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Moral Teachings of Islam 24 – Truthfulness

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Jamal Badawi

Channel: Jamal Badawi

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Name of God even ever since the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon His servants and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger and servant, I greet you with our usual reading the universal greetings of peace, a greeting that has been used by all of the profits from Abraham through the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu Aleikum which means peace be unto you. I'm your host Hamlet Rashid. Today we have our 24th program in our series, dealing with the moral teachings of Islam. More specifically,

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we'll be talking about acid acidic or truthfulness I think my Arabic is a little bit off and perhaps for my guests will correct my Arabic little later in the program.

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I have joining me as usual on the program, Dr. Jamal, betta. We have St. Mary's University brother Jamal assalamu aleikum. Mahalo.

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Could you start off first of all, perhaps by explaining the importance of truthfulness is a moral virtue in Islam and perhaps you could correct my poor pronunciation with

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what your pronunciation was close enough. It's a sort of set which is translated more or less in English as truthfulness.

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This is a term which is used in the Quran. In perhaps more than 100 places, the set of the word set correspondence and its derivatives in more than 100 place in the Quran, and just select a few of them to shed some light on the meaning and interpretation of the words.

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In the Quran, we find that a sub appears, or just from this as a command to the believers.

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For example, in chapter nine verse 119, says yeah, you have levena M and Papa la akuna, Masada thin, or you believe be God conscious and be among those who are true. That is true in word and deed. Similarly, a widely quoted verse in the Quran Chapter 33, verse 17, yeah, you Alina taco de la kulu, Colin sajida Oh yo believe big, cost conscious, and say, a word of truth or a word that's directed to the right, and truth.

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In the Quran, we find that a set or just witness is presented as one of the main characteristics of true believers, particularly the prophets. In one interesting chapter in the Quran, with the title Mary, chapter, Mary, that's come from the name of Mary, the mother of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him. That's chapter 19, particularly in verses 41 on to find a great deal of praise of many previous prophets. And one of the repeated descriptions for them is that they were just Well, it appears, for example, in respect to talking about Prophet Abraham,

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about prophet Ishmael his first son about Idris in English known as Anak, about Prophet Moses.

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And, in addition to this, we find also in chapter 12, the same term,

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acidic which also means just what is attributed to Prophet Joseph, is be upon him. And we find that also referred to the last of all of these prophets, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as we find, for example, in chapter 39, verse 33, describing him as one ledger of 60, wasabi, he that's Mohammed who brought truth and those who support this truth are rewarded by by God. This does not mean by the way that truthfulness as a quantity is mentioned in the Quran only in praise of prophets because prophets, after all, are the best moderns for human conduct. But it appears also even in praising other people other than profits, other great personalities in history.

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Let me quote you For example, from

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Chapter five, verse 78, a similar type of praise.

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It says,

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Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than an apostle or messenger, many words the apostles that passed away before him. And notice this, his mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their daily food. So Mary, even though she's not regarded in Islam as a prophet, but a mother of a Holy Prophet, she said also described as a woman of truth. And not only this, but you find that the Quran describes believers in general, any sincere believer, as a person who should have this quality of truthfulness, for example,

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in the Quran, in chapter three, verses 15 through 17, it keeps talking about truthful men and trust for women, development and development. So truthfulness has been also one of the main attributes of person who was a true believer, not a person who pay lip service to or claiming to believe.

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Finally, just like to add one more thing, that truthfulness has been so manifests in the characters and life of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, that people called him even before he became prophet called the amine, or the truthful or the trustworthy and even his enemies. At one time, for example, before Abu Sufyan one of his contemporaries became Muslim, he was once asked by the ruler heraclea or Hercules, what does he teach you? And he said, he taught us to worship God, to have prayers, to be truthful, to be chaste and to be kind to our relatives. So truthfulness by his enemies even was admitted as a main characteristics of a prophet like any other prophet in the past.

