The Muslim man is always honest even when it is to his own detriment. Allah, the Most High, said:
“O you who have believed, stand firm for justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” (Nisa:135)
Very few habits can destroy a man’s honor faster than lying. When a man is caught in a lie once it puts doubts in the minds of his family and companions and cause them to question everything he says. The liar isn’t believed even when telling the truth. Muhammad bin Ka’b Al-Qurdhi said:
“The liar only lies due to contempt he has for himself.” (Rawdatul Uqala)
Lies may seem small, but one lie often needs to be followed by another and another, and lies give the liar permission to do as he pleases, as the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Be honest, because honesty leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man continues telling the truth and trying hard to tell the truth until he is recorded with Allah as a truthful person. Refrain from lying, because lying leads to wickedness, and wickedness leads to the Fire. A slave (of Allah) continues lying and trying hard to lie, until he is recorded with Allah as a liar” (Muslim)
A man who is honest at all times is a man of courage and honor, but a man who frequently lies is cowardly and untrustworthy. In fact the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ informed us that frequent lying is one of the characteristics of a hypocrite.
A man can become conditioned to lying until the lies roll off the tongue with ease and without thought. The only cure for this is to first ask for Allah’s help and forgiveness and then, with determination and consistency, train the tongue to tell the truth. The tongue is a muscle and like any muscle in the body it can be trained and exercised until what was previously hard becomes easy. The important thing is to train it and condition it to speak only the truth.
Remember Allah only forbids us from things that are harmful, so if He, the Most High, has forbidden us from lying then it must be detrimental to our well being, whether we realize it’s harm or not.
I will close with a saying from our righteous predecessor Umar bin Abdulaziz:
“I haven’t lied since I learned that lying adversely effects the liar.”
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