‘I order you to be truthful..’
From Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radhi allaahu anhu) who said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
I order you to be truthful for verily truthfulness leads to righteousness ( al birr) and verily righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man continues to be truthful and strives for truthfulness until he is written as a truthful person with Allah. Beware of Falsehood, for verily falsehood leads to sinning (al-fujoor) and verily sinning leads to the Fire. And a man continues to tell lies and strives upon falsehood until he is written as a liar with Allah.
[Reported by al-Bukharee (6094) Muslim (105), Ahmed (1/8), Abu Dawood (4989), Malik (16 2/989) at-Tirmidhee (1971 4/347), Ibn Majah (46 1/18), ad- Daarimi (2718 2/210) and the wording is that of Muslim.]
The meaning of the hadeeth.
TRUTHFULNESS; A noble characteristic from the foundations of excellent virtues. By it the life becomes upright and due to it an individual becomes praiseworthy. Truthfulness elevates an individual and raises his rank with Allah and with the people. So he becomes respected in speech, beloved to the people and acceptable as a witness and narrator.
So it is upon you to strive or truthfulness in speech, in aqeedah (belief) and in action. Indeed the noble Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) guided us to this great affair of tarbiyah and in it is the way to cultivate the character, to shape it and to strengthen oneself. This is because mankind strives for beautiful action and speech, one after the other until this repetition has an effect upon his soul and whenever he persists on a particular (good) action then he increase his connection with his soul and thus becomes firm and established in these good actions.
So whoever directs his soul to the stations of the siddiqeen (the truthful), and he makes truthfulness his character, his nature and his disposition and strives for truthfulness in his sayings and actions which are in agreement with each other, then by the help of Allah, he achieves the station of the siddiqeen.
So just as truthfulness is from the foundations of excellent virtues, verily falsehood is from the foundations of depravity and evil manners. By it, the structure of society breaks down and the conduct of affairs becomes disordered and the liar falls in the eyes of people. They do not believe him or rely upon him with regard to acting upon his false narrations and thus the Messanger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) warned us about him.
In the Qur’aan there are many verses denouncing falsehood and commanding avoidance of it and promising a severe punishment for it,
“And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: ‘This is lawful and this is forbidden, so as to invent lies against Allah. Verily those who invent lies against Allah will never prosper. A passing brief enjoyment (will theirs be), but they will have a painful torment.” ( an-Nahl:116-117)
He, the most High, said, “It is only those who believe not in the Ayat of Allah, who fabricate falsehood, and it is they who are the liars.” ( an-Nahl:105)
Is it not shirk and taking rivals, which is the greatest of crimes and sins, the greatest falsehood? And is not hypocrisy, which is worse than clear kufr, nothing but falsehood? And similarly deception in conduct, showing off in actions- are all from the types of falsehood.
So keep far away, O Muslims, from falsehood and develop striving against it in yourself. For falsehood and striving in it is destruction and a decline into the abyss of evil because it urges the individual and leads him into the station of the evil doers. And the evil doers are in the Fire.
Benefits of the Hadeeth
1. The obligation to adhere to truthfulness. He the Most High said, “O you who believe! Fear Allah and be with the ones who are true (in words and deeds)” ( at-Tawbah: 119)
2. The hadeeth contains a great educational principle, which is that whoever wishes to be moulded by lofty characteristics as truthfulness, patience and bravery, them let him strive, pursue and persist in them. So by striving for truthfulness and by adhering to it, he becomes truthful. And by persevering and enduring hardships he becomes patient and one who possesses good manners. By persisting in depravity and striving in it the individual becomes a liar and corrupt.
3. The hadeeth contains a warning from falsehood and a warning against striving in it. Falsehood leads to evil leads to the Fire. We seek Allah’s shelter from Falsehood, evil and the Fire- Ameen.
Taken from Mudhakkirah al-Hadeeth an Nabawee,
by Shaykh Rabee Bin Hadee Umayr al-Madkhalee