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Now, like we've done in previous programs, I'd like to take a look at the other side of the coin and ask you about the opposite of truthfulness. What does the Quran and the traditions or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon them say about the opposite of truthfulness? When untrustworthiness orders the attitude of not being true or attitude of lying is mentioned both in the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as one of the worst vices.

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Sometimes lying as a quality is condemned by itself in a certain in certain places in the Quran. At times it is mentioned in Quran or Sunnah to contrast, lying with truthfulness.

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To give you just a few examples in chapter 40, verse 28, it says that God does not guide those who are Muslim cadet transgressors, and liars. In chapter 39, verse three, again, it says God does not guide those who are false and ungrateful. The same quality of lying has been also condemned.

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the saying of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him are plentiful on this question of just witnessing versus lying. I just give you again, a couple.

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In the collection of Hadith by Atman,

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the prophet Mohammed said that the worst betrayal is to tell a lie to brother of yours, while he's trusting you and believes in you and you outline otherwise exploited this just by telling a lie to your friend. In the same reference also same collection by Ahmed.

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It was narrated that there was no worst or most hated act that the Prophet peace be upon in hated more than the attitude of of lying or being untruthful. Indeed, one of the sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him, he considered mind as one of three measures characteristics of a hypocrite, he says, The science of the hypocrites are three, at least in one version, that whenever he speaks, he lies.

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Whenever he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust. So, one of the characteristics of a hypocrite is to tell lies.

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In another famous saying of the Prophet also, he says that, be truthful,

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because just witness leads by way of psychological effect on you. truthfulness, lead to righteousness, and righteousness, lead to paradise. And he said, a person

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tells the truth and keep trying to make sure that it says that this content is written with God's a person of truth.

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And he said, be aware of line because line

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leads to aggression, and excess or sinful excess. And excess leads to the hellfire. And the person lies and tries deliberately to lie until his written with God a liar.

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Not only this, but we find that the Prophet peace be upon him considered also as one form of lying to overpraise other people what you might call caps after polishing, just try to please other people by saying ally to praise them to gain some favor from them and God Of course, legitimate praise for good action fine, but overpraise hypocritically has also been condemned.

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Indeed, in one of his saying, he said, throw the dust in the face of those professional prisoners, people who just make it a point to go praise people and try to get money from them or, or favors.

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Of course, when he says throw the dust doesn't mean literally but is discouraged them don't pay so much attention to what they're saying. He even insisted, even on his deathbed, that don't you try after I die to overpraise me or over glorify Me, I am only a servant of God. And his message, he forbade people from having

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a mosque directly on his tongue. He hated that act, actually, he said that one of the main errors of people behind before you were that they used their the grip of their profits as a place to be, you know,

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to worship.

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Now, according to Islam, other distinctions that are made between the types of untruths are lies, other some types of lies for example, which are regarded as being more serious than others?

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Certainly, first of all, the perhaps the most dangerous and most highly condemned act of lying is to lie on Gods according to the Quran and Sunnah, that is to attribute things to God that He did not say, more specifically for anyone to claim, for example, that God's revealed to him certain scriptures were in fact, this did not take place.

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In fact, one verse in the Quran addresses that issue specifically apply mommy minister Allah because even our kinda here in a year when he would be more

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transgressors than a person who relies on God, and claims that some revelation came to him. And in fact, there was no revelation given to him, or anyone who says that I'm going to reveal or Command things similar to what God has revealed. So this has been very strongly condemned because the harm resulting from this false claim of prophethood, or false claim of Revelation is perhaps the most misleading and could mislead hundreds of millions of people unless really, one has to be quite careful.

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In addition to this, we find also that the Quran mentions for example, in chapter 69, verse 44, on in response or reply to those people who accuse the Prophet peace be upon him, Prophet Muhammad or fabricating the Quran and just claiming it. And it says that if it is true, that he was lying on us, God says, if it's true, that is what he's teaching you is really his own authorship rather than the revelation I repeat to him, I will cause him to die immediately.

