Part 15: Rights of The Upright Scholars: The Great Danger of Telling Lies Against The Scholars In issues Related to The Sharee’ah- By Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] was asked about those people [may Allaah guide them] who say, “I have heard some of the scholars saying such and such, or given a Fatwa”; then he [i.e. the one who attributes such a statement to a scholar or scholars] uses this as a basis for his statement or action.
Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] replied: Lying about the scholars in affairs related to the Sharee’ah is a great danger. And because of this, it has been reported in a hadeeth that he [i.e. The Messenger of Allaah (Alayhis- Salaatu- Was-Salaam)] said, “Whoever tells a lie against me [intentionally] then [surely] let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.’’ [Bukhaari 107]
Therefore, telling lies against the scholars in affairs related to the Sharee’ah [i.e. falsely saying that they said this or that, or gave a Fatwa about this or that] is a great danger, because it is tantamount to lying against the Sharee’ah. [There are] are some people – may Allaah guide them – [who] when his soul finds something favourable [or suitable] and he knows that people will not accept [what he will say or do], he chooses a scholar whom the people trust and then forges a false statement concerning the scholar [i.e. that the scholar says such and such]- whether he is right [regarding the statement or deed he wants the people to accept and for which he sought to transmit a forged statement] or whether he is upon falsehood. [End of quote] [Ref 1]
Lying -as we know- in general is Haraam
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] stated above that one should beware of kadhib (lying), for indeed it corrupts one’s ability to illustrate information based on what it should be in reality. It corrupts one’s ability to illustrate information and his ability to teach the people.
The liar portrays what is non-existent as something present and what is present as something non-existent. He portrays truth as something false and falsehood as something true; he portrays good as evil and evil as good, so this corrupts his conception and knowledge, which then becomes a punishment upon him. Then he portrays what is not true to the one deceived by him – the one who is inclined towards him- so he corrupts his conception and knowledge. The soul of the liar turns away from the existing reality -inclined towards what is non-existent and gives preference to falsehood. And when his conception and knowledge is corrupted, which is the basis of every wilful chosen deed, his deeds become corrupt and marked by lies, so those deeds would emanate from him just as lies emanate from the tongue- he neither benefits from his tongue nor his deeds. This is why lying is the basis (or foundation) of immorality, just as the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, “Indeed lies lead to immorality (or wickedness) and indeed immorality (or wickedness) leads to the fire. [Bukhaari 2606/2607]
Firstly lies emerges from the heart and then on the tongue, so it corrupts it; then it transfers to the limbs and corrupts its actions, just as it corrupts the statements of the tongue. Therefore, lying prevails over his statements, deeds and state of affairs; corruption becomes deeply rooted in him and its disease leads to destruction if Allaah does not grant him cure him with the medication of truthfulness, which uproots its (i.e. lying) from its original source. This is why the basis (or foundation) of all the deeds of the hearts is based on truthfulness; and the basis of their opposites – such as showing off, self-amazement, pride, being glad (with ungratefulness to Allaah’s Favours), conceitedness, boastfulness, insolence, weakness, laziness, cowardice, disgrace and other than them- is lies. The origin of every righteous deed- whether carried out in private or public- is based on truthfulness. And the origin of every corrupt deed – whether carried out in private or public- is lies.
Allaah punishes the liar by preventing him from those affairs that will bring him well-being and benefit, and He rewards the truthful one by granting him the ability to attain the beneficial affairs related to the worldly life and afterlife. There is nothing similar to truthfulness with regards to the manner in which it bring about the affairs of wellbeing in this life and the next, and there is nothing similar to lying with regards to the manner in which it corrupts and harms one’s worldly affairs and the afterlife.
[Allaah (The Most High) said]:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds) [9:119]
هَٰذَا يَوْمُ يَنْفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ ۚ
This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth. [5:119]
فَإِذَا عَزَمَ الْأَمْرُ فَلَوْ صَدَقُوا اللَّهَ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ
And when the matter (preparation for Jihad) is resolved on, then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them. [47:21]
وَجَاءَ الْمُعَذِّرُونَ مِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ لِيُؤْذَنَ لَهُمْ وَقَعَدَ الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ
سَيُصِيبُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
And those who made excuses from the bedouins came (to you, O Prophet) asking your permission to exempt them (from the battle), and those who had lied to Allah and His Messenger sat at home (without asking the permission for it); a painful torment will seize those of them who disbelieve. [9:90] [End of quote from Al-Fawaa-id (Ref 2)]
Is Lying Permissible In Dawah?
Question to Sheikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (hafidha-hullaah): Is lying permissible in calling to Allaah? And is ‘the goal justifies the means’ a maslahah (benefit) from the masaalih (beneficial affairs) of the Sharee’ah?
Answer: Lying is not permissible. It is a major sin from the major sins. It (lying) is not permissible except in three affairs which the prophet made an exception; lying during war, because war is deceit; lying in order to bring about peace between the people; and lying between married couples in order to bring about rectification to the family with regards to the relationship between (husband and the wife). These three affairs are that of maslahah, and in them is a greater good than evil; so (lying) is permissible (in this case).
As for calling to Allaah, it has no need for lies. It is not permissible to utilize lies in calling to Allaah. Calling to Allaah is to (be carried out) by way of truth, the Book, the sunnah, fine admonition and arguing in a way that is better and not by way of lies. [Ref 3]
[Ref 1: Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm’ page 224. Abridged & slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Paraphrased. Source: Al-Fawaa’id’ pages 202-203]
[Ref 3: source: al-ijaabatul muhimmah fee mashaakil al-mulimmah, page:271-272]