Sunday, January 23, 2011
Being truthful is something that is almost lost in this time. We have experienced so many people who have left truthfulness. It is almost as if it does not matter in this world anymore. Yet, this is something that is so intrinsic to Islam. One of the Prophet’s (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) names before Islam was 'the truthful.'
So why do we ignore this? The fourth chapter of Imam Nawawi’s great work Gardens of the righteous/Riyad As-Saliheen is truthfulness. There is also a section in Bustan Al-Arifeen/ Garden of the gnositics. As well as many other works that have been written about this subject.
One of point of Islamic belief is that all the Prophets are truthful because if there we not then how could we believe what they claim? Being truthful is part of prophecy.
Why am I typing about something that nobody is concerned with? Isn’t that part of my job to make you think and ponder. Not only you but to make myself think and realise that there are some actions that I cannot keep doing. We are living in times where is easier to lie than tell the truth and easier to make things up then admit the embarrassing truth because it makes us look small. We are not asking people to humiliate themselves we are talking about people speaking truthfully.
Is it not strange that people who have told the truth sometimes end up dead?
Where are we headed if we are not telling the truth?
Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, “Truth leads to goodness; goodness guides to Paradise; a man is truthful until he is recorded, with Allah, as truthful. Falsehood leads to immorality; immorality leads to hell; a man tells lies until he is recorded, with Allah, as a lair.” (Bukhari 10/423 and Muslim 2607).
Look at this great virtue that is almost lost these days. I have met so many people in the last few months that I have seen through and the attribute that made them clear is the truth. So many people think that they are truthful but how few are. So many people think there are on the side of truth but really they are on the side of lies. They lie to you they lie to me and they lie to themselves but they cannot lie to Allah because he knows it all. So who are you trying to cheat? Because you can lie to me but you cannot hide the lies. So why are you cheating yourself?
We also understand that there are books that people are recorded in, if they are persistant on a course of action or virtue. How wonderful it would be to be considered a person of truth.
Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, “Truth is tranquillity.” (At-Tirmidhi 2520).
Even though truth can be bitter it also sets you free because it frees the burden placed on the soul when it is asked. It also removes the internal dialogue that comes with lies because lies can eat you up like termites eat parchment!
There is popular English saying, 'Speak the truth and shame the devil.'
Hirqal asked Abu Sufyan, “What were you ordered to do?” He said, “To worship Allah alone without associating anything to him; leave what your fathers say; he ordered us to pray, to truth, gentleness and maintaining family ties.” (Bukhari 1/30 and Muslim 1773).
The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) was known for being truthful and that is what he commanded his followers with truthfulness. The truthful one came with the truth and ordered truthfulness. It is funny to note that a speaker once asked me about the topic that he should speak about and I said truthfulness. He nodded then went away and when the talk occurred he proceeded to bash an unnamed group that’s another one of those who speak without realising what will benefit others! He wasn’t truthful to what he asked, so why ask?
There are situations that a Muslim can lie these are in war because war is deception, a man to his wife and to bring two parties together.
English dictionary definition
One of the interesting definitions in the dictionary is that being truthful is being close to the true value of something. (http://www.dicts.info/define.php?word=truth) How true that is!
Imam Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) states the following about truthfulness, “Know that the word truthfulness is used in six ways (meanings), truthfulness in speech, truthfulness in intention and desire, truthfulness in determination, truthfulness in loyalty with determination, truthfulness in action, truthfulness in the realisation of all the stations of the religion.” (Ihya Ul-Ulum Ad-Deen Vol 4. P.515).
The above explains all the spheres, in your life, that need truthfulness
Being truthful is intrinsic to faith because faith is described as affirmation on the tongue with sincerity in the heart. Without truthfulness a person faith is just empty words. Its truthfulness that brings those words to life.
One of the other person who was known for his truthfulness is Abu Bakr the Truthful. He is the best this nation for what? Prayers, fasts or actions? No. He is the best because of his truthfulness and is the closet station to the Prophets. What a great station and this is open for us all.
As students we look for truth and we have to accept it when we find even though it can be difficult to accept truth from people we do not like, it is still there. Courts, lawyers, governments are in need of truth but sometimes hypocrisy can be seen for miles and we can see something is wrong when the truth is not upheld.
We expect truth to prevail and it will maybe not in this world but in the next and that is what the day of judgement is all about. All those things that we were truthful about will manifest and all falsehood will vanish. The other day I saw a man wearing an end is nigh type board he was smiling so I smiled back. We don’t know when it is coming but we know that it’s true.
The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, “A truthful merchant is with the Prophets, the truthful and the martyrs.” (At-Tirmidhi).
It’s not easy to tell the truth but then again if was easy the great rank would not given for its utterance.