Lying from the perspective of Islam

Given that lying is one of the greater sins and is in fact the key to other sins, man should ‎always avoid it.‎

According to rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website): Given that lying is one of the greater sins and is in fact the key to other sins, man should ‎always avoid it.‎

Question:‎ In what cases has Islam considered lying to be expedient and permissible?‎

Response:‎ Given that lying is one of the greater sins and in fact is the key to other sins, man should ‎always avoid it but sometimes this greater sin is allowed and sometimes becomes ‎obligatory. Therefore, it is obligatory for us to know the conditions in which lying is ‎permissible or obligatory. ‎

We bring some of these cases which are mentioned in the books of fiqh al-istidlali ‎‎(demonstrative jurisprudence):‎

‎۱٫ Necessity and urgency: If the protection of the life and property of a person or a ‎religious brother can be stopped by lying, man can lie because such a lie preserves the life ‎and property of a respected person and the importance of the holy shari’ah concerning the ‎life and property of Muslims is an obvious and indisputable matter.‎

There are several reasons for permitting lying in cases of necessity and urgency, one of ‎these reasons is the holy verse of the Holy Quran, “Excepting someone who is compelled ‎‎[to recant his faith] while his heart is at rest in it, those who disbelieve in God after ‎‎[affirming] their faith and open up their breasts to unfaith, God’s wrath shall be upon them ‎and there is a great punishment for them.” [۱]

With faith – yes, those who open their hearts to accept disbelief, the wrath of God is upon ‎them and a great punishment awaits them!‎

This blessed verse indicates that expressing disbelief is not forbidden out of compulsion and ‎reluctance, but out of necessity and saving one’s life.‎
‎ ‎
In another verse, God says: “The faithful should not take the faithless for allies instead of ‎the faithful, and God will have nothing to do with those who do that, except when you are ‎wary of them, out of caution. God warns you to beware of [disobeying] Him, and toward ‎God is the return.” [۲] According to this verse of the Quran, if a person clearly sees that if he ‎does not express friendship with the disbelievers, his life and rubbing will be in danger, then ‎here, expressing love to them is permitted. That is, in principle, expressing love and ‎guardianship for the disbelievers is forbidden and can even cause them to leave the religion ‎but it is not forbidden in the position of necessity and the protection of life.‎

The narrations also convey this theme: “Nothing is forbidden unless God Almighty has made ‎it lawful for the distressed person.” [۳] ‎

‎۲٫ Reform among the believing brothers: One of the places where lying is permissible is ‎the will to bring about reform between two people, and through this, if two people or two ‎tribes or clans have ambiguity and enmity with each other and someone comes to make ‎peace between them, and lies with this intention, he has not done anything forbidden. There ‎is a lot of information in this regard. [۴] In a narration from the Holy Prophet of Islam ‎‎(Muhammad), it is stated: “Oh Ali! God loves a lie that is made on the path of reform among ‎the people and hates the lie that causes corruption.” [۵] And in another narration from ‎Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, it is stated: “A reformer is not considered a liar.” [۶] Imam Khomeyni ‎has relied on these two narrations to allow lying in cases of reforming.‎ [۷]

‎۳٫ Deception in war: In the battle between right and wrong, deception and clever ‎deception deceive the enemy, strengthens the right and the wrong weakness, and is ‎therefore acceptable. In a narration of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq from the Prophet, it is stated: ‎‎“In three cases, it is a good lie, including three cases of deception and deception in war.” ‎And in another narration, it is stated: “Every lie is questioned and interrogated except in three ‎cases, one of which is deception in the war.” [۸]‎

Summary and conclusion: In general, in any case where a lie is told and its purpose is to ‎ward off evil and harm from a Muslim or the goal is to reform among the people, not only is ‎lying not forbidden, but it is beautiful and pleasing because this lie is no longer the key to ‎sins, but goodness and kindness to people. Of course, such a lie is also permissible and ‎acceptable when it is not possible to tell the truth, in which case lying becomes permissible ‎or obligatory, and telling the truth is prohibited or forbidden.‎

In conclusion, it should be noted that expedient lying is possible only in the above cases, i.e. ‎cases where leaving it causes restrictions and losses that are impossible to compensate but ‎lying for the purpose of material use or for personal gain and the like is not a part of ‎expedient lying and it is definitely forbidden and subject to the verses and narrations of the ‎sanctity of lying and it will cause humiliation and misery in this material world and the ‎hereafter.‎


‎۱٫ Holy Quran 16:106 ‎
‎ ‎مَن كَفَرَ بِاللَّـهِ مِن بَعْدِ إِيمَانِهِ إِلَّا مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَـٰكِن مَّن شَرَحَ بِالْكُفْرِ صَدْرًا ‏فَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

‎۲٫ Holy Quran 3:28‎
‎ ‎لَّا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا ‏أَن تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّـهِ الْمَصِيرُ‎ ‎

‎۳٫ ‎ما من شي‌ء إلّا و قد أحلّه اللّه لمن اضطرّ إليه‎”‎
See: Shaykh Ansari, Murtadha, “al-Makasib,” Qom, Shaykh Ansari World Congress, I, 1415 ‎AH, vol. 2, pp. 21-31.‎

‎۴٫ Shaykh Ansari, “al-Makasib,” vol. 2, pp. 31-32.‎

‎۵٫ al-Hurr al-Amili, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, “Wasail al-Shi’ah,” Qom, Ahl al-Bayt Institute, ‎vol. 12, p. 252.‎

‎۶٫ al-Hurr al-Amili, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, “Wasail al-Shi’ah,” vol. 12, p. 252.‎

‎۷٫ Imam Khomeyni, “al-Makasib al-Muharramah,” Qom, Institute for Organizing and ‎Publishing the Works of Imam Khomeyni, I, 1415 AH, vol. 2, p. 138.‎

‎۸٫ al-Hurr al-Amili, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, “Wasail al-Shi’ah,” vol. 12, p. 252.‎


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