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In chapter 42, verse 24, the same thing also

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repeating that it is impossible that this person would have come from any other source other than God and that the Prophet is simply telling the truth. So this is one

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aspect that is very highly condemned to claim falsely.

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A second aspect of lying

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is the one that might affect more people

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and mislead them, not only to lie on guard or claimed revelation, but to claim that the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said something where, in fact it wasn't. The reason being is that the words of the Prophet also are regarded as one form of Revelation.

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That's why he said, the prophets, whoever lies on me deliberately lets him take his seat in the hellfire. And that was one of the factors which contributed to a great deal or great extent, in preservation of the prophetic tradition, because the great majority of people were very careful to communicate the words of the Prophet as uttered by him.

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So this is the I would say the top of acts which are condemned in terms of life.

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And so far, we've discussed the relevance of truth

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On this on the individual level, other other applications of truthfulness or lack of it on the social and political levels. Okay? The basic rule is that the lie is more condemned, and it's worse whenever it harms more people. That's why when the Prophet peace be upon him, for example, says that a person who lies and his lies reach all the horizons that spread around on a large scale

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will be punished very severely, in the Day of Judgment.

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That would apply, for example, to people like politicians, or people who have who have access to the media. If people with this ability to reach large number of people

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spread lies, then the harm would be great. And as such, their punishment definitely would be greater. Indeed, if you get the politician lying, for example, it might lead the country to ruin or war or undue destruction, just because of single lie.

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That aspect also it is that

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getting a false witness

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is considered also as one of the very highly condemned acts of lying. The Quran, for example, in chapter two, verse 283, it says, Do not conceal the witness. And whoever concealed weapons his heart really is tempted with, with sin, not only to concede, but also the worst of lies is to,

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to give a false witness of something that did not happen, which may result in punishment or criminal penalty being applied to someone who's innocent.

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In addition to this application on the political and spiritual or individual life, it applies also to economic life. You might recall in a previous program, we caught it also, the prophet peace be upon him that if people who are buying and selling

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are stressful, God will bless their cells in Bukhari production. For example, He said, it is not legitimate for a believer who's sending some item, knowing that there is some defect, and it's without telling about that defect. like somebody's having a major problem with the transmission of his car, and somebody comes to buy it and say, Oh, it's in perfect shape. I know, no problem. One has to be honest, nothing 10 what defects are there, whatever. So this is also one aspect of, of Christmas.

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Now, how about the situation of,

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or I guess you might call it like small white lies, I think is commonly referred to or not telling the truth, for example, to one small children is frowned upon as well. Well, you see, we have to make a distinction in this respect between two situations.

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One is when a child, small child ask an embarrassing question.

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The other is when the person lied to the child in order to appease him or her just to avoid, you know, get rid of this noise and just tell them anything. Now, in the in the introspects, of the first aspect, you might encounter a question of a child, for example, asking his parents, what did my little brother or sister come? or How was he or she born? Well, even in a case like that, instead of lying, and saying, for example, when the stork brought it in a package last night, or Santa Claus dropped it in your chili last night or something like that. So instead of saying that maybe can give an answer also, that's truthful to the child saying, okay, God's created him in the tummy of his

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mother. And when he grew up, and after, you know, he came out, or God caused him to come out in a very simple way that the child perhaps could understand. So it's possible

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even in situations like that, to try to give a stressful but still simple answer that the child can comprehend. But the other side is founded upon Yes, the other aspect of lying to the child, for example, at any cost, is regarded also as a lie. It gave you some documentation of this.

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One time

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the Prophet peace be upon him was visiting some people. So the person is narrating now he was a child at that time, he said,

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when the Prophet was sitting, my mother called me and said, Hey, can I give you something?

