Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللہَ وَکُوۡنُوۡا مَعَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۹﴾
‘O believers! fear Allah and be with the truthful.
(Al-Taubah 9, Verse 119)
عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُوْدٍ – رضي الله عنه – عَنِ النَّبِيِّ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قَالَ: «إنَّ الصِّدْقَ يَهْدِيْ إِلَى الْبرِّ، وَإنَّ الْبِرَّ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وإنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَصْدُقُ حَتَّى يُكْتَبَ عِنْدَ اللهِ صِدِّيْقًا. وَإِنَّ الْكَذِبَ يَهْدِيْ إِلَى الْفُجُوْرِ، وَإِنَّ الْفُجُوْرَ يَهْدِي إِلَى النَّارِ، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَكْذِبُ حَتَّى يُكْتَبَ عِنْدَ اللهِ كَذَّابًا». مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيهِ.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Mas’ud – may Allah be pleased with him – reported: The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has stated: Truth leads to piety and piety leads to Jannah. A man persists in speaking the truth till he is enrolled with Allah as a truthful. Lies leads to vice and vice leads to the Fire (Hell), and a person persists on telling lies until he is enrolled as a liar.
Truth breeds Success whereas Lies Bring Destruction
There is a famous proverb in Arabic, “Truth breeds success and safety while lies brings destruction.”
It is mentioned that once Hujjaj bin Yusuf was sitting in his court and was delivering a verdict, that the friends of Abdur Rahman bin Ash’ash should be killed.
One of these people stood up and said, “There is a right which you owe to me.”
Hujjaj asked what this right was and the person replied, “One day Abdur Rahman was insulting you and I defended you.”
Hujjaj then asked him to present his evidence. The person then asked everyone who was present on this occasion to please present their testimony. One of the prisoners mentioned that he was present when this incident had occurred. Hujjaj then ordered that the first prisoner should be released.
He then asked the person who had given testimony, “What had stopped you from coming forward in this regard?”
The person mentioned that he had harboured an old grudge therefore he had delayed. When Hujjaj heard this, he also ordered that this person be freed as well because he had presented his evidence in a very brave fashion.
Merit of Truth:
One should hold fast to truth. The reason is that there is nothing more powerful as a weapon than truth. It is said that truth is respect. Even though at times, to speak the truth causes one to face an embarrassing moment, it must be borne in mind that lies is nothing but disgrace or a cause of eventual disgrace even though for that moment when one speaks lies, it may seem that one has achieved something good. It is also said that when a person becomes a habitual liar, even when he speaks the truth, it carries no weight. It is also said that truth is the scale of Allah Almighty on which is based justice and equality. And lies is the scale of Satan on which oppression and tyranny revolves on.
Some learned people have stated, “If an intelligent person, due to gaining respect and stature refrains from speaking lies, then this would indeed be his greatness. Ibnus Samaak has also mentioned that he refrains from speaking lies because he naturally despises this habit.”
Ibnus Samaak’s full name is Abd bin Ahmed Abu Zarr Ansaari Herawi – may Allah be pleased with him. He was a great scholar of Hadith and considered among the authorities on Maliki Fiqh. He lived In Herat, Afghanistan and passed away at that place in 434 A.H.
The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated, “Below the heavens and on earth, there is no one truthful in word (and speech) than Abu Zarr.”
Who was Abu Zarr – may Allah be pleased with him?
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Zarr’s – may Allah be pleased with him – actual name was Jandab bin Janaadah and he was from the tribe of the Bani Ghifaar. He is also considered as one of the foremost of Muslims and was unmatched in speaking the truth. During the beginning of the rule of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr – may Allah be pleased with him – he moved to Syria and settled in one of the villages. He continued to live in this little village and was considered a great Zaahid or ascetic. He also lived a very simple and ordinary life. He never kept any wealth in his house and continued to help the poor and destitute. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Zarr – may Allah be pleased with him – also passed away in Madina Shareef. (Hayaatus Sahaabah)
This is also considered a Hasan Hadith. Imam Ahmed and Imam Tirmidi – may Allah be pleased with him – has also recorded this Hadith Shareef from Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Amar bin Aas – may Allah be pleased with him. Imam Tirmidi – may Allah be pleased with him – has also recorded from Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Zarr – may Allah be pleased with him – through many other narrators and has mentioned that this is a Sahih Hadith. One can refer to Jaami’ul Usul and Jamia Sagheer by Imam Suyuti – may Allah be pleased with him.
