One of the most dangerous of human vices is lying. Much damage may be inflicted in human relations through the spread of lies and falsehoods. Prudence demands that we be cautious and careful in how we deploy our tongue so as to avoid injury and damage to others. In his Friday Sermon of June 28, 2013 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius gave a profound discourse on the wisdom of silence by drawing upon the sacred traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa).
Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:
And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie or denies His verses? Indeed, the wrongdoers will not succeed. (6: 22)
Falsehood is the way to hell, it leads people to hell. It is: Outrageous, accusing, and rebellious words; untimely statements, of unfounded insinuations. Falsehood, lies are all these and many others and all come from the tongue. It is obvious then that the human being has the very bad habit of talking senselessly, without considering the consequences. We are not able to control the organ which is the tongue. Result: Major damage. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “Keep your tongue, O human! Keep it from biting anyone; otherwise it will become a viper.”
Among the evil acts committed with the tongue, there is one that is considered normal but which is in fact a mortal sin: LIE/FALSEHOOD. Lie ... Lying ... forms integral part of social relations. Lying – a method used by the husband to mislead the wife who is faithful and vice-versa. Lying – commonly used in commerce. Lying – frequently used among young people for various reasons. But lying, whatever form, whatever the reason, is a despicable vice. A sin!
Around us, everyone lies. Lying/falsehood form part of our daily lives. Politicians lie; lawyers lie to defend their guilty clients, public people lie, executives lie. Experts lie. College students lie.
Even there are religious men who lie (eg. The ex-called Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association who through his lies to the Khalifa created chaos, but unfortunately for him the fourth Khalifa did not lend an ear to justice despite that Allah gave him two ears to listen), priests lie (those who say that Allah has a son…). I can make a long list, but in summary lying pervades society. It serves to win something in his (this person’s, the lying one) favour while altering the truth. By keeping on lying continuously, man undoubtedly unconsciously become accustomed to this foul mode to make a daily practice of lying. Thus, the lie/falsehood continues, multiplies and eventually inhabit us, trap us.
Yet every society, every religion condemns unreservedly lying. But Islam is even more severe in terms of lies. If the true Muslim is required in terms of obligations of ritual order to satisfy a number of requirements, such as prayer (Salat), fasting (Sawm), Zakat and others, this believer must also respect on the moral order a number of principles, standards, such as sincerity, good intentions, respect, humility, helping others and also adopt the truth and avoid falsehood. Do not forget the link of the organs of heart. When someone decides to lie, his brain works in this direction. His heart which is the central pivot which structures his personality makes his tongue function. So lying is debited. The whole body is then responsible. Are we aware of the enormous damage which is the consequence of lying? Man has developed various kinds of lies commonly used in society.
Religion: Lying about religion is the worst actions because it insinuates such words that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) never uttered. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “Lying about me is not like lying on other subjects; let him then take his place in Hell.”
Joking: It is permissible to a certain limit. In this regard, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “The servant does not acquire full faith, until he abandons lying even if he is truthful.”
By flattery: The Muslim should not seek to flatter using lying/falsehood because it includes a means to benefit oneself.
Perjury: Lying in testimony is dangerous because it concerns the future of many people. In this regard, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Stick to the truth even if you see a loss ...”
By falsification: Falsifying not only conceals the truth, but it conceals within a threat that can be social. There are also suspicions and false promises.
According to research, it is accepted that Islam condones lying in specific cases. After all, it is Allah the Almighty who decides. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) approved of lying in three cases:
- Reconciliation (between people)
- Between spouses, to preserve peace in the family. The non-intentional lie is forgivable. Even the intentional lie can be absolved if you perform some additional practices.
About intentional lie, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that: “You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. Beware of falsehood because it leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hell.”
It is recommended to avoid falsehood in any form because it is a sin. Many Quranic verses and Hadiths emphasize the need to avoid the countless evils that follow falsehood. Also, one of the best recommendations is silence, silence if one is unable to find the right words. Restraint is highly recommended. Quranic laws and Hadiths praises the importance of silence. “Silence is wisdom but few people practice it.”
The faith of a servant acquires righteousness if his heart is right and the heart cannot gain righteousness except if the tongue is righteous.
The Sahaba Karam once asked the Holy Prophet (pbuh): “O Messenger of Allah, will we be judged for our words?” (He replied): “This is the harvest of the tongue which most often throw people into hell.” (Ibn Majah)
Another Hadith reports the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) as saying:
“Whoever guarantees me (the chastity of) what is between his legs (i.e. his private parts), and what is between his jaws (i.e., his tongue), I guarantee him Paradise.” (Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Ahmad)
Hazrat Isaac (as) was asked: “Show us a deed which shall guarantee us entry into Paradise?” He replied: “Do not talk much.” Upon being told that one cannot refrain from speaking, he said: “So, talk only to say a good (thing)…”
Hazrat Suleiman (as), son of Hazrat Dawud (as) said: “If speech (words) is silver, silence is gold...” In the tradition of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), it was reported that Abu Bakr (ra) often put a small stone in his mouth to refrain himself from talking. He said referring to his tongue: “It makes me engage in dangerous paths.”
Abdullah Ibn Masud (ra) said: “By Allah, besides Whom there is no (other) god, there is no organ which needs to be imprisoned more than the tongue which is locked behind two obstacles: The lips and teeth.”
My tongue is a lion, if I release it, it shall devour me. What to do? Continue to lie or get rid of this bad habit? But there is not only falsehood which is a vice which dominates the heart of the human being. There is also gossip, slander, boasting, vain discussions, arguments; the list is certainly not complete. It is the tongue, that organ, part of the body that is responsible (of this).
It is also the duty of every human being to control his tongue to avoid debit statements directly under the influence of Satan.
Let each of us make it our duty to stay away from it! Insha-Allah, Ameen