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Education and Mendacity

Mendacity is the origin of every vice and the source of every defect. It is a hateful quality. The honorable and the virtuous are remote from such an ill manner that Islam has opposed.

Censure of mendacity:

Islam has warned against this ill characteristic. God says:

Only they forge the lie who do not believe in Allah’s communications, and they are the liars.

So, He made hypocrisy to follow as a consequence into their hearts till the day when they shall meet Him because they failed to perform towards Allah what they had promised with Him and because they told lies.

The Prophet (s) said, “Beware of fabricating. It leads to licentiousness, which leads to the hell-fire.”. “May I inform you of the grandest sin? It is polytheism and impiety to parents and telling lies..
Imam Ali (a) said, “The servants –of God- will not find the good taste of faithfulness before they quit intentional and unintentional fabrication.”

Imam Ali bin al-Hussein (a) said, “Beware of insignificant, influential, unintentional, and intentional lies. Fibs lead to fabrication.

Imam al-Baqir (a) said, “God the Praised has made locks for the vices. He made the consuming of intoxicants the keys of these locks. Mendacity is viler than consuming intoxicants.”

Imam al-Askari (a) said, “All of the vices were confined in a house the key of which is mendacity.”
Moreover, many other narratives forbid this evil quality and declare God’s punishment to those who commit this depravity.

Reasons of mendacity:

Many causes that are originated from self-weakness and disloyalty to God incite to commit mendacity. They are as follows:

- Fabricating lies for gaining a delusive profit or guarding against an anticipated damage. This anticipation is dictated by the soul, which is the incessantly demanding with evil.

- Fabricating lies for profiting by a good livelihood or approximating the profitable wealthy. The source of such mendacity is self-degradation and humiliation. The comic mendacity is also a repulsive feature. It stands for forging lies for the sake of making others laugh. This property drags to illegal matters without gaining any benefit.

- Fabricating lies for disturbing and wreaking the enemies. These matters incite to describe false questions and revile by inaccurate accusals.

- The most notable incentive of mendacity is the lack of piety and religiousness. Those who fear God never commit mendacity.

Mendacity may be an irremovable habit if it controls the mind. It is said that if suckling of mendacity is found sweet, it will be very difficult to wean. The mendacious are socially disrespected and any said lie will be naturally imputed to them.

Sorts of mendacity:

The sorts of mendacity are as follows:

- Forging lies against God and the Prophet. This stands for the intentional ascribing unsaid statements to God and the Prophet. Some of the companions, who merchandized with their religion and sold their Hereafter to Muawiya, such as Samara bin Jundub, Abu Hureira, and Amr bin al-As, purposed to forge lies against the Prophet. Muawiya bestowed them abundantly; therefore, they counterfeited the prophetic traditions and falsified the sayings of censuring the Prophet’s infallible household and praising others for gaining Muawiya’s gold and power. That was the most calamitous damage that Islam had to encounter, since such false reports corrupted Muslims’ doctrinal lives and deformed the religion’s signs and rulings. For Shias, forging lies against God and the Prophet invalidates the ritual fasting of the month of Ramadhan.

- Perjury, which wastes people’s property, honors, and souls. It is surely the most horrendous crime that eradicates justice and systems. The Prophet (s) said, “May I inform you of the grandest sins? They are polytheism, impiety to parents and –emphatically- perjury.” Perjury in insignificant or grand matters is indifferent. Judiciaries should chastise and distrust the perjurers.

- Mendacity for mocking people. This is also an ugly forbidden matter since it stands for abusing others. Islam, however, protected people’s dignities and forbade debasing and deriding them. Mendacity brings about God’s ire and scorn, and causes the mendacious to lose lechery and the failing of justice and trustfulness.