It is reported that once Hishaam bin Malik went to visit the Khalifah Mansur. When Mansur saw him, he said, “O Abul Manzar! Do you remember that once my brother and I came to visit you and at that time you were living in the city of Rai. When we were leaving you, our father said to us, ‘I advice you sternly to be good to this person. You should remember his greatness and there will continue to be goodness in your nation has long as this person is alive.’”
However, Hishaam replied that he could not remember this incident. In fact, as a matter of principle, he made it clear that he could not remember such a great compliment even though he was standing in front of the leader of the Muslims. At the same time, he did not even fear the repercussion of what he was saying.
Some of his friends who were near him at that time also reprimanded him on how he could actually say something like this in front of the Khalifah. However, he mentioned to them that he was speaking the truth and that he certainly did not remember anything. There is no doubt that Allah Almighty has hidden great reward in speaking the truth no matter what the circumstances are.
Similarly, it is Waajib upon every Muslim to speak the truth and he should not concern himself of what people say in this regard.
Hishaam bin Urwah ibn Zubair bin Awwaam Qarashi Asadi – may Allah be pleased with him –was considered as one of the leading Taaba’een of his era. His title was “Abu Manzar.” He was also considered to be among the leading ‘Ulama of Madina Shareef and an authority in Hadith. He was born in Madina Shareef and then left for Baghdad Shareef. He was considered as one of the close friends of Khalifah Mansur. (‘Alaam)
Reward for delivering the Truth
‘Uthman bin Ata Khurasani narrates:
Once my father and I went to meet Hishaam bin Abdul Malik who was the Ruler at that time. As we neared his court, we noticed a very simple person who was riding a black donkey. His kameez was very old. His jubbah was also in an extremely poor state. His old hat had become stuck to his head and his saddle was made from plain wood.
When I saw this person, I wanted to laugh, and I asked my father who this villager was. However, my father looked at me and scolded me. He told me to be quiet. He also informed me that this was the king of the Jurists of the Hejaz and his name was Ata bin Abi Rabah.
I then remained silent. When Ata bin Abi Rabah came near us, my father jumped off his donkey and he did the same. They then warmly and respectfully embraced each other and greeted each other. They both then approached the court of Hishaam bin Abdul Malik. While we were sitting outside, both (my father and the eminent Imam) were immediately called inside by the court attendants.
After some time, my father appeared from inside the Royal Court. I then asked my father what had happened, and he replied, “When Hishaam bin Abdul Malik was informed that Ata ibn Abi Rabah wanted to meet him, he immediately called him inside the court. By Allah! It was in fact through him also, that I was also able to meet the Ruler. When Hishaam saw him, he warmly welcomed him and continued to call him forward until he stood in front of the Ruler. Hishaam then pleaded to him to sit next to him. They sat so close to one and other that their knees touched. At that moment, eminent people were also trying to talk to Hishaam, however he ignored everyone and spoke to the eminent Shaikh.
He asked, “O Abu Mohammed! What purpose has brought you here today? If there is anything that I can do, I am willing to fulfil this command.”
The great shaikh replied, “O Ameerul Mo’mineen! The people of the Haramain Shareefain are indeed the guests of Allah azza wajal and the neighbours of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. Please make sure that they are financially supported and aided.”
Hishaam then ordered the Clerk of the Court to make sure that one year of financial aid be given to these people. Hishaam then asked, “O Abu Mohammed! Is there something else which I can do for you?”
The great Saint replied, “The people of the Hijaz are indeed very courageous. They are in fact the true Arabs and the leaders of the Muslims. Please return their Sadqah which they have given in excess.”
Hishaam then ordered the clerk to immediately put this into action. Hishaam then asked him whether he had another request, he replied, “The people on the border are the people who are protecting this country. They are also defending this country against the enemies. Please send food and provision to them because if they are destroyed, no one will protect these borders.” Hishaam then ordered that grain and other provision be immediately be sent to them.
He asked nothing for himself!
