Rafed English

To Lie Against Messenger of Allah

It is commonly agreed among all that lying is the worst of abominations, and no trait can ever be possessed by man worse than calumny, beside no group malady is there more problematic and incurable than slander. Despite the fact that lying among individuals and groups can be contained and eradicated, but its bad effects would be common and its harm would be tremendous when being against the Messenger of Allah. That is, falsily ascribing something to the Messenger (S) is quite different from lying against other than him, due to his being an apostle delegated with an all-inclusive religion, and owner of a Shari‘ah (Islamic Law) for mankind as a whole, and in general.
Al-Tabarani reported on the authority of Rafi‘ ibn Khudayj as saying: The Messenger of Allah said: “Do not lie against me, since it is verily not the same as lying against any other man.”73
The Muhammadan message brought to mankind doctrinal principles that no man, whatever his extent of knowledge be, can ever change one of them, and brought rules of rituals (‘ibadat) that no one is permitted to make any addition or omission, or changing any of their forms or (determined) time. This is due to the fact that the religious acts are based on two foundations: The first being that not to worship other than Allah, and the second is that He should be worshipped according to the legal rules He revealed. Other than this, like population organizing and sociology rules and other similar fields, we find certain general foundations being laid down for them in religion, such as justice, mercy, goodness, convenience, equality, freedom, truthfulness, trusteeship, benevolence and non-transgression, beside other laudable virtues.
Due to the fact that the holy Qur’an was preserved through inscription and memorization while the Messenger’s traditions were not written down, so he (S) feared that some might falsify traditions ascribing them to him, especially after leaving his hadith without committing it to writing. He was so strict in this respect that he decreed death as a worldly punishment for the falsifier, while in the Hereafter it be torment in the Fire (Hell).

Al-Bukhari73 reports on the authority of Rib’i ibn Kharrash as saying: I heard Ali say: The Prophet said: Don’t lie against me, as who does so will verily enter Fire. In his exposition for this hadith, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar says: This hadith is supported by narration of Muslim on the authority of Ghandar from Shu‘bah by the words: “… he enters into Fire.”

Also al-Bukhari reported the same hadith from Anas and Abu Hurayrah, with the word “deliberately” being added to it, beside some other traditions with this addition reported by other than al-Bukhari. But anyone deliberately meditating, and being in quest of truth into researches, will verily come to know that the correct narrations reported from the leading Companions among whom being three of the Rightly-guided caliphs, indicate the hadith’s being devoid of this word “deliberately.” Besides, to claim that the Prophet uttered such a word should be regarded as improbable to its incongruity with reason and morality that were fully possessed by the Messenger, as to lie is “to announce of something in a way contrary to its true being, whether deliberately or mistakenly.” This word may have crept into this hadith through the means of idraj (gradual inclusion), that is common among the scholars, as a pretext used by those fabricating hadith against the Messenger of Allah to justify their practice as to be favouritism without intention. This was followed too by righteous believers who used to justify it by saying: “We lie for him not against him”! Or it was adopted by the narrators in regard of that which they would report from others either out of error, or delusion or misunderstanding, so as to avoid falling in trouble, since that who is mistaken can never be considered sinful. For all this, the narrators laid down their widely-known principle: “That who deliberately lies has to be answerable for his lie.”


72. Tahdhir al-Khawass, pp.10, 11.

73. This hadith was reported also with Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, al-Daraqunti, and al-Hakim in al-Madkhal.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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