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Lying is Prohibited by Religion

Adopted from the Book : Youth and Morals

The Holy Quran explicitly categorizes liars as disbelievers:

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

It is understood from this verse that believers do not subject themselves to the filth of fabrication.

The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) stated:

"Adhere to truthfulness; for truthfulness guides to Paradise. Surely a man continues to tell the truth and searches for it until he is written as truthful near Allah. And avoid falsehood; for it leads to the Fire. Man continues to lie until he is written as a liar near Allah."

Nahj al-Fasahah, p. 418

Among the characteristics of liars is that they only believe after annoying insistence. The Messenger (S.A.W.) 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."

Dr. Samuel Smiles writes:

"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 is 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.

Imam Ali (A.S.) is quoted as saying;

"If entities were materialized, surely truthfulness would stand with courage and cowardice would stand with lying."

Ghurar al-Hikam p. 605

Dr. Raymond Peach said:

"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 candy?' or Did you break this vase?' If the child realizes that admitting the mistake will result in punishment, his instinct tells him to deny it."

Ma Wa Farzandane Ma

Imam Ali (A.S.) stated the clear benefits of truthfulness in a clear narration:

"The truth teller achieves three things: (other's) trust, love, and respect."

"Be not mislead by their prayers and fasting, for a man can become fervently used to prayers and fasting so that if he would abandon them he would feel lonely. Rather, try them when it comes to telling the truth and fulfilling trusts."

Usul al-Kafi v.1 p. 460

Imam Ali (A.S.) has said on this subject:

"Lying is the most abominable trait."

Ghurar al-Hikam p. 175

And Dr. Samuel Smiles writes:

"Lying is the ugliest and the most disgusting trait among all lowly characteristics. It is important that man makes his only goal throughout the various stages of life to be truthfulness and honesty, and not to give them up in any case for any other cause or goal."


Islam based all. Its behavioral and correction processes on faith, and made faith the basis for man's happiness.

"Manners without faith are like a palace built on mud ice."

or as another scholar explains:

"Manners without faith are like seeds planted on rock or between thorns; they eventually wither away and die. If the most noble traits are not motivated by faith, they are like dead crops near a living person."

Religion rules the heart and mind together, it is the arena for bringing harmony to them. Religious feelings reduce material wants, and create an impenetrable barrier between the believer and lowliness. Those who are comfortable by belief always have assigned goals and feel at ease.

"Surely with the rememberance of Allah the hearts feel at ease."

The Holy Quran

Islam judges man's character by the degree of his belief and his favorable traits, and fervently struggles to strengthen these two factors. For instance, Islam has made man's faith a guarantee for the credibility of his statements when he executes an oath. According to the Islamic penal code, a Muslim's oath can replace evidence, under certain circumstances. and is therefore decisive in settling disputes. Islam has also made man's testimony a method for proving rights.

Thus, if lying appears in its red fearful shape-in any of the above mentioned cases, than it is clear how great damage can result form such behavior.

In the Holy Quran lying is considered to be an unforgivable sin.

"And never accept a testimony from them."

The Holy Quran

The basis of the intensity of the sin of lying is distinctly related to how much damage is done by such a sin. Hence, because lying under oaths and in testimonies is more damaging, the punishment for such a sin is more severe.

Lying is a technique leading to all other evil traits.

Imam Hassan al-Askari (A.S.) said:

"All spiteful traits are placed in a house and the key to this house is lying".

Jami' Sa'adat v.2 p. 318

In order to further clarify what Imam al-Askari (A.S.) said, we bring your attention to the following prophetic narration.

A man came to the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) and asked him for some advice. The Prophet (S.A.W.) replied:

"Abandon lying and equip yourself with truthfulness."

The man, who was an invariable sinner departed promising to never again commit another transgression.

Indeed, those who keep company with the honest and are habitually truthful, both verbally and practically will surely live a life free of sorrow and deprivation; their minds and spirits will shine with belief far from instability and fear, and far from vague thinking.

The slightest reflection on the result of lying whether related to religion or material gains will teach a most valuable lesson to anyone who craves to lead a life of honor and dignity. The after effects of lying are but lashes of warning.

Truthfulness can only be achieved under the shadow of manners and belief. Whenever these conditions are weak, human happiness does not have a chance of surviving.

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