Honesty: “You must be truthful…” (Hadith)
Our religion teaches us about the importance of honesty. It is described as something which is alongside righteousness, as we read in a hadith:
Abu Bakr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “You must be truthful, for it is alongside righteousness and they are both in Paradise. Beware of falsehood, for it is alongside wickedness and they are both in the Hellfire. Ask Allah for wellness, for no one is given anything better after conviction than wellness. Do not envy each other, do not hate each other, do not cut each other off, and do not turn away from each other. Be servants of Allah as brothers.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
When we reflect on this, it makes us realise how beneficial it is for us when we try to be honest.
Honesty may be something which we naturally do on a daily basis, without realising just how valuable it is for us. Indeed, Allah is Al-Kareem (The Most Generous).
In another hadith we learn that the Prophet (SAW) spoke about the importance of being honest and truthful in business transactions, and that doing so brings about blessings in those transactions. We read:
Hakim ibn Hizam reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Both parties in a business transaction have the right to annul it, as long as they have not separated. If they are truthful and clear with one another, there is blessing in their transaction. If they lie and conceal something, the blessing of their transaction will be eliminated.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
The Prophet (SAW) said that when a person carries out what has been entrusted to them, with honesty, it is counted as a charity. We read:
Abu Musa reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The honest Muslim storekeeper, who carries out his orders completely, giving with a cheerful heart and paying those whom he was ordered to pay, he is one of two who have given charity.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
We also learn about the significance of speaking the truth even when it seems to be difficult.
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported:
“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Let not fear of the people prevent one of you from speaking the truth, if he knows it.’” (Musnad Aḥmad)
This shows us how crucial it is for us to be truthful even if we fear doing so.
We read in a hadith that arguing in favour of a lie when we are aware that it is not the truth is detrimental for us. Ibn Umar reported:
“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Whoever argues in favor of falsehood and he knows it, Allah will continue to be displeased with him until he stops…’” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
May Allah make us amongst the truthful and may He reward us for our efforts to stand by the truth even when it proves to be difficult. Aameen. Indeed, He is Al-Aalim (The All-Knowing).