Chapter 4: Truthfulness
allah, the exalted, says:
"o you who believe! be afraid of allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds)". (9:119)
"...the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds)..". (33:35)
"...then if they had been true to allah, it would have been better for them". (47:21)
54. abdullah bin mas`ud (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "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. falsehood leads to vice and vice leads to the fire (hell), and a person persists on telling lies until he is enrolled as a liar".'
commentary: siddiq (veracious) and kadhdhab (liar) both are adjectives of intensive degree. that is to say, 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.
55. hasan bin `ali (may allah be pleased with them) said: i remember (these words) from messenger of allah (pbuh): "give up what is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful; for truth is peace of mind and falsehood is doubt".
commentary: this hadith leads us to the conclusion that one must always avoid doubtful things so that he does not do anything unlawful. this message is repeated in another hadith which says that he who has saved himself from doubts has in fact saved his faith and honour.
56. abu sufyan (may allah be pleased with him) reported, in course of his detailed narration about heraclius when the latter questioned him about the teachings of the prophet (pbuh) he said that: he (pbuh) told (us): "worship allah alone and do not associate a thing with him; and give up all that your ancestors said. "he also commands us to perform salat (prayers), to speak the truth, to observe modesty and to strengthen the ties of kinship.
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: in this hadith an enemy of the prophet (pbuh) acknowledges the veracity of the prophet's teaching, because abu sufyan (may allah be pleased with him) made this admission when he was a pagan. this hadith is mentioned in detail in sahih al-bukhari.
57. abu thabit from sahl bin hunaif (may allah be pleased with him) said: the prophet (pbuh) said: "he who asks allah for martyrdom, allah will raise him to the high status of the martyrs, even if he dies on his bed".
commentary: this hadith highlights the merit and importance of sincere intention which in fact is so great that by virtue of it allah raises a person's status to that of a martyr. on the contrary, persons of foul intention will be consigned to hell by allah even if they die in jihad.
58. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported that the messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "one of the earlier prophets who was out on an expedition proclaimed among his people that no man should follow him who had married a woman with whom he wished to cohabit but had not yet done so, or who had built houses on which he had not yet put the roofs, or who had bought sheep or pregnant she-camels and was expecting them to produce young. he, then, went on the expedition and approached the town at the time of the 'asr prayer or little before it. he then told the sun that both it and he were under command and prayed allah to hold it back for them, so it was held back till allah gave him victory. he collected the spoils and it (meaning fire) came to devour these, but did not. he said that among the people there was a man who stole from the booty. he told them that a man from every tribe must swear allegiance to him, and when a man's hand stuck to his, he said: "there is thief among you and every individual of your tribe must swear allegiance to me". (in course of swearing of allegiance,) hands of two or three persons stuck to his hand. he said: "the thief is among you". they brought him a head of gold like a cow's head and when he laid it down, the fire came and devoured the spoils. spoils were not allowed to anyone before us, then allah allowed spoils to us as he saw our weakness and incapacity and allowed them to us".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
1. in the opinion of imam as-suyuti, the prophet (pbuh) referred to in this hadith was prophet yusha` bin nun (joshua). his conduct shows that it is necessary to make suitable arrangements for the worldly needs of those who are engaged in the cause of allah so that they can concentrate on their struggle without any distraction.
2. the lawfulness of the booty of war fought in the way of allah is a specialty of the muslim ummah. before the advent of islam (the shar'iah of prophet muhammad (pbuh)), the booty of war which was free from dishonesty used to be consumed by fire. this hadith also confirms the miracle of the prophet yusha' (joshua) in which the movement of the sun was stopped until he had conquered the village.
59. hakim bin hizam (may allah be pleased with him) reported that: messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "both parties in a business transaction have a right to annul it so long as they have not separated; and if they tell the truth and make everything clear to each other (i.e., the seller and the buyer speak the truth, the seller with regard to what is purchased, and the buyer with regard to the money) they will be blessed in their transaction, but if they conceal anything and lie, the blessing on their transaction will be eliminated.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: here, the two persons engaged in business are seller and buyer. the word 'right' here means that so far both of them are present at the spot where business is being transacted they have a right to cancel their bargain. in other words, even after the mutual acceptance of the terms of the bargain so long as they are present at the spot they are entitled to cancel the deal until the time they separate from each other. generally, people do not think it permissible to cancel the bargain after it has been settled even though both parties are present there, but this is not correct. their view is contradicted by the hadith.truthfulness is a means of blessings in the business while falsehood and hiding of any defect of the merchandise detract from its blessings.