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And he said, before I came, the prophet peace be upon him. Prophet Muhammad asked her, What are you going to give him? She said, I truly I want to give him some dates to eat. He says, okay, you know, if you didn't really actually give him the dates, it would have written a lie against you. She was running her. in another country. This was narrated in Abuja, within the collection of Hattiesburg. He says it's even very

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clearly. He said that if a person say to his, you know, child, come

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I'll give you something, and he does not actually give to him, it would be written against him as alive, echoing the same saying that he said before.

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Now, I think this is very important because many of us undermine the intelligence and understanding of the children, he says on the small child. But I think psychologically and morally, it is very important to be truthful with the children, even if we make mistakes, we have to admit it, because this will generate trust and confidence

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between parents and children.

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And I'm sure you must be familiar with the situation where sometimes, in order to make a point, people may tell us small stories, which are really, they're not real but for educational or recreational purposes they may make tell us pick a story to make a point is this something that's permissible? When the creation itself innocent recreation is nothing that's not frowned upon? In Islam, there's no difficulty with this. And like you said, there are certain stories which might carry some symbolical meaning, you could for example, when you tell the story to children, talk about some fictitious story, but make a good point about some moral lesson. But even then, it is

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preferable. I'm not saying this is condemned, but it is preferable perhaps to refer to actual stories whenever you can have access to them. If you want to make some aspects of the moral behavior, you have lots of information you can refer to actions on the part of the prophets. The sacrifice are offered to sacrifice by Prophet Ibrahim Abraham to his son Ishmael, the truthfulness of the Prophet their perseverance, you can have examples of different gentleness of Prophet Jesus strength of Prophet Moses, justice and kindness of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. You can refer to behavior and actions by a holy people throughout history of people who are really very pious

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people.

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Down line down the history, these are all clear and exactly a clear example that could be used. But of course, when you tell a symbolical story, everybody knows that it is only symbolical or educational. But what I have to really be careful about is the case where people tell

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something that's not true. By attributing false things to other people, like I say, you know, brother, ham, it said such and such things and just start getting the law just to make people less. This is frowned upon because it is you know, it could generate some kind of problem. I could be attributing something even if people laugh, that might hurts the feeling of the person I'm supposedly

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coaching. That's why the Prophet peace be upon him say the one saying intimacy. He says war or punishment, to hear who say the lie just to make people laugh. In another hubby's quoted and he said that I am a leader or in charge of a mansion in the midst of paradise. For those who and included among them, those who leaves or give up or refrain from lying, even if they are

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joking, or if they're taking it in a humorous way. This perhaps might give some notion that one should avoid

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not telling the truth even

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joking. Okay. Well, I guess

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the logical question to ask is, are there any

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exceptions to this obligation seems like an honors obligation to be truthful, are there any exceptions to the obligation to tell the truth?

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I don't know whether you can call it exactly exceptions. But as we described before, the purpose of Islamic law is to safeguard you know, face, life, on a property and so on. And many times the rules are not just for the sake of rules, they are also within a certain frame of moral teaching and moral attitude. And they may be some cases which some people might call exceptions, but not exception in the sense of just convenience that whatever you like you do whatever you don't like you will justify for yourself, but exceptions which are based on legitimate legislative aspects in Islamic law, an example of this a person who might be under compulsion, for example, or threat of losing his life,

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and somebody pushing him well, if he wants to be a martyr, that's fine, but in some cases also, it might not really be worth it at that time.

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to insist on telling the truth, if the person is is oppressed by other stronger power.

