Allaah tells us that His Messenger (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not a fabricator or a liar, because only the
most evil of people who do not believe in the signs of Allaah, the kaafirs and
heretics who are known amongst the people for telling lies, tell lies about
Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The
Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most
truthful of people, the most righteous, the most perfect in knowledge, action,
faith and certain belief. He was known amongst his people for his truthfulness;
none of them doubted that, to such an extent that he was known amongst them as
‘al-Ameen (the trustworthy) Muhammad.’ Hence when Heraclius, the
ruler of Rome, asked Abu Sufyaan about the characteristics of the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), one of the things he
asked was, ‘Did you ever accuse him of lying before he said what he said?’
He said, ‘No.’ Heraclius said: ‘If he refrained from telling lies about
people he would not go and tell lies about Allaah.’
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/588)
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three:
when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is
entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 33; Muslim, 59)
“What the commentators and most of the scholars said –
which is correct – is that this means that these characteristics are the
characteristics of hypocrisy, and the one who has these characteristics
resembles the hypocrites in this sense.
The words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him), ‘he is a pure hypocrite’ mean that he strongly resembles the
hypocrites because of these characteristics. Some of the scholars said:
this is concerning one in whom these
characteristics predominate; one in whom these characteristics rarely appear is
not included in this. This is the favoured view concerning the meaning of this
hadeeth. Imaam Abu ‘Eesa al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated
this meaning from the scholars and said: ‘The meaning of this according to the
scholars is hypocrisy in one's actions.’”
(Sharh Muslim, 2/46-47)
The most evil kinds of lies are:
Lies told about Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him).
This is the most serious kind of lie, and the one who does
this is subject to a severe warning. Some of the scholars said that the one who
does this is to be denounced as a kaafir.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say: ‘Verily, those who invent a lie against
Allaah will never be successful’”
It was narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him):
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Do not
tell lies about me. Whoever tells lies about me, let him enter the Fire.’”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 106).
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever tells lies about me, let him take his place in Hell.”
(narrated by al-Bukhaari, 110; Muslim, 3).
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
“… ‘Whoever tells lies about me, let him take his place in
Hell’, i.e., let him take his place in Hell where he will abide and settle; it
is not like a manzil or camp where he stays for a while and then moves
(Tareeq al-Hijratayn, p. 169)
Lying also includes lies told about or to other people, such
2. Lying in buying and selling.
It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with
him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“There are three to whom Allaah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection and
He will not look at them or praise them, and they will have a painful
torment.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) repeated this three times. Abu Dharr said: “May they be doomed and lost,
who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “The one who lets his garment
hang below his ankles, the one who reminds others of his favours, and the one
who disposes of his goods by swearing a false oath.”
(Narrated by Muslim, 106)
It was narrated that Hakeem ibn Hizaam (may Allaah be pleased
with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said: ‘The two parties involved in a transaction have the option
[of cancelling it] until they part. If they are honest and truthful, their
transaction will be blessed for them and if they conceal something and tell
lies, the blessing of their transaction will be wiped out.’”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1973; Muslim, 532)
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
“Allaah has enjoined truthfulness and honesty, and He has forbidden lies and concealment with regard to matters which should be known and revealed to people, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon: ‘The two parties involved in a transaction have the option [of cancelling it] until they part. If they are honest and truthful, their transaction will be blessed for them and if they conceal something and tell lies, the blessing of their transaction will be wiped out.’ And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
‘O you who believe! Stand
out firmly for Allaah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of
others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety’
(Minhaaj al-Sunnah, 1/16)
The prohibition on lying about visions and dreams
This refers to when some of them claim to have seen such and
such in a dream, but they are not telling the truth, then in the morning he
starts to tell the people something that he did not see.
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever tells of a dream
that he did not see will be commanded [on the Day of Resurrection] to tie two
grains of barley together, but he will never be able to do it. Whoever
eavesdrops on people’s conversation when they dislike that – or they try to
get away from him - will have
molten copper poured in his ears in the Day of Resurrection. And whoever makes
an image will be punished and will be told to breathe life into it, and he will
not be able to do so.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6635)
“ ‘to tie two grains of barley together, but he will
never be able to do it’ – because tying one to the other is not possible
ordinarily. He will be punished until he does that, and he will never be able to
do it. It is as if he is saying that he will be enjoined to do something that he
can never do, and is being punished for it. This is a metaphor for continuous
punishment… The reason why barley (sha’eer)
is mentioned specifically is because dreams are connected to feelings
(shu’oor); the words sha’eer (barley) and shu’oor (feelings) come from the
same root in Arabic.
The punishment for that is so severe – even though lies
when awake may cause more damage, because they may involve testimony that may
lead to execution or a hadd punishment – because lying about a dream is a lie
about Allaah, may He be exalted, for dreams are a part of Prophethood, so they
come from Him, and lying about the Creator is worse than lying about created
(Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/99)
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