In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.
Love for All, Hatred for None.
SUMMARY OF FRIDAY SERMON
by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
December 19th, 2003
Significance of Truthfulness
In the Holy Quran, Allah reminds us to become righteous and truthful at many different occasions. Allah has sent Prophets to different nations to remind those who have gone astray to acquire the straight path and become closer to Allah. This path is always founded upon the principals of truthfulness and has been the fundamental message of all Prophets. The Holy Prophetsaw was sent down to complete the message of all previous religions and hesaw expounded upon the intricacies of all matters simple and complex. The Holy Quran was revealed to himsaw, which again reminds us to become righteous and follow the straight and the truthful path. The easiest course towards Taqwa is to follow the path of truthfulness. If we look around us, we will find that the message of the Holy Prophetsaw is the most truthful, therefore it would be wise to follow hissaw teachings and set ourselves on the right path. As Ahmadis, we should feel most fortunate and be grateful to Allah that He has made us followers of the Messiah and Mahdias who has elaborated upon the minutest details of Islamic teachings and explained, in simple terms, this beautiful and truthful religion.
The Promised Messiahas explained that the Holy Quran, as a religious book, expands upon the topic of truthfulness as no other Holy Book. He has even challenged the followers of Christianity to bring a comparable passage to the Holy Quran on this topic and he would be rewarded, but none dared. Huzuraba reminded us that the Holy Quran equates lying to shirk (idol worship). So much emphasis has been laid on speaking the truth that we as Muslims are held grandly responsible for assimilating this virtue in our daily lives. Huzuraba related a Hadith that the Holy Prophetsaw was reported as saying that the gravest sins are committing shirk, disobeying one’s parents, lying and giving false testimony. He repeating the last two several times to lay emphasis.
The Promised Messiahas relates shirk to lying, in fact, they are one and the same. Today the condition of the world is very fragile. False cases in the courts have become customary, just as producing false witnesses and false evidence. Such practices are not based on Quranic teachings. A man gives rise to idols within his heart based on falsehood. An idol worshipper is a fool who bows before an idol thinking that he will be saved by it. Similarly, he takes refuge in lying, thinking that a lie will protect him, but he is wrong.
Huzuraba also gave examples of professional people (lawyers, doctors, professors, businessmen) who seek protection in lying and cheating people. Such lies cause the decay of a nation as a whole. Huzuraba warned that Ahmadis should refrain from any such practices. They should be reputed only for moral qualities and nothing else. They should also inculcate the importance of truthfulness in their children and teach them to do Jihad against falsehood.
After a person accepts Ahmadiyyat and adopts the conditions of Bai’at as his way of life, lying becomes shirk because if we think we can get away with such an immoral practice, then we are actually betraying Allah. A hadith of the Holy Prophetsaw reminds us that Iman (faith) and Kufr (disbelief) cannot reside in the same heart just as truth and falsehood cannot be found in the heart together at the same time. Sometimes, people proliferate hearsay, which amounts to lying, just to take pleasure from it. We should continually assess our souls and cleanse ourselves from indulging in such habits. Another Hadith reminds us that if you promise a child a reward and fail to keep that promise, then you have surely lied to the child. Since we are responsible for the tarbiyyat of our children, we must teach them to hate the habit of lying and instill the love for the truth. Sometimes, people lie about their personal contacts with their superiors or about their material possessions to establish a higher status for themselves in the society. This is also a lie.
Another Hadith of the Holy Prophetsaw enumerates four characteristics a hypocrite possesses:
If we reflect upon this Hadith, we find that all the four characteristics are linked to deceit and lying. Some people don’t lie explicitly, but their talk is so convoluted that it can be interpreted in many ways by the audience, which causes disputes in interpersonal relations. When the Nizam-e-Jama’at tries to resolve the issue, the underlying reason is found out to be a lie, but the alleged person denies such accusations and twists his words to mean something else. Therefore, Huzuraba reminds us that we must use straight and simple speech, which causes no misunderstandings amongst the community members.
The second characteristic of a hypocrite is that he is untrue to a pact he makes. The practice of the Holy Prophetsaw was such that because of the accord between the disbelievers of Makkah and the Muslims of Madinah, he would return any migrants from Makkah who came to Madinah back to the disbelievers, however battered their condition was, only to honor his word. Today, the condition of even the advanced nations is such that they make pacts and don’t stand up to their word. Muslims are advised to refrain from such treachery lest you become a hypocrite. In the context of a husband-wife situation, each spouse is responsible to fulfill his/her own set of duties. The better they remain true to their part of the pact, the better the society becomes. Sometimes, it is sad to note that a girl from a Western country sponsors her spouse from Pakistan/India/Bangladesh, only to find out that as soon as his immigration paperwork is complete, he starts to become disloyal to his part of the pact, no matter how far advanced their marriage is. This is most unfortunate and we should assess our own condition repeatedly.
Breaking the promise is another immoral characteristic of a hypocrite. Every so often, the intention at the time of making the promise is never to fulfill it at all. Such a person benefits from the situation and when comes time to execute the promise, he tells another lie by making up an excuse. The Holy Prophetsaw calls such a person a hypocrite, which is a bigger sin than Kufr.
A hypocrite also uses foul language. The persecutors of Ahmadis have this trait because they are liars. Such liars have no solid refutations to base their attacks on Ahmadis, therefore they shout and scream strings of abuses and insults, and when we further explore the character of such liars, we find even more traits of hypocrisy. Ahmadis should be very careful and should not slander one another. In case of a disaccord, the Islamic teaching is to be the first to extending the message of agreement. Hazrat Musleh Mauoodra advises us to stay away from falsehood because it destroys spirituality and drives a believer towards shirk. A liar is not only a sinner, but an enemy and destroyer of humanity and its values. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to combat this evil.
The Holy Quran tells us that a hypocrite will endure the severest of all punishments in Hell because he not only causes harm to disbelievers, but also to his fellow Muslim brethren. A nation that thinks that it can prosper despite its inherent habit of falsehood is comparable to a child who thinks he can reach the stars and the moon. The fact of the matter is that no nation can ever prosper without truthfulness.
Huzuraba quoted several of the Promised Messiahas’s teachings in conclusion. The Promised Messiahas says that a truthful person is courageous, whereas a liar leads a cowardly life. He also reminds us that we should speak the truth even if we feel that it will cause harm to our own lives or to our beloved relatives. One should fervently pray to Allah for His blessing and His Mercy in order to achieve the status of a truthful person. The Promised Messiahas also reminds us that lying is forbidden no matter what the situation is. May Allah help us in becoming the perfect exemplar of truthfulness and strengthen us as a nation, Ameen.