We all lie at different times and for different reasons. Lying is one of the most common sinful acts that we commit throughout our daily life presumably because it does not require much effort and is the easiest and quickest way out of a situation we may find ourselves in.

Some of us lie to such an extent that we start believing it is the truth. Lying it turns out is something most of us are very adept at. We lie with ease, in ways big and small, to strangers, co-workers, friends and family. We lie to even loved ones. Being deceitful is woven into our very fabric that we begin to believe that it is the truth that we are speaking and expect others to believe it to.

Because Islam abhors the act of lying so strongly and warns with severe punishment, lying is a subject that we should all take some time to think and reflect on for it is a sin that warrants the curse of Allah Ta’ala. This is what the Qur’aan warns when it says:

“The curse of Allah Ta’ala is upon the liars”.

The Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said: Truth leads one to Paradise and virtue leads one to Paradise and the person tells the truth until he is recorded as truthful, and lie leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to Hell, and the person tells a lie until he is recorded as a liar. (Muslim)

Hadrat Sufyan Bin Asid al-Hadrami said: I heard the Apostle of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam say: It is great treachery that you should tell your brother something and have him believe you when you are lying. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood)

This is the warning issued to those who lie. Can we imagine that severity of punishment for those who are habitual and pathological liars?

Lying is against human nature and physiology. Like any disease, it has its own signs and symptoms. The act of lying produces inner conflicts between various control centres of the brain. The moment a lie is told the body sends out contradictory signals to cause facial muscle twitching, expansion and contraction of pupils, perspiration, flushing of cheeks, increase eye blinking, tremor of the hand and rapid heart rate. Not surprising that these signs constitute the basis of lie detector instruments.  Another indication of a lie is that a person guilty of lying cannot look one in the eye whilst lying. This is the basis of the challenge “look me in the eye and tell the truth”.

White Lies

Most people would agree that lying is wrong but there can be exceptions when there's a good reason for it. This is then referred to as telling a 'little white lie.' Consider the case where telling a ‘white’ lie would mean that 10 other lies would not be told. If this is so then for the correct reasons this could be condoned.

However, if 10 more lies are needed to cover the ‘white’ lie then it's wrong to even tell the first lie regardless of it being a ‘white’ lie with noble intentions.

However, the line between 'little white lies' and other types of lies is constantly being blurred. Why? Reason being is that it easier and sometimes quicker to simply lie rather than to engage in a more productive discourse as the saying goes ... "Constructive lying is better than the painful truth."

Lying is the best defensive weapon of the weak and the quickest way to avoid danger. Lying, in most cases is a reaction to weakness and failure. If you were to ask a child, 'Did you touch this sweet?' or 'Did you break this vase?' If the child realizes that admitting the mistakes will result in punishment, then their natural instinct would be for them to deny it."

We can say, without any doubt that, lying is one of the most evil characteristics, of which all religions and systems of ethics warn against and which man's innate common sense (Fitrah) agrees that it is wrong. Any who possess normal chivalry and sound reason would also be obliged to accept the same.

Truthfulness is one of the pillars on which the moral survival of the world depends. It is the foundation of praiseworthy characteristics, the foundation of prophethood, the result of Taqwa (God consciousness). 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.

The Qur'aan says, "Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies!" (Surah 40, verse:28).

Meaning, Islam rejects lying in all forms.


Lying is the opposite of the truth. So anything which is not the truth for sure is a lie. A lie can therefore be something oral or written, which could be totally or partially baseless, unreal, made-up, distorted or exaggerated. A 1kg fish is pole is described as a 5 kg fish. Similarly giving praise out of proportion to someone is a form of lie.

Lying is giving some information while believing it to be untrue, intending to deceive by doing so. Hence a lie has three essential features: (1) A lie communicates some information, (2) the liar intends to deceive or mislead, and (3) the liar believes that what they are 'saying' is not true.

A liar tells a lie for the purpose of: (1) concealing the truth, since they are afraid of truth or the ensuing punitive actions by law or individuals once the truth is established, (2) for cheating and deceiving others and enjoying their misery like Shaytaan did to Adam Alihis Salaam, and (3) short-term worldly gains i.e., gaining their favours or monetary gains like how many businessmen do.

Among the characteristics of liars is that they only believe after annoying insistence. The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said: "Surely those who are most frequent in believing people are most frequent in telling the truth and those who mostly doubt people are the most frequent liars."

Some people assume that their own lowly characteristics are normal to other's natures while in fact, we know that people are mirrors of their own manners. Hence, the good and bad that we see in others are not but a reflection of that which is in our consciences."

Courageous people with good manners and conduct cannot bear falsehood nor can they accept to be polluted by such filth. Liars suffer from a mental disorder which keeps them from speaking the truth. Those who resort to lying subconsciously feel weak and humiliated for lying is the front of the weak and the cowards.

How profoundly true is the saying, “If entities were materialized, surely truthfulness would stand with courage and cowardice would stand with lying."

So today a lie may set you free for that moment only but remember that the truth will set you free forever! In view of the Islamic stance on lying the childhood song we all sang “Liar Plier your pants on fire” when we suspected a friend of lying holds very true. Does the curse of Allah Ta’ala not warrant admittance into the fires of Jahannum?

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