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Riyadh as-Saliheen Series | Hadith 54 – Truthfulness

The explanation of this hadith was translated by Abd-Allah

Abdullah b. Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allāh as a siddeeq (speaker of the truth). Lying leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to Hell fire. A man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allāh as a liar.”  [Agreed upon].

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) says in his explanation of this hadith:

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The author raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) set this chapter for truthfulness, so he stated: “The Chapter of Truthfulness”, and he mentioned (some) verses which (we) have already talked about.  As for the ahadith, he said: Abdullah bin Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise…”

The statement “you must be truthful” means adhere to truthfulness where truthfulness is understood as being when the statement exactly matches reality.  For example, if you are asked, “What day is it?” and you say “Today is Wednesday” (and it is actually Wednesday), then this is truthful. However, if you say, “It is Tuesday” then that would be lying.  This was mentioned previously in the hadith of Ka’b Bin Malik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and his two companions who described what indicates the virtue of truthfulness and its good ending (that it leads to); the truthful one will get the (good) ending, and the liar will be the one whose deeds are in vain.  It is mentioned that one of the commoners said, “Lying saves (a person)”, so his brother told him, “Truthfulness is a better savior and better (at saving).”

Know also that a statement may be made by the tongue or by the limbs.

The statement which is made by the tongue is speech, and the statement made by the limbs is action. However, how can lying be through action?  It can be the case if a person performs an outwardly action which is at disagreement with what he hides inside him.  So, for example, the hypocrite is lying because he shows the people that he is a believer – he prays and fasts with the people, he gives charity but he is stingy, and he might even perform Hajj.  So, whoever sees his actions might think him to be righteous, but these actions do not indicate what is hidden on the inside, so it is lying.

For this reason, we say truthfulness is by the tongue and by the limbs.  Whenever a statement exactly matches reality then it is truthfulness by the tongue, and whenever the actions of the limbs match exactly what is in the heart then it is truthfulness by the limbs.

When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) enjoined truthfulness, he also indicated that which it leads to: “For truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise.”

“Righteousness” is an abundance of good, and from the names of Allāh is “Al-Barr” (The Beneficent), meaning (the One who is) abundant in good and kindness, glorified and exalted.

“Righteousness” is from the fruits of truthfulness, and the above hadith indicates that righteousness will guide a person who possesses it to Paradise – we ask Allāh to make you and us  of the righteous.  Indeed, Paradise is the purpose of every affair, and that is why the human being is commanded to ask Allāh for Paradise and to seek refuge with Him from the hell-fire:

“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).” [Surah Aal-‘Imran, 185].

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) also said “A man will be truthful until he will be recorded with Allāh as a siddeeq (speaker of the truth)” and in another narration “A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allāh as a siddeeq (speaker of the truth).”

The siddeeq is in the second level of the levels of creation upon whom Allāh has bestowed favors as Allāh says “And whoever obeys Allāh and the Messenger, these are with those upon whom Allāh has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good” [4:69].  The man who strives to speak the truth will be recorded with Allāh as a siddeeq, and it is known that status of a siddeeq is elevated and is not reached except by the unrivaled few from among the people.  In addition, it exists in men and women, as Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said:

“The Messiah [‘Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddiqah [i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books (see Verse 66:12)]. They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).” [Surah Al-Ma’idah’, 75].

The most righteous of the siddeeqeen (truthful ones) is the one who is the most truthful from among them, and he is Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).  Abdullah bin Uthman bin Abi Quhafa, who responded to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) when he had called him to Islam, didn’t have any hesitation nor any pause – as soon as the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) called him to Islam he accepted Islam, and believed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) (at a time) when his people accused him of lying.  Furthermore, he believed him when he ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) talked about the Isra’ and Mi’raj, but the people accused him of lying and they said, “How can you go, O Muhammad, from Makkah to Jerusalem and come back in one night, and then you say that you went up to the Heaven? That is not possible.”  Then, they went to Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and said to him “Don’t you hear what your companion is saying?”  He said: “What did he say?”  They said: “He said this and that!”  At this, Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “If he had said that then he had spoken the truth,” so from that day, he has been called As-siddeeq, may Allāh be pleased with him.

