Truthfulness as a Personal Value in Islam - Importance of Truth
Truthfulness as a Personal value
Allah says in Quran about truthfulness:
“O you who believe! Have fear of God, and be among the truthful.” (Quran 9:119).
“That Allah will reward the people of Truth for their Truth, and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (33:24)
“And whosoever obeys God and His Messenger, such will be in the company of those whom God has blessed: the Prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent a company are such people!” (Quran 4:69)
“The believers are but those people who believed in God and His Messenger without ever feeling doubt thereafter, and strove with their souls and possessions in the way of God; those are the ones who are the truthful.” (Quran 49:15)
Quran says that the truthfulness is the quality of the prophets and pious people in the history of human being: “And mention in the Book, Abraham: surely he was a most truthful Prophet.” (Quran 19:41) “And mention in the Book, Ishmael: surely, he was a man true to his word, and he was a Messenger, a Prophet.” (Quran 19:54) “And mention in the Book, Enoch: surely he was a most truthful Prophet.” (Quran 19:56) “Joseph! O most truthful one!...” (Quran 12:46)
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) says about truthfulness:- "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." In another place it is said:-
“Guarantee for me six things and I will guarantee Paradise for you: tell the truth when you speak, fulfill your promises, be faithful when you are trusted, safeguard your private parts, lower your gaze, and withhold your hands (from harming others).”
It is reported that a man came to the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and confessed of so many vices like theft, telling lies, drunkenness, and adultery etc. So he has arrived with and the desire to be reformed and but at the same time he was not ready to give up his bad habits. The Prophet urged the said person to give up just one bad habit i.e. telling a lie. The man promised to follow the instructions of the Prophet. After coming home he tried/desired to drink, stone and commit other sins. But when the thought came to his mind what he would answer when the Prophet asked him about his doings, Would he have had to tell the truth but could he dare to tell the Prophet about his drinking and face him without shame? So, this thought prevent him from all the sins. The next morning he went to the Prophet and told him that he was lucky enough to be relieved of all his sins merely by way of truthfulness.
Fourth Kaliph of Islam; Ali, who is also a cousin and son in Law of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) says: “Whoever does three things with regards to people, they will necessitate three things from him: whenever he speaks to them he is truthful; whenever they entrust him with something he does not betray them; and whenever he promises them something he fulfils it. If he does this, their hearts will love him; their tongues will praise him; and they will come to his aid.”
I may also quote a quotation of a non-Muslim:- "When we lose a sense of the value of truth, we lose a lot both politically and personally, and may well lose everything." [Bernard Williams]
Truthfulness is a great personal value. Truthfulness meant to help a human being to enrich life in all its exuberance and fullness. Truthfulness brings long lasting peace, happiness and prosperity not only in the life of an individual but in the the society as a whole. To be untruthful one can get short term benefits, however in the long run only truthfulness wins.
Truthfulness not only cause respect to a man in the society but this great quality enables a nation to achieve dignity and respect in the whole world. We want everyone to be truthful towards us so we should also follow this virtuous personal value of truthfulness toward others while conducting our day to day affairs. Some occasions, though, it is difficult to be truthfulness but once a person attains the repute of a truthful, it means that no hurdle will deprive him from success in his life by virtue of truthfulness. The challenges of life can only be combated with truthfulness. Truthfulness in true sense, is much more than just the truthfulness of tongue manifested through speech. Rather truthfulness represents harmony in speech and action. Hence it is rightly said that no man is true in the truest sense of the word but he who is true in words, in deed and in thought. It is the basic principle of all the successful men in the history of the world: “Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people.” However, there is an exception to this basic rule; it is permissible to tell a lie in order to safe one's life.
All religions of the world emphasis in the development of this great personal value. They promise a man to attain success in this this world and high reward in the world hereafter. Hence God says in Holy Quran: God has prepared for the men and women who speak truth forgiveness and a vast reward. In another place it is stated: God will say (on the day of judgment): This is the day when their truth shall benefit the truthful ones; they shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide in them for ever: Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Allah; this is the mighty achievement.
Truthfulness is a divinely quality. To the degree that power of truthfulness exists in a state of harmony, man is godlike. Truthfulness helps man to bring order in the chaos of his impulses and social conflicts, harmony in the relations of people, thus laying the foundation for the universal peace and order. So the God in Holy Quran says: "Who is more true in statement than God?
Truthfulness empowers inner self because truthfulness is a virtue. A virtue is what the soul and heart are pleased. On the contrary, falsehood is a sin and sin is what kindles doubt in oneself and indecision in one's chest.
It is an undeniable reality that whenever the human beings deviated from this divinely quality, they plunged themselves in great trouble and calamities. Most of the wars in the world are the outcome of falsehood. A recent example is Iraq war which was started on the pretext that Iraq has deadly chemical weapons, however, later no such so-called weapons were discovered. In deed, their ulterior motive was to grab the wealth of Arabs.