On the prohibition against lying

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

260. Chapter: On the prohibition against lying

Allah Almighty says, "Do not pursue what you have no knowledge of," (17:36)

and the Almighty says, "He does not utter a single word without a watcher by him, pen in hand." (50:18)

1542. Ibn Mas'ud stated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Truthfulness leads to piety and piety leads to the Garden. A man should be truthful until he is written down as truthful with Allah. Lying leads to deviance and deviance leads to the Fire. A man will lie until he is written down as a liar with Allah." [Agreed upon]

1543. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr is that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If anyone has four characteristics, he is a pure hypocrite, and if anyone has one of them, he has an aspect of hypocrisy until he gives it up: whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust; whenever he speaks, he lies; when he makes an agreement, he breaks it; and when he quarrels, he deviates from the truth by speaking falsely." [Agreed upon]

1544. Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who relates a dream which he has not really had will have to tie a knot between two grains of barley and will not be able to do it. Anyone who listens to people talking when they do not want him to, will have molten lead poured into his ears on the Day of Rising. Anyone who makes an image will be punished and have to breath a spirit into it but will not be able to do it." [al-Bukhari]

1545. Ibn 'Umar reported said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The worst of lies is when a man says his eyes have seen something which they have not seen." [al-Bukhari]

It means that he says he has dreamt what he did not dream.

1546. Samura ibn Jundub said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would often say to his Companions, 'Who among you had a dream last night?' Then anyone who Allah willed would recount his dream. One morning he said to us, 'During the night two men came to me and said to me, "Come on!" So I went with them. We came to a man who was lying on his back while another man was standing over him with a stone which he dropped onto his head and crushed it. Then the stone rolled away from him and he went after the stone to retrieve it. When he returned to him, his head was whole again and had become as it had been in the first place. So he went back and hit him as he had done the first time. I said to them, "Glory be to Allah! Who are these two?" They said, "Go on! Go on!" We went on and came to a man lying on his back and there was another man standing over him with an iron hook. He went to one side of his face and cut open the side of his mouth until it reached the back of his neck and then his nostril to the back of his neck and his eye to the back of his neck. Then he moved to the other side and did the same thing as he had done to first side. When he finished that side, the first side had become whole again. Then he did the same thing all over again." He said, 'I said, "Glory be to Allah! Who are these two?" They said to me, "Go on! Go on!" and we went on until we came upon something like an oven.'" I think he said, "'In it was a babble and shouting. We looked down into it and it contained naked men and women. The flames would come at them from underneath, and when those flames reached them, they cried out. I said, "Who are they?" They said, "Go on! Go on!" and we went on until we came to a river.'" I think that he said, "'Red like blood. In the river there was a man swimming and on the bank of the river was a man who had many stones with him. When that swimmer swam and reached the one who had gathered the stones, he force his mouth open and make him swallow a stone. Then he would begin to swim and would come back to him again. Whenever he came back to him, he forced open his mouth and made him swallow a stone. I said to them, "Who are these two?" They said to me, "Go on! Go on!" and we went on until we came to a man with a repulsive appearance - or the most repulsive man you have ever seen. He was at a fire which he was kindling and which he was running around. I said to them, "Who is this?' They said to me, "Go on! Go on!" and we went on until we came to a green meadow with every type of spring flower in it. There was in the middle of the meadow a man so tall that I could scarcely see his head, so high it was in the sky. Around the man were the greatest number of children I have ever seen. I said, "Who is this? Who are those?" They said to me, "Go on! Go on!" and we went on until we reached a huge tree and I have never seen any tree bigger or more beautiful than it. They said to me, "Climb it." We climbed it and came to a city built of gold and silver bricks. We came to the door of the city and asked for it to be opened and it was opened for us and we entered it. We were met by men half of whose physique was the most beautiful you have ever seen and the other half was the ugliest you have ever seen. The two said to them, "Go and plunge into that river." There was a wide river flowing there whose water was pure white. They went and jumped into it and when they returned to us, that evil had left them and they had the most beautiful form.' He said, 'They said to me, "This is the Garden of Eden, and that is your place." I raised my eyes upwards and there was a castle like a white cloud. They said to me, "This is your place." I said to them, "May Allah bless you, let me enter it." They said, "No, not now. But you will enter it." I said to them, "This night I have seen marvels, but what are these things which I have seen?'" They said to me, "We will tell you. The first man to whom you came whose head was being crushed with the stone is a man who memorised the Qur'an and then abandoned it and slept through the obligatory prayers. As for the man you came to whose jaw was split to his neck, whose nostril to his neck and whose eye to his neck, he was a man who went from his house and told lies which spread everywhere. As for the naked men and women who were in something like an oven, they were adulterers and adulteresses. The man you came to who was swimming in the river and being made to swallow stones used to consume usury. The man with the disagreeable appearance who was at the fire, kindling it and running around it was Malik, the guardian of Jahannam. The tall man in the meadow was Ibrahim. The children who were around him are all those who were born and died in the natural state. [The variant of al-Barqani has, 'born in the natural state.']'"

One of the Muslims asked, "Messenger of Allah, the children of the idolaters as well?" The Messenger of Allah said, "The children of the idolaters as well." '"As for the people who were half beautiful and half ugly, they are the people who mixed righteous actions with evil actions. Allah overlooked them."'" [al-Bukhari]

In one of the variants of al-Bukhari, "But in the night I dreamt that two men came to me and took me by the hand and brought me to the Holy Land." Then he mentioned it and said, "We went on until we came upon a hole like an oven. Its top was narrow and its bottom wide, and there was a fire kindled under it. When the flames flared up, the people were lifted until they were almost out and when it subsided, they returned into it. It contained naked men and women." In it is, "until we came to a river of blood in the middle of which there was a man standing together with another man carrying some stones in front of him. The man in the river came forward and when he tried to get out, the other man threw a stone into his mouth and he went back to where he had been before. Whenever he tried to get out, the other would throw a stone in his mouth and he would go back to where he had been before." In it is, "The two men made me climb the tree and took me into a house which was more beautiful than any I had ever seen. In it were some old men, young men, women and children." In it is, "As for the one you saw whose jaw was being torn open, he was liar who told lies that were relayed from him until they spread everywhere. So that is what will be done to him until the Day of Rising," and "The man you saw whose head was being crushed was someone to whom Allah had taught the Qur'an who used to sleep without reciting it at night and did not act by it during the day. That will be done to him until the Day of Rising." And, "The first house you entered was the house of the generality of believers. This house is the house of those killed fighting in the way of Allah. I am Jibril and this is Mika'il. Raise your head." I raised my head and above me was something like a cloud. They said, "This is your destined place." I said, "Let me enter my place." They said, "You still have some of your life left which has not been completed. If it were complete, you would have come to your place."