Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Encouraging truthfulness and warning against lying

Friday Khutbah (Sermons) : Encouraging truthfulness and warning against lyingThe Glory of Islam
 – by Imam Al-Madinah Al-Munawarrah  ‘Ali Abd-ur-Rahman al-Hudhaifi
 from the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, on 11th Rajab 1422AH (September 28, 2001)

The Transcript:

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah by abiding by His commandments and abstaining from all that He forbids, for fear of Allah is the gateway to all good while disobedience and sin is the gateway to all evil. Be aware that one’s position with his Lord depends on his faith and conduct and that man’s value before Allah and His slaves depends on his faith and good deeds; and not on his wealth and strength. Allah says:

“And it is not your wealth, not your children that bring you nearer to Us, but only he who believes and does righteous deeds; as for such there will be twofold reward for what they did and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in peace and security.” (Surah Saba’ 34: 37)

Good deeds are superior to one another in reward, so do commendable characters outweigh in reward and degree in accordance with their general usefulness to their owner and to mankind. Equally, evil deeds and deplorable characters increase their owners in punishment and torment according to their harm. Allah says,

“And for all these there will be degrees according to that which they did, that He may recompense them in full for their deeds. And they will not be wronged.” (Surah Al Ahqaf 46:19)

Truthfulness is a noble character that can only be possessed by people of sound hearts. Allah enjoins it in His Book when He says,

“O you who believe, be afraid of Allah and be with those who are true (in words and deeds)” (Surah Al Tawbah 9:19)

 Truthfulness reveals man’s upbringing, pure mind and good nature while lying reveals man’s filthy mind and bad conduct. Truth saves while lying destroys. Truth is lovable intellectually and naturally. The Prophet enjoined saying the truth when he said,

“Be truthful for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. If a man tells the truth and nothing but the truth, he will be registered with Allah as the truthful one. Beware of lying, for lying leads to sinfulness and sinfulness leads to Hell. If a man tells a lie and nothing but a lie, he will be registered with Allah as a liar.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah promises a great reward for truthfulness in this world and the next. In this world, Allah provides for the truthful good name and love of Allah and His creatures. His words will be valued, people will feel safe with him and from his evil deeds and he will do good to himself and others. He will also be saved from evils and calamities that afflict the liars. He will have peace of mind, no fear and worries. Hasan ibn Ali narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

“Leave that which is ambiguous to you and take that which you are sure of. Truthfulness is tranquillity while lying is ambiguity.” (At-Tirmidhi) 

The end of the truthful one is always good in his life as was indicated in the hadith of Ka’b ibn Maalik when he was absent from the Battle at Tabook. He said,

“I told the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I were to be in front of any other person with the power of this world, I would have escaped from his wrath with an excuse for I am an expert in argument but, by Allah, I know that if I tell you a lie today in order to win your pleasure, Allah might cause you to be angry with me; and if I tell you the truth and you become angry with me, my hope is that Allah will commend me at last (as a result of my truthfulness).” (Bukhari and Muslim) 

As for the reward of truthfulness in the hereafter, it is the pleasure of Allah and high degree in Paradise in which there are pleasures which no eyes have seen, no ears have heard and no heart has thought of. In the Quran Allah says,

“Allah will say: This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth; theirs are gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) – they shall abide therein forever. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. That is great success.” (Surah Al Ma’idah 5: 119) 

Brother in faith! What is essence of this truthfulness on which Allah promises the best reward and salvation from torment? Truthfulness means to be sincere in sayings and deeds. It also means conveying the Word of Allah or that of His Prophet to mankind, to enjoin truthfulness, forbid falsehood and saying what is concordant with reality. Allah says,

“And he who has brought the truth and believes therein, those are the pious and righteous ones.” (Surah Al Zumar 39:33)

The Prophet said, 

“The true believer is the one who when he speaks, he speaks the truth and when he is informed, he believes.”

Truthfulness in deeds is to worship Allah with sincere intention, honesty, love and certainty; and to relate with sincerity, compassion and honesty. Allah says,

“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayer); righteousness (is the quality) of the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Book, the Prophet and gives wealth in spite of love for it to the kinsfolk, to the orphans and to the poor and to the wayfarer, to those who ask and to set slaves free, performs As-Salaat and gives Zakaat and who fulfills their covenant when they make it and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment and at the time of fighting (during battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are the pious.” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:177)

Further, the origin of  imaan is truthfulness and belief. We can rightly say then that truthfulness can be in sayings and deeds. Our righteous predecessors used to be the most adhering to truth of all people in their relationship with their Lord and fellow mankind. Ka’ab ibn Maalik said:

I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Allah saved me through truthfulness and it is part of my repentance that I will never lie during the rest of my life.’ I swear by Allah that I have never seen anyone tested by Allah through truthfulness in sayings since I said what I said to the Messenger of Allah more than me. By Allah, I have never intentionally told a lie since that day and I hope that Allah will protect me from lying for the rest of my life.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah also described the early immigrants to Madinah with truthfulness when He said,

“And for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounties from Allah and to please Him and helping Allah (i.e. helping His religion) and His Messenger. Such are indeed the truthful.” (Surah Al Hashr 59:8)

Brothers in Islam! Fear Allah, obey Him and seek nearness to Him with what pleases Him. Fellow Muslims! Truth is a conduct that Allah and His Messenger love. It is a character whose virtues the reasonable and wise people recognise. The Prophet of mercy called onto it along with his call to the worship of Allah at the beginning of his mission. Abu Sufiyan narrated that the Heracleus (the Roman Emperor of that time) asked him about the Messenger of Allah, ‘What does he command you to do?’ I said, ‘He says: Worship Allah alone, and associate nothing with Him, keep off from what your forefathers were saying. He also commanded us to pray, give charity, remain chaste and be kind to the kith and kin.’ (Al-Bukhari) 

Allah says,

“Verily the Muslim men and women, the believing men and women, the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and women who are patient, the men and women who are humble (before their Lord), the men and women who give charity, the men and women who observe fasting, the men and women who guard their chastity and the men and women who remember Allah much (with their hearts and tongues), Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).” (Surah Al Ahzab 33:35)

Therefore, endeavor to be among the truthful in your speech and deeds for truthfulness is one of the gateways to Paradise. Truthfulness does not bring early death, nor prevent wealth or one’s interest.

Brothers in faith! It is part of truthfulness to keep away from treachery and deceit and the gravest act of lying is to lie about Allah. Also, of the greatest act of lying is to lie about Islam by ascribing to it what it is innocent of, like aggression and injustice. Islam is the religion of mercy and compassion. Allah says,

“We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as a mercy to mankind.”

Islam is the religion of justice and kindness. Allah says,

“Verily, Allah enjoins justice, kindness, giving help to the kith and kin; and forbids all evil deeds, all that is prohibited by Islamic law and all kinds of oppression.” (Surah Al Nahl 16:90)

Islam is a religion of trustworthiness and sincerity. Allah says,

“Verily, Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to whom they are due and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice.” (Surah Al Nisa’ 4:58)

However, it is saddening that Islam is now afflicted with those who invent so many lies and attribute them to Islam. In this age, terrorism, aggression, oppression and vandalism are wrongly and mischievously attributed to Islam while Islam with its pure teachings, noble laws and mercifully perfect injunctions fights, condemns and prevents aggression, injustice, mischief and terrorism that are aimed at innocent people whether Muslims or non-Muslims. Allah says,

“And transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:190)

Therefore, Islam is the religion of truth that enjoins all that is good for mankind and forbids all that is evil and all that is harmful to mankind.

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