Regarding lying, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Beware of telling lies.”

“Beware” warns us to be wary of lying, which is to say something that is different from reality, regardless of whether it is through speech or action.

If a person asked you “what is today?” and you replied “today is Thursday”, or “Tuesday” (and it was Wednesday) then that is lying because it does not match reality.

Similarly, the hypocrite is a liar because his outward appearance indicates that he is a Muslim, but he is a kaafir, so he is a liar with his actions.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “for lying leads to wickedness.”  Wickedness means to leave the obedience of Allāh, because the person rebels and transgress his limits, thus, he goes from the obedience of Allāh to His disobedience, and the biggest wickedness is kufr- we seek refuge with Allāh from it – for the disbelievers are wicked, as Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said:

“Such will be the Kafarah (disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, and in His Messenger Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), etc.), theFajarah (wicked evil doers).” [Surah At-Takwir, 42]. 

Further, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), said:

“Nay! Truly, the Record (writing of the deeds) of the Fujjar (disbelievers, sinners, evil-doers and wicked) is (preserved) in Sijjin.And what will make you know what Sijjin is? A Register inscribed.Woe, that Day, to those who deny [(Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection, and Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments)]. Those who deny the Day of Recompense.” [Surah Al-Mutaffifin, 7-11]. 

“And verily, the Fujjar (the wicked, disbelievers, sinners and evil-doers) will be in the blazing Fire (Hell)” [Surah Al-Infitaar, 14].

So lying guides to wickedness, and wickedness guides to hell-fire, we seek refuge with Allāh from it.

The Prophet said “a man will lie”, and in a different narration, “a man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allāh as a liar”, and lying is from the forbidden things.  Furthermore, some of the scholars have said that it is from the major sins, because the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) warned that the liar will be recorded with Allāh as a liar.

From the greatest lying is what some people do today when they relate a false statement, knowing that it is a lie, in order to make the people laugh.  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) warned against this in a hadith: “Woe to the one who speaks and lies in order to make people laugh; woe to him, woe to him.”  This is a warning about something which is considered very trivial by a lot of people.

Therefore, all lying is forbidden, and it all guides to wickedness.

However, it was related in a hadith that there are three exceptions to this: During war, when reconciling between the people, and when a woman speaks to her husband or a man speaks to his wife.

Some of the people of knowledge have said though that what is meant by lying in this hadith is tawriyah (deliberate ambiguity or double entendres) and not actual lying.

And they said tawriyah might be called lying, as in the hadith of Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “Ibrahim did not tell a lie except on three occasions.  Two of these occasions were for the sake of Allāh, when he said: “Verily, I am sick” [Surah As-Saffaat, 89], and when he said “Nay, this one, the biggest of them (idols) did it. Ask them, if they can speak!” [Surah Al-Anbiya’, 63]. “The third was regarding Sarah…” (until the end of) the hadith, and he did not lie, but rather he made tawriyah in which he was truthful (about what he had said).

It is clear that lying is not permissible except in these three cases, according to the opinion of many scholars, and some scholars say lying is not permissible under any condition,whether joking, or serious, and regardless of whether it involves taking (other people’s) money (unjustly) or not.

The most severe lying is (for a person) to lie and swear in order to take the people’s money unjustly, such as a person denying a claim made against him concerning a rightful matter and saying “by Allāh I do not owe you anything”, or claiming what is not rightfully his and saying “you owe me this and that” when he is lying.  The person who swears on his claim and lies is making the yameen ghamoos (false oath), which dips the person in sin, and then it dips him in hell-fire, and we seek refuge with Allāh from it.

