Lying: A disease of the heart
March 04 2021 08:39 PM

Lying is the complete opposite of truth. So, anything that is untrue and deliberately intended to mislead another person is a lie. A lie, therefore, can be anything spoken or written that is totally or partially baseless, unreal, made-up, distorted or exaggerated; for example, if someone were to deliberately state that a five foot pole was a ten foot pole, then this would be a lie. Similarly praising someone out of proportion is a form of a lie.
Lying and falsehood are widespread problems and are roots of other problems that occur on an individual and public level. Lies are spoken and written in the media and in politics, in business and in personal dealings, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, although the degree, magnitude and frequency may vary.
Lying is against human nature and physiology, and like any other disease, it has its own unique signs and symptoms. The act of lying produces inner conflicts between various control centres of the brain. The moment one begins to lie, his body sends out contradictory signals to cause facial muscle twitching, expansion and contraction of pupils, perspiration, flushing of cheeks, increased blinking of the eye, tremors of the hand, and an increased heart rate. These constitute the basis of lie detector instruments.
In addition, certain unconsciously made movements are noticeable in those who lie, like the constant covering of the mouth, touching of the nose, rubbing of the eye, scratching the side of the neck, rubbing the ear, etc. One of the clearest signs is that the liar keeps his palms closed and his eyes in another direction to the person he is lying to, in an attempt to avoid eye to eye contact. A liar is aware of his body’s signals and finds lying easier when nobody can see him, such as when he is on the phone or writing.

What are the motives of a liar?
A liar tells a lie for the purpose of:
a) Concealing the truth, as he may be afraid of the truth or its punitive consequences by the law or certain individuals.
b) Cheating and deceiving others and enjoying their misery, as Satan did with Aadam.
c) Short-term worldly gains, such as gaining the favours of others or monetary gains.

Forms of lying
The worst form of lying is to do so upon Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), which is to falsely attribute things to them. Allah Almighty Says in the Qur’an (what means): “And if he [i.e., Muhammad] had made up about Us some [false] sayings, We would have seized by the right hand; then We would have cut from him the aorta “ [Qur’an 69:44-46]
And (what means): “…And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful….” [Qur’an 2:283]
And (what means): “And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].” [Qur’an 2:42]
Hypocrites are liars too, because they lie to themselves. Allah Says about them (what means): “In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie.” [Qur’an 2:10] Allah also addressed His Messenger Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, saying (what means): “…Allah knows that you are His Messenger, and Allah testifies that the hypocrites are liars.” [Qur’an 63: 1]
The Qur’an on liars
Allah Says (what means): “…Indeed Allah does not guide one who is a transgressor and a liar.” [Qur’an 40:28]
And (what means): “…Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and [confirmed] disbeliever.” [Qur’an 39:3]
Almighty Allah also Says (what means):  “…The curse of Allah be upon him if he should be among the liars.” [Qur’an 24:7]
Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said:
“Indeed, truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise, and a truthful person continues to speak the truth until he becomes the most truthful person. Lies lead to evil and evil leads to Hell, and a liar continues to lie until he is listed as a high ranking liar before Allah.” [Al-Bukhari]
Yoosuf Ibn ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that he asked Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “O Messenger of Allah! What do you think is the most dreadful thing for me?” Yoosuf continued: “The Messenger caught hold of his tongue and said: “This.” [At-Tirmithi]
Bahz Ibn Hakeem related that the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Destruction is for the man who tells lies for the amusement of other people. Destruction is for him.” [At-Tirmithi]
Sufyaan Ibn Usayd, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The biggest breach of trust is that you tell a thing to your brother who believes it to be true, whereas you have lied to him.” [Abu Daawood]

Is lying ever justified?
There are very few justifications for lying in Islam. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, directed us to tell the truth, even under the harshest circumstances of oppression. However, one may choose not to tell the truth when:
lHe is being oppressed and there is a real danger to his life if he speaks the truth. Shaykh As-Sa’di, may Allah have mercy upon him, narrated the following story: “A cruel king ordered an innocent villager present in his court to be executed due to the villager’s lack of manners. Hearing this, the villager began cursing the king in his native language. The king asked his minister, who understood the man’s language, to tell him what the man was saying. The wise minister, instead of telling the truth, told the king that the man was sorry for his conduct and was praising his greatness and pleading for his mercy. The king was affected and therefore spared the life of the innocent villager.” Shaykh As-Sa’di called this: “A lie with wisdom.”
lTo promote harmony between spouses. For example, if one’s wife asks him if she is beautiful or if he loves her, there is no harm in answering in the affirmative, even if this is not the case.
lWhile making peace between two quarrelling parties, so that the ordeal would not ignite into something worse. The mediator in such a case may falsely tell one party that the other is speaking highly of them.
l To make the unbelievers realise the truth. When Prophet Ibraaheem, may Allah exalt his mention, broke all the idols except the largest of them, the unbelievers entered the temple and saw the smashed idols. Ibraaheem, may Allah exalt his mention, had placed the axe in the hand of the chief idol. The disbelievers asked: “Who broke our gods?” He said: “Ask the chief idol, he has the axe.” They replied: “Do you not know that he cannot speak or act?” Ibraaheem, may Allah exalt his mention, replied: “This is what I have been telling you, so worship Allah rather than these stones that cannot harm or profit you.”

