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Lying is the source of all sins

Posted on: March 4, 2012


In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Lying is the source of all sins

Lying is the source of all sins and it is the shortest way to Hell.

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Beware of lying because lying leads to dissoluteness, and dissoluteness leads to Hell. A person keeps on telling lies until he is written before Allaah as a liar.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Lying, in essence, is deliberately telling something that is other than the truth and is something dispraised by all sensible people. A liar is always in doubt and never truly believes anything. Had this been the only disadvantage of lying, it would have been sufficient. Some philosophers have stated, “The one who knows himself to be a liar will never believe people who tell the truth. Moreover, the one who is known to be a liar will never be believed, even when he tells the truth. Not only this, but when people hear lies, they may automatically attribute it to him, even if he is not the one who told it.”

Reasons and Signs

There are several causes of lying and various signs that indicate it. There is no doubt that knowing such causes and signs is of great help in treatment because the first step in the treatment of any disease is knowing its causes and determining its symptoms in order to eliminate them. Al-Maawardi , may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentioned some of these reasons as follows:

1-    Bringing benefit and driving away harm. The liar thinks that lying is safer and more beneficial; hence, he resorts to lying as he is deceived and aspires to get something in return.
2-    Preferring his speech to be pleasant and nice, thinking that the truth is neither pleasant nor nice. So, he prefers to lie as it is the easiest thing to do.
3-    Intending to gratify one’s thirst for revenge. So, he may tell lies about his enemy and attribute falsities to him.
4-    Getting used to lying, which turns into a habit because its reasons accumulate and a liar becomes familiar with them.
5-    Having an inclination to domineer, as the liar thinks that he is superior to the others to whom he gives information, thereby believing himself to be like a righteous scholar.

Some of the Signs of Lying

*  When one tells a liar something, he cannot differentiate between what he tells him and what he made up.
* One can make a liar doubtful of his own words to the extent that he might take them back.
* If one argues with a liar about what he said, he would get confused and not be able to defend himself or refute what he says.
* Doubt and suspicion would be apparent on his face. Some wise men have said that faces are like mirrors that expose the secrets that people conceal.

If a person becomes a liar, all unknown rumors would be attributed to him, in addition to other made up lies, to the extent that people would tell lies about him. Thus, he would combine two different things: the disgrace of being a liar and the harm of lying to him.

Types of Lying

There are various types of lying; be it lying in deeds, sayings or intentions. The first is lying in sayings. It means deliberately telling something that is not true or real. This type has different forms that vary in the degree of guilt. The gravest and worst type is telling lies about Allaah the Exalted and/or His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allaah a lie} [Quran 6:21]
This also includes deciding what is lawful and what is unlawful according to personal whims and not according to the Sharee‘ah. That is why Allaah The Almighty rebukes the disbelievers when they claim that what they say is the legislation of Allaah. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

* {And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, “This is lawful and this is unlawful,” to invent falsehood about Allaah}[Quran 16:116]
* {Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allaah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.}[Quran 42:21]

Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, warned us against telling lies about him when he said: “Whoever tells a lie about me intentionally, let him settle in his seat in Hell.”[Saheeh Al-Jaami‘ As-Sagheer: 6519]

This type also includes inventing lies about the believers such as those who testify to falsehood do. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, considered testifying to falsehood one of the grave major sins. Nowadays, we find that many people sell their religion and conscience and testify to falsehood, thereby squandering or failing to give people’s rights or making false accusations against them out of greed for a worldly reward or to gratify their thirst for revenge.

Another example is lying when joking in order to make others laugh. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Woe to him who lies to make people laugh. Woe to him! Woe to him!”[Ahmad and Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi – Hasan]

A believer cannot be a liar for faith and lying cannot be combined in one person. Hence, when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was asked if a believer could be a liar, he replied in the negative, in spite of the fact that he stated that a believer could be a miser or a coward. This is because lying is one of the signs of hypocrisy. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are three characteristics of a hypocrite: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it and when he is trusted he betrays.”

Lying is not one of the characteristics of the noble rather a characteristic of the mean who despise themselves and find lying easy. If they had real self-esteem, they would have avoided lying.

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “It is better for me to tell the truth even if it would demean me – and it rarely does – than to tell a lie that may elevate me – and it rarely does.”

The second type is lying in deeds. One may do something in order to deceive others into believing that something actually happened, while it did not, or to express the existence of something that does not really exist. Lying in deeds could be more dangerous or more effective than lying in sayings. An example of this is what was narrated in the Quran about the brothers of Yoosuf (Joseph), may Allaah exalt his mention, when they came to their father at night weeping and with his shirt stained with false blood . So they lied both in their deeds and in their sayings. [Al-Akhlaaq Al-Islaamiyyah:1/529]

The third type is lying in intentions, and this is when one intends to do something for the sake of anyone or anything other than Allaah. This is supported by the Hadeeth of the three types of people who would be the first to be thrown in Hell: the martyr, the scholar and the one who used to give charity.
Each one of these three would claim that he did what he did for the sake of Allaah but they would be told that they are liars. The first would be told, “You fought so that people would say that you are courageous.’ The second would be told, “You gave in charity so that people would say that you are generous,” and the third would be told, “You learned so that people would say that you are a scholar. Therefore, lying is indeed the source of all sins and it brings utter disgrace upon the liar.

