“Either Truthfulness or Silence”

“Either truthfulness or silence”. That is, there are two ways, not three. That is, not either the truth, or lies, or silence. Only two ways, either truth or silence…. (Damascus Sermon, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi)

Lie is the reverse of the truth… Lie is the effort of distorting the truth…  Lying is deliberately deceiving somebody and causing them to be ignorant of the truth… Lie is the attempt of hindering the repressed personality, hidden thoughts and intentions from being deciphered… A lie, as something told or untold, is the deception of a person or persons to whom the truth should be told. That’s why it is unethical and immoral. And most importantly “Lie” is a virus infecting our social life…

As we look around a bit we will see that lie is really like a virus in our social lives. It is like an infectious disease, infecting people around us, contaminating our communication among people. On this context, a question comes to minds: Can we construct a building without the pillars? The answer would simply be “NO!” Because, if we do, the building would collapse easily for it is not based on strong pillars. For Islam, truthfulness is like what a pillar for a construction is. Truthfulness is essential in Islam. It is a pillar on which the societies are based. Thus it is a fundamental and essential for the healthy societies. As Bediuzzaman says: “The Truthfulness is the basis and foundation of Islam, and the bond of fine character, and the disposition of elevated emotions. Since this is the case, we must bring to life within us truthfulness and honesty, which form the foundation of our social life, and cure our moral and spiritual sicknesses with them.” (Damascus Sermon-Risale-i Nur Collection)

On the other hand, lying and dishonesty are the source of all the bad.  As Imam- al’Munawi says: “Lying is ugly because all the other ugly and forbidden acts follows the lie. When lie is abandoned all the uglies are abandoned. The relation between lie and uglies is like the relation between the truths and the beauty. Therefore, there is a consensus between ulama that lying is haram.” (Kimya-yi saadat, Imam- Al’Munawi) As it is clearly seen Lie is considered as the source of other sins. And also damages the reputation of the person. Just as it was lying that brought Musaylima to the lowest of the low, so too it was truthfulness and right which raised Muhammad the Trustworthy to the highest of the high. Everything a Muslim say must be true, but it is not right to say everything that is true. If on occasion it is damaging, then be silent. But there is no fatwa for lying. Everything we say must be the truth, but we must bear in mind that we do not have the right to say everything that is true openly everytime. Because if it is not sincere, it will have a detrimental effect, truth will be spent on wrong. It would be indiscreet of us to disclose the confidential information of others to speak the truth only for the sake of speaking the truth.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi says: “Truthfulness and honesty are the vital principles in the social life of Islam. Hypocrisy is a sort of actualized lying. Flattery and artifice are cowardly lying. Duplicity and double-dealing are harmful lying. And as for lying, it is to slander the All-Glorious Maker’s power.” (Damascus Sermon-Risale-i Nur Collection)

Lying is a kind of slanderig Allah the most high. One may say “How is it?” It is because lie is not in concord with belief, and lying is the sign of a sort of unbelief as the ayah says: “Only they invent falsehood who believe not Allah’s revelations, and (only) they are the liars. (Surah Nahl, 105)” In that, by rejecting to accept the oneness and the omnipotence of Allah and telling that Allah has partners involves falsehood inside. Unbelief in all its varieties is falsehood and lying. Belief is truthfulness and honesty.  There are many hadith and ayah on this issue which I will quote only one: “Malik related to me that Safwan ibn Sulaym said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, ‘Can the mumin be a coward?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He was asked, ‘Can the mumin be a miser?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He was asked, ‘Can the mumin be a liar?’ He said, ‘No!’ ” (Malik, Book 56, Hadith 56.7.19) as it is clearly seen in the hadith, a believer must not be Lier. So if we change the sentence upside down, a lier cannot be a true believer…

Oh Allah help us and guide us we are not but trying to follow the paths your beloved Muhammad (pbuh) left for us … Help us to live and find love in this World, protect us against all kinds of blasphemy and lying… Amin Amin Ya Mu’in…

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