Hishaam was also fully aware of the poor and destitute state of the great Sheikh and was waiting for him to ask for something for himself and his family. However, his thoughts proved wrong. The great Sheikh did not come with any of his own personal requests, he only approached the Muslim leader with the idea of helping others. The Muslim leader then asked him whether he had any other advice and he replied, “Yes O Ameerul Mo’mineen. Do not place too much of work and stress upon the Dhimmis (those who are under Muslim protection in a Muslim country). Whatever they give you in taxes, these are also used to fight your enemy. Therefore, it would be very helpful for you if you were much kinder to them.”
The leader of the Muslim then instructed that the instruction of the great Sheikh be also adhered to.
The leader of the Muslims again turned to the great Sheikh and asked, “O Abu Mohammed! Is there something else you would like to say or ask for?”
The great Sheikh looked directly at Hishaam and declared something which was to be a lesson for all future leaders of Islam. He declared, “O Hishaam! have fear for Allah azza wajal in your heart. Remember, you were born alone and you will be placed alone in the grave and when you give account for your actions in this world, you will also be alone and all these subjects whom you see around you, none of them will be present.”
Hishaam lowered his head and began to weep. His tyranny of the past came back to worry him. At that moment, the great Sheikh awoke and left the court.
As he neared the door of the court, a small pouch of money was handed to him. He then said to the person, “My son! I do not know how much of money is in this pouch.” However, the person replied that this was given to him as a gift by the Ameerul Mo’mineen. Everyone thought that he would be extremely happy and joyous at receiving this gift, however he smiled and said, “I do not accept any payment for delivering the word of truth. My reward is with Allah azza wajal.”
Everyone was a witness to the fact that the great Sheikh did not even drink a glass of water and did not even take a single thing from this court. As he came, that is how he departed. At the same time, he did not have any fear in delivering his message.
It must be borne in mind that Hadrat Shaikh Ata bin Abi Rabah bin Aslam bin Safwaan Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was considered as an eminent Taaba’een and a most notable Jurist. He was also an African and was once a slave. He was born in Yemen and lived in Mecca Shareef. He was also considered as an eminent Mufti and Muhaddith in Mecca Shareef. He passed away in Mecca Shareef in the year 114 A.H. (Al ‘Alam)
This was the quality of the great Mashaa’ikh of the past. Whenever they entered the court of any rich and powerful person, they only did so with the intention of giving advice and nothing else. They never spoke for their own good but only for the good of the Ummah. They also never accepted any gifts from the people in power. This is the reason that the ‘Ulama of the past were so highly respected among the rich and powerful unlike the present day.
In the Hadith Shareef, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “Whatever secret a person keep, Allah azza wajal adorns him with the shawl of that secret. If the secret is noble, then the shawl is also noble and if the secret is evil, then the shawl is also evil”.
This Hadith Shareef has been recorded by Ibn Abid Dunya in the “Al Ikhlaas” from Hadrat Sayyiduna /Uthman Ghani Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. Imam Ahmed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu etc, have recorded this from Hadrat Sa’ad Radi Allahu ‘Anhu with a few different words. The Sanad of this Hadith Shareef is also considered as Hasan.
(Refer to Khashful Khifaa, Hadith #2473)
They Spoke Truth to the Kings:
Ahmed bin Ali Basir narrates that one day the Khalifah of Baghdad, namely Mutawakkil billah, called all the ‘Ulama to his court including Allama Ahmed bin Ma’dal. When all of these ‘Ulama had entered the court, only at that time did the Khalifah enter the court in his royal pomp and splendor.
When everyone saw the Khalifah entering the court, they all stood up in respect except for Allama Ahmed bin Ma’dal. He continued to sit. When the Khalifah saw this, he called his close aid, Ubaidullah, and asked him angrily, “Has he not sworn loyalty and allegiance to me? Does he not accept me as the leader of the Muslims?”
Ubaidullah replied, “Why not! Yes indeed! His eyes are not that good and perhaps he did not notice you entering the palace.”
When Allama Ahmed bin Ma’dal heard this reply, he said in a loud voice, “No! I am not blind. However, I have saved you from the Divine Punishment of Allah. The reason is that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, ‘One who likes to receive standing ovations from others, should prepare for himself a place in the fire of hell.’”
When the Khalifah heard these words, he silently came towards the great scholar and sat next to him and did not say a word.
These incidents prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the ‘Ulama of the past did not fear any political power or force, When it came to speaking the truth, no amount of pressure could move them away.
