What is Truthfulness?

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What is truthfulness? What does truthfulness means in islam?

It is a religious, moral and worldly imperative for a human being to speak the truth, and to avoid lying. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said; “Leave what makes you feel in doubt for what does not make you feel in doubt. The truth brings tranquility while falsehood sows doubt.”[1] In order to have this tranquility, one needs to be careful, and not be rash in saying everything that comes to mind. Otherwise, there may be the danger of combining the truth with lies. The Prophet warned us concerning this issue with the following statement; “It is enough falsehood for a man to relate everything he hears.”[2] The Prophet also said; “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie; and whenever he promises, he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted, he betrays (proves to be dishonest).”[3] The Prophet also said that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, does not need the hunger or the thirst of a fasting person who does not stop lying[4] and that the blessings from fasting for such people, are only hunger and thirst.[5] Being honest and truthful is an important principle of business life as well, and the Prophet said; If merchants are honest and open, their transaction will be blessed, but if they tell lies and conceal anything, the blessing of their transaction will be lost.”[6]

Although Islam prioritizes truthfulness in words and actions at all times, the Prophet stipulated the right to tell a lie only in three conditions: to make spouses in marriage glad, to eliminate sour feelings between two people and to win a war.[7] The Prophet lived a truthful life and asked the Muslims to be truthful in their words and actions. Truthfulness is the alignment of one’s intentions, words and deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said; “Telling the truth is a virtue and virtue leads to Paradise and the servant who endeavors to tell the truth is recorded as truthful, and lying is an obscenity and obscenity leads to the Hell-Fire, and the servant who endeavors to tell a lie is recorded as a liar.”[8]

[1]. Sunan al-Tirmidhī, Sifat al-Qiyama, 60.[2]. Sunan Abu Dawud, al-Adab, 80.[3]. Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Adab, 69.4]. Sahih al-Bukhari, al-Sawm, 8.[5].  Al-Darimi, al-Riqaq, 12.[6]. Al-Nasai, al-Buyu’, 4;[7]. Sunan al-Tirmidhī, al-Birr, 26.[8]. Sahih Muslim, al-Birr, 105.

Source: Islam For New Muslims An Educational Guide,Assoc. Prof. Amjad M. Hussain, Erkam Publications

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