| 2 Summary of Ethics


Overall Meaning: The Meaning of Lying

Kadhib linguistically: is the opposite of truthfulness (sidq). One says kadhdhabtu al-rajula if one belies another, attributing lying to him. Akdhabtuhu is said if one informs another that what they are saying is false. [1191] Lisan al-`Arab, Ibn Manzur (1/704), with adaptation.

Kadhib technically: is informing about a matter in a way that is other than reality, regardless whether this is intentional or unintentional.The Difference between Arrogance and its Synonyms: Calumny (Iftira’), Slander (Buhtan) and Imputation (Ifk) [1192] al-Furuq al-Lughawiyyah, al-`Askari (p. 449-450).

Lying is informing of a thing in a way that is unlike its true nature, or that the one saying the falsehood holds this belief. Calumny is more specific than that. It is lying against another in a way they would not be pleased with. This is not true for lying, since it may be about the speaker himself. Notwithstanding the fact that lying may be justified at times, like at times of war, or for reconciliation purposes, or praising one’s wife. Calumny is not like that. As for slander, then it is lying which one directs at another out of arrogance and self-gratification.

Imputation is obscene ugly lying, like lying against Allah and His Messenger, lying against the Qur’an, accusing the chaste woman, and other than that. It appeared in the Qur’an in that meaning. Allah, exalted, says: “Woe to every sinful caster of imputations.” al-Jathiyah: 7. Lying or falsehood is saying something about a thing that is opposed to its actual nature, regardless whether it is obscenely false or otherwise.Dispraise of Lying in the Qur’an and Sunnah

❖ Allah, exalted, says: “Falsehood is fabricated only by those who do not believe in Allah’s revelation: they are the liars.” al-Nahl: 105.
❖ Allah, sanctified, says: “Woe to every sinful caster of imputations.” al-Jathiyah: 7. Meaning: “The liar in his speech, sinful in his deeds.” [1193] Tafsir al-Sa`di (p. 775).
❖ Abu Hurayrah, Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks his promise; and when he is entrusted, he betrays the trust.” [1194] Reported by al-Bukhari (33) and Muslim (59). Quotes of the Predecessors and Scholars on Lying

❖ `Umar ibn al-Khattab, Allah be pleased with him, said: “That truthfulness debases me - and it rarely does - is more beloved to me than dishonesty raising me - and it rarely does.” [1195] Adab al-Dunya wa al-Din, al-Mawardi (1/263).
❖ `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Allah be pleased with him, said: “The greatest of sins is lying, and whoever pardons, Allah will pardon him” [1196] Reported by Abu Nu`aym in al-Hilyah (1/138).
❖ Ibn `Abbas, Allah be pleased with them both, used to say: “Lying is wickedness, gossiping is magic; whoever lies has done wickedness, and whoever gossips has done magic.” [1197] `Uyun al-Akhbar, Ibn Qutaybah (2/31).
❖ Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Beware of lying, for it corrupts your perception of matters as they are, and therefore corrupts your perception of them and your teaching it to the people.” [1198] al-Fawa’id, Ibn al-Qayyim (p. 135). Permissible Forms of Lying

In origin, lying is impermissible. There are however occasions wherein it is permissible. They are as follows: In war, since war is deception. It entails describing the enemy, deluding them into bringing things that have no reality. The guiles of war may be exercised to full extent with intelligence and coy. When reconciling or meditating between two parties. One may in such an occasion need to justify one party's actions or statements that realises amicability and removes enmity. He may attribute to each party good statements that were in fact not said, and denying other bad statements that were said that would otherwise delay reconciliation and make it difficult. In marital life. At times, it may be necessary for the wife to lie to her husband or vice versa, each consuming from the other what would upset or repel them, causing problems and disputes between them. It is permissible for each of them to flatter the other to increase love, happiness, and beauty between them, even if it is false in essence. Marriage is worthy of one expending all means to fortify and preserve it. [1199] al-Ra’id Durus fi al-Tarbiyah wa al-Da`wah, Mazin al-Farih (3/264). Impacts and Harms of Lying
Lying is a means to destroy individuals as well as whole nations. It is a mirage which makes the far seem close and the close seem far. Dishonesty does away with decency, beauty, and gravitas. The liar is humiliated and degraded. Nations that belied the Messengers met their destructive, emphatic decree. It begets mischief and corruption for both religious and worldly matters. It is a sign for the vileness of the self and its lowliness. People belittle the liar and distance themselves from him. [1200] Nadrat al-Na`im, a group of researchers (11/5430). Forms of Lying [1201] Sharh Riyad al-Salihin, Ibn `Uthaymin (6/156-158) with adaptation; al-Kadhib Mazahiruh `Ilajuh, Muhammad al-Hamd.
Lying against Allah, exalted, and His Messenger. This is the greatest form of dishonesty. Lying to the people. Lying about the people. The rulers’ lying to their subjects. Lying to make the people laugh. Lying to one’s children. False testimony. The salesman lying to sell his product. Reasons for Falling into Lying

❖ Seeking out benefit or deterring harm.
❖ That one desires that his speech be fanciful and interesting, but finds that no honest talk fits that category, so lies. Anything is now fanciful and the interesting can even be miraculous.
❖ That one intends, through his lying against a person, to satisfy his vengefulness against him. He makes up slander about him and defames him.
❖ That the instigators of dishonesty are constantly around him until they are normal. Lying therefore becomes a habit, and the self naturally leans towards it. [1202] Adab al-Dunya wa al-Din, al-Mawardi (p. 264). Proverbs and Poetry about Lying

❖ “At the core shall the honest lie to you.” This is struck as a parable for the man known for his honesty, then lies at a time of need. [1203] Jamharat al-Amthal, al-`Askari (2/35).
❖ A non-poetry adage goes: “The liar is a thief. The thief steals your wealth, and the liar steals your intellect.” [1204] Adab al-Dunya wa al-Din, al-Mawardi (p. 261).
❖ The poet said:

“Man does not lie but out of desperation,
Bad habit, or lack of sound mannerisms.

Biting on a deceased dog’s body is better
Than man’s lying in seriousness or jest.” [1205] al-Mustatraf, al-Abhishi (p. 258).

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