This is also one of the reasons that many of these eminent ‘Ulama were killed by these tyrant rulers of their day. But still, it did not stop others from speaking the truth who came later.
Among these ‘Ulama was also the great Mujaddid of his period, namely Hadrat Shaikh Mujaddid Alif Thani – may Allah be pleased with him. This brave Saint and scholar stood like a rock against the evil teachings of Sultan Muhammad Akbar and even Sultan Jahangheer. He spent his entire life writing against these evil beliefs and spoke extensively about the evil of these two Sultans.
During the era of Sultan Jahangheer, Hadrat Shaikh Mujaddid Alif Thani – may Allah be pleased with him – was a special target of insult by the Sultan. He was also called to the palace and Hadrat Shaikh Mujaddid Alif Thani – may Allah be pleased with him – was insulted in public on many occasions. However, on every occasion, his answers completely stunned the Sultan and he was speechless. However, in his greed for power, the Sultan also had him imprisoned in the fort at Ghawlior.
When Hadrat Shaikh Mujaddid Alif Thani – may Allah be pleased with him – saw the tyranny of the Sultan, he gladly accepted whatever punishment came his way and continued to speak bravely in support of the true teachings of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah.
It is mentioned that he had thousands of Mureeds. In fact, some of the officials in the royal court were also some of his Mureeds. If he wanted, with one single sign, he could have capsized the court of Sultan Jahangheer, but this was not his purpose in life. His mission in life was to support Islam and because of this, he wrote and spoke against the evils of Sultan Muhammad Akbar and Sultan Jahangheer. These were people who tried their level best to corrupt Islam to such an extent that it would become pleasing to the Hindu masses.
Some of their teachings were completely against the Shari’ah of Islam. When Sultan Jahangheer saw the reaction of people and noticed that most of them were displeased that he imprisoned such a great scholar, he came back to his senses and had Hadrat Shaikh Mujaddid Alif Thani – may Allah be pleased with him – released. He also called him to the royal court with great respect. He then pleaded for forgiveness and also became his Mureed. He also pleaded to the scholar to keep his son, Shah Jehan, in his company and educate him further.
Truth of Sayyiduna Ghaus Azam:
When Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam was eighteen years old, his mother sewed forty dinars under the arm of his coat before he left to study in Baghdad, a city in Iraq. She bid him farewell and advised him to always speak the truth in his life, no matter what happens. He promised her that he would do exactly that. Then he set off for Baghdad.
In those days, people traveled in caravans drawn by camels. The roads were dangerous, and people were prone to life threatening robberies. People travelled in groups to ensure their safety. Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam’s caravan reached the city of Hamdaan safely but when they left Hamdaan and passed through the forest, they were attacked by a band of robbers. The leader of this band was a well-known robber, Ahmad Badwi.
The travelers were forced to give up all their belongings to the robbers, who shared it amongst each other. One of the robbers came to Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam and asked him if he had any valuables on him. Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam replied that he had forty dinars with him. The robbers did not believe him, but the leader Ahmad Badwi asked to see Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam.
When Ahmad Badwi asked Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam if he had any valuables on him, he gave the same answer he gave before, that he had forty dinars on him. The leader of the band of robbers asked for the forty dinars. Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam calmly showed him where his mother had hidden the money for him. Ahmad Badwi and his robbers were shocked at Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam. Ahmad Badwi asked him, “If none of us knew you had the money, why did you show us where it was hidden?” Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam replied, “When I left for Baghdad, I promised my mother that I will never speak a lie under any circumstance so I could not break my promise to my mother.”
Upon hearing this, Ahmad Badwi felt extreme shame and began to weep. He asked for forgiveness from Allah immediately and returned all the belongings to the people. The rest of his gang did the same.
- Siddiq (truthful) and Kadhdhab (liar) both are adjectives of intensive degree i.e. the words stand respectively for someone whose truth has become his second nature; and in the opposite case, one is a liar who is in the habit of telling lies.
- As one acquires a reputation in this world for his good or bad deeds similar is his position before Allah.
- One who is ranked among the truthful with Him is entitled to reward, and if one is a liar, he has to suffer retribution for it.
- This Hadith provides incentive for truthfulness because it is a source of every good deed and contains a warning against lying as it gives rise to all kinds of mischief.