Virtues of telling the truth
Truthfulness is commanded by Allah as a part of faith and is an indispensable quality of the believers. It is mentioned in over one hundred places in the Qur’an. Some examples are when Allah Almighty Says (what means): “That Allah may reward the truthful for their truth…” [Qur’an 33:24]
“O you who have believed! Fear Allah and be with those who are true.” [Qur’an 9:119]
“O you who have believed! Fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.” [Qur’an 33:70]
 “The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.” [Qur’an 3:17]
“The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.” [Qur’an 49:15]
It is not necessary to relate any prophetic traditions about the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as his whole life was nothing but the epitome of truth. Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was confirmed as a truthful person even before he became a Prophet. During his prophethood, even his enemies confirmed that he was truthful and trustworthy. Some of the disbelievers would deposit their belongings with him as an indication of their trust in him.

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Usurping other people’s possessions
According to the faqihs, usurpation refers to usurping other’s possessions by force without having the right to take them.
Usurpation is prohibited according to juristic consensus, for Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly...} [Qur’an 2: 188]
Usurpation is considered one of the grievous ways of eating up money unjustly, for the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said: “Verily, your blood, property and honour are sacred to one another (as Muslims).” (Muslim)
He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, also said: “The property of a Muslim is not lawful (to be taken) except by his consent.” (Abu Ya’ la in his Musnad’)
The usurped wealth could be real estate or a movable property; the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If anyone extorts a span of land unjustly, his neck will be encircled with it down seven earths (on the Day of Resurrection).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
A usurper has to repent to Allah, The Almighty and Ever-Majestic, and return whatever he has extorted to its rightful owners, asking them for forgiveness. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever wrongs anyone in a matter that concerns his honour or any other matter should ask his forgiveness as soon as possible, before a time comes when there is neither dinar nor dirham (i.e. before the Day of Resurrection when wealth cannot compensate for one’s wrongdoing); if the usurper has good deeds, they will be taken from him according to his usurpation, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.” (Al-Bukhari)
If the usurped property is available, he should return it in the same condition he has taken it, but if it is damaged, he should return its equivalent.
Imam A1-Muwaffaq said: “Scholars unanimously agree that it is obligatory to return the usurped property if it is still in the same condition and unchanged.” (Al-Mughni and Ash-Sharh AI-Kabir)
Furthermore, the usurper has to pay back the usurped property along with the profit he has made through it, be it connected with the property or separated. This is because the profit is the outcome of what has been taken unjustly, so it belongs to its rightful owner just like the original usurped property.
If the usurper has built on the usurped land or has planted vegetation therein, he has to remove the building or the crop in the case the rightful owner demands so. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The unjust root (planted in someone’s land without his permission) has no right.” [At-Tirmithi and other compilers of Hadith; At-Tirmithi regarded it as a hasan (good) Hadith]
If so doing will negatively affect the land, the usurper has to compensate for the damage. He has also to remove the remains of the crop or the structure so that he may deliver the land in good condition to its rightful owner.
The usurper has also to pay a compensation for using the land from the date of its usurpation until its delivery, as he has unrightfully prevented its owner from using it during that period. Moreover, if the usurper withholds the usurped property until its value and price are reduced, he has to pay it back according to its original price according to the sound opinion in this regard.
On the other hand, if the usurped object is mixed with something else that can be distinguished from it - like wheat and barley - the usurper has to separate what he has usurped and return it. If he has mixed it with something that cannot be distinguished, such as mixing wheat with wheat, he has to pay back the usurped object in measure or weight. Yet, if he has mixed the usurped object with something of inferior or superior quality, or with something different but indistinguishable, the mixture is to be sold and each one of them is to be given his share of the price. In this case, if the value of usurped property is less in the mixture than its value when unmixed, the usurper has to compensate the owner for the decrease in its price.
Among the juristic opinions in this connection is that whoever takes the usurped property from the usurper is financially liable for it in case it is damaged in his possession.
There are ten examples of people who may take a usurped property from the usurper:
1. One who may buy the usurped object from the usurper or the like.
2. One who may rent the usurped object from the usurper.
3. One who may be granted the usurped object by the usurper gratis.
4. One who may take possession of the usurped object on behalf of the usurper such as a trustee or a deputy.
5. One who may borrow the usurped object from the usurper.
6. One who may usurp the usurped object from the first usurper.
7. One who may have the usurped object at his disposal, such as a speculator on behalf of the usurper.
8. One who may marry an appropriated bondmaid from her usurper.
9. One whom the usurper may grant, not sell him, the usurped object as a compensation for something.
10. One who may damage the usurped object while having it on behalf of the usurper.
In all these cases, if the second party is aware that the object is originally usurped, he becomes financially liable for it for obtaining something without the permission of its rightful owner. However, if he is unaware of that, the original usurper shoulders the liability.
If the usurped property is something that is usually rented, the usurper is to pay compensation estimated according to the period of his possession of the usurped property. This is because utilities represent assets, so they have to be paid for just like real estate.
All the dealings of a usurper on the usurped object are invalid, as they are carried out without the permission of the rightful owner.
If the usurper does not know the owner of the usurped object and thus is unable to return it to him, he should deliver it to the ruler (or the one in authority) to put it in its right place or give it in charity on behalf of its owner. In so doing, the real owner of the usurped object will get the reward of charity, and the usurper becomes free from the guilt.
The usurpation of a property is not limited to taking it by force; it rather includes seizing it through unjust disputes and false oaths. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly or send it [in bribery] to the rulers in order that [they might aid] you [to] consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know [it is unlawful].} [Qur’an 2: 188]
Allah Almighty also Says (what means): {Indeed, those who exchange the covenant of Allah and their [own] oaths for a small price will have no share in the Hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them or look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them; and they will have a painful punishment?} [Qur’an 3: 77]
In fact, the Divine command is so strong and binding, and the punishment of violating it is so severe.
Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If anyone extorts a span of land unjustly, his neck will be encircled with it down seven earths (on the Day of Resurrection).” (Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, Al-Bukhari)
He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, also said: “If I gave some one’s right to another (mistakenly because of the latter’s tricky presentation of the case), he (the latter) should never take it, for I would be really giving him a piece of fire.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Article source: [originally published by Aljumuah magazine)

