Avoid Lying

Lying is a very bad habit, addictive and generally self destructive, most importantly it is (under nearly all circumstances) something which God detests us to do.

Mendacity resembles a violent blow,

the scar of which remains,

though the wound may be healed.

See you not how the brothers of

Joseph became noted for falsehood,

and no trust in their veracity remained,

as Allah the most high has said:

Nay but ye yourselves

have contrived the thing for your own sake.

One habitually speaking the truth

Is pardoned when he once makes a slip

But if he becomes noted for lying,

People do not believe him

even when he is speaking truth.

(Saadi)

Lying is nearly always a harmful and destructive trait, it is the act of stealing the truth from one whom we are talking to.

There are rare occasions where it is not sinful to lie, these are when greater harm would be caused by the truth – yet in normal daily life lying should be avoided as it is something God dislikes which harms the soul of the one who does it – particularly as it becomes and addictive habit that often leads to all sorts of problems.

This does not mean that people should go around revealing all their faults to people – indeed it is meritorious to cover one’s faults – it means that we should not set out to deceive others without exceptional (and this truly means exceptional) causes.

God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an;

And whenever you give your oath,

say the truth

(Surah al-An’aan 152)

When a person follows after unrighteousness,
Where will he find deliverance on the day of judgement?

Whosoever assumes the habit

of false speaking
Has no splendour for

the lamp of his soul.

Falsehood puts a man to shame,
Falsehood deprives a man of dignity.

A wise man blushes at a liar,
Since no one esteems such a person.

O brother! beware that you speak not falsely,
For a liar is despised and without repute.

Nothing is worse than unrighteousness;
O son! There from arises loss of fair name.

(Saadi)

Flee from Hypocrisy

In Islam hypocrisy often refers to those people who pretend to be Muslims in order to harm Islam. It is sometimes practiced by malevolent Westernized scholars and ignorant political figures in Muslim countries who hate Islam but know that their people will not accept a non-Muslim ruler. It is said that the main expressions of hypocrisy are to secretly refute the Holy Prophet (saws) and his Message, to have enmity towards him or some part of his Message, to feel happy when the Muslims are defeated or to feel sad when the Muslims triumph.

The signs of a hypocrite are that they lie, they break promises, are untrustworthy and are evil and insulting during disputes.

Another type of hypocrisy is the hypocrisy of pretending to be doing religious deeds for spiritual reasons when in fact you are doing them for worldly reasons…

A hermit, being the guest of a king,

ate less than he wished when sitting at dinner

and when he rose for prayers

he prolonged them more than was his wont to give the king a good opinion of his piety.

O Arab of the desert, I fear you wilt not reach the Ka’bah

Because the road

on which you are travelling

leads to Turkestan.

When the hermit returned home,

he desired the table to be laid out for eating.

He had an clever son who said:

‘Father, have you not eaten anything at the repast of the Sultan?’

The hermit replied: ‘I haven’t eaten anything to serve a purpose.’

The boy said:

‘Then likewise say your prayers again

as you have not done anything to serve that purpose.’

O you who shows virtues on the palms of the hand

But conceals your errors under the armpits

What wilt you buy, O vain-glorious fool,

On the day of judgement with such counterfeit silver?

(Saadi)

Flee From Vanity

Vanity is a harmful attitude that is linked to arrogance, narcissism pride and often to cruel words and even violence. It is the quality of the false scholars and leaders of religious groups who are not seeking to serve God but rather they are seeking money, power and the praise of men.

It is recounted in the Acts of the Adepts that one day Rumi was invited to a great assembly of notable scholars and Sufis in the palace. The scholars struggled over the best places to sit and argued over who should have the best seats.

The scholars of Fiqh who may sometimes be like the Pharisees of the Bible, obsessed with the letter of the Law but oblivious to its spirit had vainly taken their places in the highest seats. When Rumi arrived there was nowhere left for him to sit therefore e he sat down in the middle of the floor, which then caused another argument and stampede as those present sought to re seat themselves in what was an honourable position according to this new circumstance.

A sinner who lifts his hands in supplication

is better than a devotee

who keeps them proudly on his head.

(Saadi)

I remember, being in my childhood pious,

rising in the night, addicted to devotion and abstinence.

One night I was sitting with my father,

remaining awake and holding the beloved Qur’an in my lap,

whilst the people around us were asleep. I said:

‘Not one of these persons lifts up his head or makes a genuflection.

They are as fast asleep as if they were dead.’

He replied:

‘Darling of thy father,

would that you were also asleep

rather than disparaging people.’

The pretender sees

no one but himself

Because he has the

veil of conceit in front.

If he were endowed

with a God-discerning eye

He would see that

no one is weaker than himself.

(Saadi)

Sensible human beings and jinn avoid haughtily considering themselves superior to others due to wealth, looks, ancestry or any other reason. God dislikes the vain and haughty ones, they are like Satan in their attitudes and they are most unlike the Prophets and the other friends of God who although they may have numerous good qualities – remember that these are just gifts from God to be used for the benefit of all, not for the inflation of egoism.

One who thinks that he is great

Is truly said to be squinting.

(Saadi)

*

Know that if you have skills, beauty, wealth, power, influence, a great family, possessions or even piety – that these are gifts from your Creator or indeed tests from your Creator. He gives and he takes away.

Sometimes God makes one who He loves weak and impoverished, hated by men and amongst those who struggle in their day to day lives as a mercy which brings that one close to him and raises his spiritual station, protecting him from spiritual harms of the self. Constantly reminding him of the temporariness of life, leading him to remembrance by causing him to seek refuge in God from his many troubles and difficulties. Making him one of those who wakes in the night crying and reaching out for God, begging for His Mercy and desperate for His Love.

Sometimes God gives one who He dislikes riches, power, worldly beauty, fame, influence, attractive family and many possessions and the acclamation by the people of their imagined religious superiority – purely as a test, giving their inner Pharaoh the rope with which they may hang themselves through their arrogance, hypocrisy, vanity, tribalism, cruelty and greed. Allowing them the opportunity to manifest their inner evil and thus destroy themselves, an opportunity that they never would have had if they had remained poor and lonely, struggling to live in a difficult world.
Therefore, wise people are humble (whatever gifts God has given them) they are thankful and seek to share with and help others, using talents and gifts for the benefit of all, and never for self aggrandizement.