It has authentically been reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “He who swears an oath in which he tells a lie to take the property of a Muslim by unfair means, will meet Allāh while He is angry with him.”  In conclusion, lying is haram, and it is not permissible for a person to lie at all, neither jokingly nor seriously, except in the three exceptional cases mentioned, and in which there is disagreement among the scholars regarding the meaning of the relevant hadith.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Sulthanusm

    October 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Masha allha

  2. Avatar

    David

    October 22, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Beautiful translation. Thank you!

  3. Avatar

    Twistoffaith

    October 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Good work truthfulness leads to paradise so truthfulness cleanses the soul and heart. I have a question off topic is our desire to sin be lazy and desires for worldly things stronger then our desire to worship Allah SWT? Just something to think about.

  4. Avatar

    Comrade Jibreel Almustapha Gusau

    March 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    Mashaa Allah ! Jakumul-Laahu Khairan.

    May Allah the Exalted reward abundantly. Ameen!

    Thanks

  5. Avatar

    Comrade Jibreel Almustapha Gusau

    March 3, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    I wish you Allah’s Guidance and Protection. I really appreciates your elaborated explanations.

  6. Avatar

    AbdulRasheed bn AbdulWahab

    June 21, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    May Almighty Allah reward u abundantly. Jazakun mulaii koirah.Amiiiiiiiiin

  7. Pingback: A Transparent Mirror – eternalsmiley

  8. Avatar

    Abbas Raheem

    November 21, 2016 at 4:23 AM

    Jazakum llahu khayra

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 14: Making Our Intentions Big

Now that we have learnt about the Prophet Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and the Shaytan, let’s now talk about Prophet Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and the Shaytan.

Question: Have any of you heard the phrase:  إنما الأعمال بالنية  (innamal ’amaalu bi-niyyaat)? Does anyone know what it means? 

It means that actions are judged by their intentions. 

Question: What does it mean to intend something? Do you need to say your intention out loud?

An intention is something that you feel internally – it is the ‘why’ behind your actions. 

Question: Do you think we always make intentions behind the things we do?

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If we really tried to make an intention behind every small thing, it would probably cause us some frustration. Most of our actions are done out of habit anyway; like making our beds, brushing our teeth, and making our meals. But, what if we started to be more intentional with the way we operated? What good do you think could come out of it?

Maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to lose our temper. Maybe we could get even more hasanat (reward) for transforming our ordinary chores into extraordinary acts of worship!

One day, Imam ash-Shafi’, a great scholar of Islam -may Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) be pleased with him-, had some students over at his house when they heard someone knock on the door. One of his students went to answer the door, and Imam ash-Shafi’ stopped him and asked him what he was doing.

“I’m going to answer the door,” the student replied.

Imam ash-Shafi’ said, “Before you answer the door, make the intention that if it is a poor person seeking help, you will give them charity. And if it is a guest, that you will host them.” 

Something as simple as answering the door became a way to get lots of rewards! How? Well, whenever we make a good intention, we get the reward for it even if we are unable to do it. That’s how generous Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is, and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can reward a good intention up to 700 times!

I want each of you to pick something ordinary that you always do and make your intention behind it very big! 

[A parent can give the example of washing the dishes: Intend to have a clean home, intend to make dhikr while washing the dishes, intend to have clean plates and utensils for us to be nourished and well fed, all so that we can be healthy and remember Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and His blessings etc.]

Now, who wants to share?

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 13: Prophet Adam and the Shaytan

Now that we have learnt about Prophet Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and overcoming fear, let’s now talk about Prophet Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and the Shaytan.

Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Shaytan both made mistakes, but one is going to be rewarded and the other punished. 

Question: Can anyone tell me the one mistake that Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Hawa made? 

Yes! They ate from a tree that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) told them not to eat from. What did they do after they made a mistake?

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They asked Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to forgive them. They said:

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ 

“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” [Surah Al-A’raf; 23]

Alhamdulillah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepted their tawba (repentance), and forgave them.

Question: What sin did the Shaytan commit?