Warrants of mendacity:

Islam has permitted mendacity in cases of attaining some social benefits when the way of telling the truth is blocked. These cases are as follows:

- Telling lies is permitted when it is intended for saving a Muslim from the unjust ruler’s fist. When a tyrant intends to kill, usurp, or dishonor a Muslim, it becomes obligatory to tell false things, if there is no other way, for saving that individual. In this case, “the vice of mendacity retreats because the obligation of salvation is effective,” as scholars of jurists affirm.

- Telling lies is permitted when it is intended for refitting ruptured relations. In case the reuniting of ruptured relations relies upon a fib or telling untrue things, it is not unacceptable to fib or invent a matter, provided that there is no other solution, that re-gathers the hearts of the adversary parties at odds and dislodges the spirits of rivalry and animosity. The Prophet (s) said, “He is not a liar that who makes peace between two rivalry parties when he says good wording or publicizes good deeds.”. Abu Kahil reported: As two of the Prophet’s companions were engaged in discrepancy, I came to one of them and told, falsely, that the other party used to praise and applaud him. I went to the other party and did the same thing. Hence, I could make peace between them. Then, I considered that I had made peace between those two, but violated my own personality due to telling lies. I came to the Prophet (s) and cited the problem. “O Abu Kahil!” said the Prophet, “Make peace between people even by means of…” He referred to fabrication.

Islam has greatly concerned with making peace and reconciliation between discrepant parties, and preferred this process to the general rituals of prayers and fasting. Rivalry opens the door to evils, ruptures the united word, and spreads the spirits of animosity and contest among Muslims.

- Telling lies is permitted when it is intended for winning a battle. War depends upon trickery. If Muslims’ triumph and the foes’ defeat rely upon fabrication, it becomes obligatory to lie. The Prophet (s) said, “Every fabrication is forbidden except telling lies in wars, since wars depend upon trickery.”

- Telling lies is permitted when it is intended for reconciliation among the fellow wives. Polygamous husbands are required to deceive each wife that he loves her more than he loves the others, for relieving them and saving from rivalry and quarrels.

Unfortunately, people have opened the portals of mendacity as wide as possible. They have stuck to it so adhesively that they got used to it. Deceptive flattery, which is surely a sort of mendacity, has become a habit. For instance, when an individual tries to get rid of the embarrassment of breaching a promise, he may cite falsely an ailment as his excuse. Fathers also used to instruct their sons to tell those who visit them of their absence in order to avoid the visitors. These sorts of social hypocrisy have been prevalent nowadays that even some poets recommended of sticking to them in the social relations. This flattery is surely a social defect that is originated from cowardice, timidity, and lack of mental disciplining.

It is strange that some writers, especially the Orientals, have purposed to forge lies in their writings. For instance, the Islamic Encyclopedia Britannica is filled up with intrigues, inventions, and lies especially in matters pertaining to Islam and some leaders. We have referred to many examples of their forged lies that are intended defame Islam and wrong the Imams.

By the same token, the books of Dr. Ahmed Amin and Dr. Ahmed Shibli that are pertaining to Shias and some of their doctrinal beliefs are filled up, shamelessly, with lies and fabrications.

At any rate, people used to fabricate and lie. Indisputably, this deadly defect destroys all of the moral virtues. Degradation and collapse will be the inescapable fate of any nation that takes fabrication as a course.

Protection against mendacity:

The following are the ways of protection against mendacity:

- Deliberate concern of the ceaseless chastisement that God threatened the liars who gain nothing from mendacity.

- Considering the ordeals and distresses, the most important of which is the social degradation and distrust that is originated from mendacity.

- Avoiding associating with the evildoers, who do not refrain from forging lies, and clinging to the virtuous and the religious ones so that their deeds, habits, and morals may influence and help in uprooting the evil customs.

Educators are required to activate their notable roles for extirpating this malignant disease and saving the new generations by citing the terrible damages of mendacity that leads to degradation and ruin.

Adapted from the book: "The Educational System in Islam" by: "Baqir Sharif Al-Qireshi"

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