• Articles

    Pieces on Risale-i Nur and its Author
  • 1

Isn’t Lying Excusable if for Some Good Purpose?


The seventh phrase; that is,  (Surah Bakara, 2:10)“because they are false [to themselves]” by attributing the above-mentioned penalty for their crimes to lying alone, it is indicating the atrociousness of lying, and its ugliness and loathsomeness. This indication testifies truthfully to the severe effects of the poison of lying, for lying is the basis of unbelief (kufr); indeed, unbelief is a falsehood and the worst sort of lying, and it is the chief sign of dissembling (nifak). Lying is to slander Kudrat-i Ilahiyya (Divine Power) and it is the opposite of hikmat-i Rabbaniya (Dominical wisdom). Lying destroys high morals. Lying poisons the Islamic world. It overturns the affairs of mankind, and holds back the world of humanity from attaining its perfections. Lying casts down the likes of “Musaylima the Liar” to the lowest of the low. These are the reasons it has been specified by that which was revealed from above the Sublime Throne, and why it is execrated and made the object of threats. This verse calls on people -especially Muslims to note it carefully.

If you were to ask:  Isn’t lying excusable if for some good purpose?

You would be told: – Yes, there is a permission (in Sharia) if to lie is imperative and its advantages are certain. But what they call good reason is [generally] a false excuse. For it is stipulated by the science of the principles of the Shari’a that because a matter that is not determinable or quantifiable is open to exploitation (su-i istimal), it cannot be made the basis of rulings. Nevertheless, if the harm of a thing outweighs its benefits, a ruling is given to abrogate it and benefit is to give it up.

Yes, the anarchy and disorder in the world testify to the overwhelming harm of the pretext of benefit. 

But hinting and allusions are not lying.

The way is twofold: either silence, for truthfulness does not demand that one says everything that is true; or honesty, for truthfulness is the basis of Islam and a characteristic of belief; indeed, belief is truthfulness and its main sort. [Truthfulness] is the bond of all perfections; and the life of high morals; and the root binding things to reality; and the manifestation of truth on the tongue. It is the pivot of man’s development, and the order of the Islamic World; and it is what conveys man with the speed of lightning down the road of progress to the ka‘ba of perfections; and it raises the poorest and dullest person higher than a sultan; and it made the Companions of the Prophet (Upon whom be blessings and peace) superior to all others; and it raised up our Master Muhammad al-Hāshimī (Alayhissalatu Wassalam) to the loftiest peak of humanity.

Signs of Miraculousness, Risale-i Nur