Yes, he refused to bow down to Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) even though Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commanded him to do so. When Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) asked him why he refused to bow down, Shaytan responded by saying:

أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ 

“I am better than him. You created me from fire and you created him from clay.” [Surat Al-A’raf; 12]

Question: Did Shaytan ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to forgive him?

No, instead he promises that he will try his very best to lead those that believe in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) on the wrong path. 

Question: What trait is that called, when you know you did something wrong but you refuse to ask for forgiveness?

Shaytan is arrogant in front of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), while Prophet Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) knows that every blessing he has is due to Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) generosity.

Do you see the difference between the two? As long as we continue coming back to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), we need to have firm faith that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive us. 

Let’s read this beautiful Hadith Qudsi together:

قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى : يَا ابْنَ ادَمَ ، إِنَّكَ مَا دَعَوْتََنِي وَرَجَوْتَنِي ، غَفَرْتُ لَكَ عَلَى مَا كَانَ مِنْكَ وَلَا أُبالِي . يا ابْنَ ادَمَ :لَوْ بَلَغَتْ ذُنُوبُكَ عَنانَ السَّماءِ ثُم اسْتَغْفَرْتَني ، غَفَرْتُ لَكَ . يَا ابْنَ ادَمَ : إِنَّكَ لَوْ أَتَيْتَنِي بِقُرَابِ الأَرْضِ خَطَايا ثُمَّ لَقِيتَني لَا تُشْرِكُ بِي شَيْأً ، لَأَتيْتُكَ بِقُرَابِها مَغْفِرَةً

I heard the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) say: Allah the Almighty has said: “O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.” [Tirmidhi]

So let’s never lose hope in the mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and always remember to turn back to Him whenever we sin or make mistakes! 

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 12: Prophet Musa and Overcoming Fear

Now that we have learnt about gratitude, let’s talk about Prophet Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and overcoming fear.

I want you to close your eyes and think of a moment when you were afraid. 

Question: How did you feel? Did you feel like running away? Does anyone want to share that moment with us now?

Did you know that the Prophets also felt scared sometimes? 

Question: Can anyone tell me a time when a Prophet was scared?

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There was a time when Prophet Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) saw a fire in the distance, and he went to see if there was anyone there because he was lost with his family. There, he spoke to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)! Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) asked him about his staff and told him to throw it down. 

Question: Does anyone know what happened when Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) threw down the staff?

Yes! It became a snake! How did Prophet Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) react when it became a slithering snake? He ran away! He was so scared! 

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) told him not to be scared, and that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) would return it to its original form- a staff.

A little while later, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) told Prophet Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to go and speak to Pharoah. Now, we know that Pharoah was one of the worst humans to ever live. He did very evil things and treated the people of Israel very poorly. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was scared to speak to Pharoah, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) calmed his fears and told him that He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is with him, and that He will allow Prophet Musa’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) brother -Prophet Harun 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)– to accompany him for support. This helps Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) feel calm for his meeting with Pharaoh. 

After he meets Pharoah and the magicians become Muslim, Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) takes the Bani Israel (the Children of Israel) with him, and they escape from the clutches of Pharoah and his soldiers until they see the Red Sea. Now, Bani Israel start to lose hope. They say,  “إِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ” (We will surely be overtaken!)

Question: How do you think Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) responds?

Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) sees Pharoah and his soldiers galloping at a great speed about to attack him and his people, and instead of being afraid and running away he says: 

كَلَّا ۖ إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ 

“No! Indeed, I have my Lord, He will guide me!”  [Surah Ash-Shu’ara;62]

And that’s when Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) strikes his staff, and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) parts the Red Sea and saves  the Children of Israel from the clutches of Pharaoh and his men!

Question: What was the journey that Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) took with his fear? 

First his fear was a physical response, and he runs away from the snake. Then he feels fear inside his heart, because he is so worried about confronting Pharaoh. But he realizes that without fail,  Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is always there to guide him and help. So, when the Children of Israel feel afraid, Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)  knows to feel assured and confident that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is on his side.

So, every time you feel afraid, remember that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is always with you. He subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) hears and sees everything.

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