Matters of the Heart – The Permissibility of Lying

Matters of the Heart – Notes 

Dr. Omar Faruq Abd-Allah

From Imam Al-Ghazali “Wonders of the Heart”

Subject:  Permission to lie and Permission to use misleading words

What you say has an effect on what you are and what you become.

We live in a time of linguistic chaos.  People don’t use words the way they mean.

Be careful of words.  Use articulate speech.

Lying is haram.  It is hateful to Allah, the angels, and the Messenger (saw) because of the harm it produces.

There are exceptions about lying.

Do not tell your spouse you don’t love them.

Do not tell someone looking to harm another where their object is.

We are obligated to withhold the truth if the truth will cause great harm to someone.

Avoid hateful words, even if they are true.

Kadarah – ugly things that should not be said.

You can only lie when something is to be avoided.

Speak in your heart before you speak with your tongue.

Most people lie for personal gain.

The greatest lie of all is to lie against Allah and the Prophet (saw).

No woman is known to have ever fabricated a hadith.

It is important to learn to say “I don’t know.”

Do not lie about your dreams.  Be careful about to whom you tell your dreams.

Do not lie about miraculous things that happened (karamat).

The greatest of firiya (ugly lie) is to lie about someone’s lineage (who is their father or mother).

Ta’areed – sort of like a pun or using misleading words.  This is acceptable.  An example was given about an Italian woman using a phrase buona parte, which is pronounced the same as Bonaparte (as in Napolean) to whom she was answering a question.

The Foundation of speech is to keep silent unless something good is to be told.

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