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But even then, even in a case like that, we find that the Prophet peace be upon him. encourage people still, to say the truth. He said that even if you feel in a situation, that it might be dangerous for you to say the truth

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Say that was maybe sending, telling that suicide would be one way to save you, or one way to get you out of that difficulty. So it's not just an open thing, even the person would have to judge it and evaluated very carefully. Another exception, suppose a person come to his wife and say, Do you love me, honey? Well, if she happened to be angry, or did not really love him as much as he wanted, and says, No, I don't love you. What's the what's the sense of attending 100%? That's

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the same thing applies also, when if the wife asks her has, I'm not saying if he hates her guts, he should, you know, say, Yo, I die for you, I love you or anything of that sort, but at least to be courteous enough to the feeling of people. And you don't have to tell exactly what

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negative feeling or anger that you might have at one time or another, this might be a reasonable exception, also, because there is no purpose that's being served except to cloud with the whole atmosphere. In the family circle. In case you there's such a problem.

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In some cases, also,

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you might be trying to make peace between two people who are fighting, or really are angry with each other.

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If you insist on telling every bad word that other person said or a said about B and B said about a, how could you do it? Even in this case, if you exaggerate a little bit and say no, what Why are you angry with him? He likes you. I think it was just an a case of anger, an outbreak of, you know, anger or whatever. So dissatisfaction. And you tell the other person why, while you're really angry, I guess he likes you. And this way you can try somehow to bridge the gap and remove the misunderstanding between two people this again cannot be regarded as condemned. In fact, in the collection of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, he said, It is not a liar. He was trying

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to bring peace and reconcile people to each other by communicating on the good things between the two parties.

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There is a special case also that you find in the Quran mentioned in chapter 21, especially from verses 62 on when Prophet Abraham peace be upon him went into the temple where his people had their idols, he broke them out with an axe, put the axe in the hands of the biggest item. When they came and said, Did you destroy our idols, Abraham, or Abraham? He said, No, it is their biggest idol. Don't you see the accidents and of course that was only taunting them and saying you worship something that cannot tempt itself or prevent itself from destruction.

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Well, now, in the few minutes that we have remaining today's program,

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could you give us some idea of some of the fruits some of the benefits that come from this attribute of truthfulness? Well, first of all, truthfulness has been mentioned in the Quran, as related to Eman or to faith in God.

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It is a mentioned as an attribute which enhances the moral character of the believer, because after all, truthfulness is one of the divine attributes, that is one of the attributes of God. For example, in the Quran in chapter four, verse 87, says woman as a document, a lion hadiza, who would be more truthful in words than God. And as the Prophet peace be upon him says that we should as believers try to emulate or take some of the attributes of God, not all of it, of course, because he's a creator, we cannot be creators, but at least some of the other moral attributes such as truthfulness, we should try to emulate that in our lives also.

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The other aspects also is that truthfulness has been mentioned, or at one fruit of truthfulness is having revelation. For example, in chapter 17, verse 105, describes the Quran, the Word of God will lead to Xena, Eliza, tropical hockey whatever has been revealed to you or Muhammad is the truth from the Lord. As we mentioned before, it is one of the characteristics of prophets and pious people.

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In terms of fruits also in the Day of Judgment, the Quran also amply deals with this. For example, in chapter 33, verse 24, it says, The obsidian law Sakina

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that is the day of judgment, God will reward those who are true in word and deed because of the truthfulness. The

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the forgiveness also as one thing that a believer would be aspiring to is connected with, with truthfulness. For example, in chapter 33, verse 35, it talks also about the characteristics of the believers and it says at the end of the Mahabharata and larger an argument that those who are tourists will also God has prepared for them, forgiveness and and

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abundant rewards.

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Finally, if I may just add one more. In chapter four, verse 69. It says, whoever obeys God and His Messenger, he will be among those who are enjoying the bliss of God are the blessings of God among. And Naveen are such the Athena was Shahada, your Salah hain among the prophets, those who are true in words and deeds, with the martyrs and in the company of pious and that's why it ends that this is the best possible company that one could ever Aspire.

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Well my god forgive us all for any moments of untruthfulness we've exhausted our time for today. I'm Thank you for watching our program and invite you back next week we will have our 24th program, our 25th program in this series on moral teachings of Islam. Assalamu alaykum