Chapter of Islamic Manners

Lesson 6 : Lying


Lying is among the sins of the tongue. It is to utter false information while knowing that what one is saying is not the truth. It is sinful (haram) whether done seriously or jokingly.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

لاَ يَصْلُحُ الْكَذِبُ فِي جِدٍّ وَلاَ فِي هَزْلٍ

La yasluhul-kadhibu fi jiddiw wala fi hazl.

Which means: “Lying is not good, whether in seriousness or joking.” (Related by al-Bayhaqiyy.)

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, also said:

إِيَّاكَ وَالْكَذِبَ فَإِنَّ الْكَذِبَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْفُجُورِ وَإِنَّ الْفُجُورَ يَهْدِي إِلَى النَّارِ، وَلاَ يَزَالُ الْعَبْدُ يَكْذِبُ وَيَتَحَرَّى الْكَذِبَ حَتَّى يُكْتَبَ عِنْدَ اللهِ كَذَّاباً

Iyyaka wal-kadhib, fa’innal-kadhiba yahdi ilal-fujur. Wa innal-fujura yahdi ilan-nar. Wala yazalul-^abdu yakdhibu wa yataharral-khadhiba hatta yuktaba ^indallahi kadhdhaba.

Which means: “Do not ever lie, because lying leads to very abhorrent sins, and those in turn lead to Hellfire. One keeps on lying and seeks to do that until one is recorded as a liar in some books of Allah.” (Narrated by Ibn Majah.)

There are many things that are among the sins of the tongue and fall under the category of lying. They include: swearing by Allah to a lie, false testimony, and falsely attributing something to Allah and His Prophet.

1- Swearing by Allah to a Lie: It is one of the major sins. It is for one to swear by Allah to something that is opposite to the truth. An example is if one says, “By Allah, I did such and such” while knowing that one did not do that action. Similarly, if one says, “By Allah I did not do such and such” when one has done it. This is considered using God’s name in vain, which indicates falling short of glorifying Allah properly.

2- False testimony: This is one of the enormous sins. An example is for one to testify in front of a judge that someone stole something while one knows that it did not happen.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

عَدَلَتْ شَهَادَةُ الزُّورِ الإِشْرَاكَ بِاللهِ

^Adalat shahadatuz-zuril-ishraka billah.

Which means: “False testimony is similar to claiming that Allah has partners.” (Related by al-Bayhaqiyy.)

In this hadith the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, likened the false testimony to blasphemy, because both are serious sins. This hadith does not mean that the one who testifies falsely is no longer a Muslim. Rather, it means that such a person is a major sinner.

3- Falsely attributing something to Allah and to His Prophet: This is also among the major sins.

Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an:

وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ تَرَى الَّذِينَ كَذَبُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وُجُوهُهُم مُّسْوَدَّةٌ

Wa yawmal-qiyamati tara-lladhina kadhabu ^alallahi wujuhuhum muswaddah.

Ayah 60 of Suratuz-Zumar means: {On the Day of Judgment, those who lied about Allah will have black faces [out of shame].}

An example of this lying is if someone says: Allah created in such and such a direction a mountain of gold. Although we know that Allah has the power to create it, if this mountain does not exist, this person’s claim is contrary to reality.

Falsely attributing something to the Prophet is when someone lies and says that the Prophet said a statement that he did not say.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

إِنَّ كَذِباً عَلَيَّ لَيْسَ كَكَذِبٍ عَلَى أَحَدٍ، فَمَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيَّ مُتَعَمِّداً فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ

Inna kadhiban ^alayya laysa ka-kadhibin ^ala ahad. Faman kadhaba ^alayya muta^ammidan fal-yatabawwa’ maq^adahu minan-nar.

Which means: “Falsely attributing something to me is not like falsely attributing something to anyone else. Let the one who knowingly lies about me take a seat in Hellfire.” (Related by Muslim.)

Attributing a false matter to Allah may result in blasphemy, like if one claims that Allah made something halal when one knows that it is haram, or vice versa.



1. What is lying?

2. Give a hadith that indicates that lying is still unlawful, whether said seriously or jokingly?

3. What does swearing by Allah to a lie mean?

4. What is meant by the false testimony? Give an example.

5. To what did the Prophet liken the false testimony? Give a hadith and explain its meaning.

6. Give an example of falsely attributing something to Allah. State the proof from the Qur’an that it is unlawful.

7. Give a hadith that indicates that falsely attributing something to the Prophet is unlawful.


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