The right to life
Allah Almighty honoured man and created him with His own Hand and blew into him from His Spirit. Then, He made His angels prostrate to him and subjected to him all that is in the heavens and the earth – all from Him. Moreover, He made him a successor on earth and bestowed talents and blessings upon him so that he can dominate the earth. He preferred him over all beasts and animals. Man cannot fulfil his goals unless he takes his rights in full. At the forefront of these rights, which are guaranteed by Islam, is the right to life – an inviolable right.
Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right.} [Qur’an 6:151]. The right that permits the taking of souls was explained by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), when he reportedly said: “It is not permissible to spill the blood of a Muslim except in three cases: the married person who commits adultery, a life for a life, and the one who forsakes his religion and separates from the group.” [Muslim]
Out of its great concern for the protection of life, Islam threatens those who deem it permissible to kill with the severest punishment. In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty says (what means): {But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.} [Qur’an 4:93]
Moreover, it is clearly indicated in authentic hadiths that killing a believer is one of the gravest sins. In a hadith via Al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If this world were to be destroyed, that would be less significant before Allah than the unlawful killing of a believer.” [Ibn Majah] In another hadith on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If the inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth all took part in shedding the blood of a believer, then Allah would cast them (all) in the Fire.” [At-Tirmithi] Also, Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who helps in (the spilling of) the blood of a Muslim, even with half a word, it will be written between his eyes on the Day of Judgment ‘Desperate of the mercy of Allah’.” [Al-Bayhaqi]
The Noble Qur’an prohibits us from killing our children out of fear of poverty and starvation. A Qur’anic verse reads (what means): {And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.} [Qur’an 17:31] In another verse that speaks about a common practice among the Arabs during the pre-Islamic era of ignorance, Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed.} [Qur’an 81:8-9] This equally applies to the non-Muslims who live under the rule of a Muslim nation and enter into an agreement of protection with the Muslim ruler – be they Jews or Christians. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever killed a mu‘ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years.” [Al-Bukhari] Moreover, Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them.} [Qur’an 4:90]
This also applies to the one who commits suicide. Allah Almighty warns us against this, saying (what means): {And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.} [Qur’an 4:29] Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hellfire, and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in Hellfire.” [Al-Bukhari]
Hence, Allah Almighty legislated retribution and the killing of the intentional killer as a revenge from him and purification for society. Allah Almighty says (what means): {And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.} [Qur’an 2:179] Even in manslaughter, Allah, the Exalted, does not exempt the killer from liability. Rather, He made it obligatory upon him to set a slave free and give ransom. If he cannot free a slave, he is required to fast for two consecutive months. Ransom for manslaughter is ordained by Islam so that people do not take life lightly and to inspire respect for the human soul.
Undoubtedly, the first thing about which the servants will render account on the Day of Judgment is murder. The erudite Andalusian scholar Ibn Hazm, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “I do not know of any sin, after polytheism, greater than killing a believer without right or abandoning prayer.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is reported to have said: “Every sin may be forgiven by Allah except a man who dies as a disbeliever or a man who kills his (Muslim) brother.” [An-Nasa’i] In another hadith, he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “A servant continues to guard his faith (and thus hopes for the mercy of Allah) so long as he does not shed blood unjustly.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This is Islam. It came to preserve the human soul and the blood of Muslims, lest people may take Muslim blood lightly.

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