Lying is the source of all sins and it is the shortest way to Hell. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Beware of lying because lying leads to dissoluteness, and dissoluteness leads to Hell. A person keeps on telling lies until he is written before Allaah as a liar.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Lying, in essence, is deliberately telling something that is other than the truth and is something dispraised by all sensible people. A liar is always in doubt and never truly believes anything. Had this been the only disadvantage of lying, it would have been sufficient. Some philosophers have stated, “The one who knows himself to be a liar will never believe people who tell the truth.

Moreover, the one who is known to be a liar will never be believed,even when he tells the truth. Not only this, but when people hear lies, they may automatically attribute it to him, even if he is not the one who told it.”

Reasons and Signs

There are several causes of lying and various signs that indicate it. There is no doubt that knowing such causes and signs is of great help in treatment because the first step in the treatment of any disease is knowing its causes and determining its symptoms in order to eliminate them. Al-Maawardi , may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentioned some of these reasons as follows:

1-    Bringing benefit and driving away harm. The liar thinks that lying is safer and more beneficial; hence, he resorts to lying as he is deceived and aspires to get something in return.
2-    Preferring his speech to be pleasant and nice, thinking that the truth is neither pleasant nor nice. So, he prefers to lie as it is the easiest thing to do.
3-    Intending to gratify one’s thirst for revenge. So, he may tell lies about his enemy and attribute falsities to him.
4-    Getting used to lying, which turns into a habit because its reasons accumulate and a liar becomes familiar with them.
5-    Having an inclination to domineer, as the liar thinks that he is superior to the others to whom he gives information, thereby believing himself to be like a righteous scholar.Some of the Signs of Lying

*  When one tells a liar something, he cannot differentiate between what he tells him and what he made up.
* One can make a liar doubtful of his own words to the extent that he might take them back.
* If one argues with a liar about what he said, he would get confused and not be able to defend himself or refute what he says.
* Doubt and suspicion would be apparent on his face. Some wise men have said that faces are like mirrors that expose the secrets that people conceal.

If a person becomes a liar, all unknown rumors would be attributed to him, in addition to other made up lies, to the extent that people would tell lies about him. Thus, he would combine two different things: the disgrace of being a liar and the harm of lying to him.

Types of Lying

There are various types of lying; be it lying in deeds, sayings or intentions. The first is lying in sayings. It means deliberately telling something that is not true or real. This type has different forms that vary in the degree of guilt. The gravest and worst type is telling lies about Allaah the Exalted and/or His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allaah a lie} [Quran 6:21]
This also includes deciding what is lawful and what is unlawful according to personal whims and not according to the Sharee‘ah. That is why Allaah The Almighty rebukes the disbelievers when they claim that what they say is the legislation of Allaah. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

* {And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, “This is lawful and this is unlawful,” to invent falsehood about Allaah}[Quran 16:116]
* {Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allaah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.}[Quran 42:21]

Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, warned us against telling lies about him when he said: “Whoever tells a lie about me intentionally, let him settle in his seat in Hell.”[Saheeh Al-Jaami‘ As-Sagheer: 6519]

This type also includes inventing lies about the believers such as those who testify to falsehood do. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, considered testifying to falsehood one of the grave major sins. Nowadays, we find that many people sell their religion and conscience and testify to falsehood, thereby squandering or failing to give people’s rights or making false accusations against them out of greed for a worldly reward or to gratify their thirst for revenge.

Another example is lying when joking in order to make others laugh. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Woe to him who lies to make people laugh. Woe to him! Woe to him!”[Ahmad and Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi -Hasan]

A believer cannot be a liar for faith and lying cannot be combined in one person.

Hence, when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was asked if a believer could be a liar, he replied in the negative, in spite of the fact that he stated that a believer could be a miser or a coward. This is because lying is one of the signs of hypocrisy. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are three characteristics of a hypocrite: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it and when he is trusted he betrays.”

Lying is not one of the characteristics of the noble rather a characteristic of the mean who despise themselves and find lying easy. If they had real self-esteem, they would have avoided lying.

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “It is better for me to tell the truth even if it would demean me – and it rarely does – than to tell a lie that may elevate me – and it rarely does.”

The second type is lying in deeds. One may do something in order to deceive others into believing that something actually happened, while it did not, or to express the existence of something that does not really exist. Lying in deeds could be more dangerous or more effective than lying in sayings. An example of this is what was narrated in the Quran about the brothers of Yoosuf (Joseph), may Allaah exalt his mention, when they came to their father at night weeping and with his shirt stained with false blood . So they lied both in their deeds and in their sayings. [Al-Akhlaaq Al-Islaamiyyah:1/529]

The third type is lying in intentions, and this is when one intends to do something for the sake of anyone or anything other than Allaah. This is supported by the Hadeeth of the three types of people who would be the first to be thrown in Hell: the martyr, the scholar and the one who used to give charity. Each one of these three would claim that he did what he did for the sake of Allaah but they would be told that they are liars. The first would be told, “You fought so that people would say that you are courageous.’ The second would be told, “You gave in charity so that people would say that you are generous,” and the third would be told, “You learned so that people would say that you are a scholar.

Therefore, lying is indeed the source of all sins and it brings utter disgrace upon the liar.


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