In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Abdullaah Bin Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said, Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me [i.e. about an incident that took place when he was not a Muslim] that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah’s Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So abu sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius’s question said to them, “Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?” Abu Sufyan replied, “I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group).” Heraclius said, ‘bring him [i.e. Abu Sufyan] close to me and make his companions stand behind him.” Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me.” Abu Sufyan added, “By Allaah! Had I Not Been Afraid of My Companions Labelling Me A Liar, I Would Not Have Spoken The Truth About Him [i.e. The Prophet] [Sahih Al-Bukhaari: Book of Revelation. Hadeeth Number 7 Vol 1]
Abu Sufyan said: “By Allaah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labelling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about him [i.e. The Prophet] [Sahih Al-Bukhaari: Book of Revelation. Hadeeth Number 7 Vol 1]
Few Reminders From This Hadeeth Regarding Truthfulness
Regarding the statement of Abu Sufyan [radiyallaahu-anhu], “By Allaah! Had I Not Been Afraid of My Companions Labelling Me A Liar, I Would Not Have Spoken The Truth About Him (i.e. The Prophet)’’; Imaam Ibn Hajr [rahimahullaah] stated in Fat-hul Baari that this shows that they [i.e. the pagan Arabs] used to abhor lying [or used to consider it to be an ugly deed] either based on what they followed from the previous revealed laws [i.e. the path of Ibraaheem (alayhis-salaam) etc] or it was something abhorred in relation to their customs. [An Excerpt. For further details, see Fat-hul Baari]