I’m Not Lying; I’m Only Joking

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I’m Not Lying; I’m Only Joking

by Muhammad Alshareef
After the conquest of Makkah, during which the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam had taken over Makkah and the people had become Muslim, Caesar, or Qaisar, realized the power of the Muslims and he decided that he would have to bring an end to these Muslims. And so he prepared a large army, Byzantine and some Arab tribes from the north, and they prepared to extinguish the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and his companions.

When news of this great army that was preparing to attack them came to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and to some of the companions, fear started to come into the Muslims’ hearts. The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam decided that they must go and fight these people in Tabuq.

Normally, whenever he would go out with an army for a battle, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would tell the army to go in one direction and then during the journey they would change directions; so no one would know exactly where they were going. But because of the severity of this battle – it was such a long distance and they were leaving in the summertime in which the heat can kill people – the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam told all of them where they were going, so that they could prepare the proper provisions.

So, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam told them that they were going to Tabuq. All the companions, all the people that didn’t have an excuse such as sickness or being hypocrites, all of them accepted from the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and they prepared for this battle.

In sha Allah ta’aala, we want to spend some time with one of those people who missed the battle, and that is Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu.

Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu in fact narrates the entire story in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Ka’ab Ibn Malik says on that day, when people went out, that “by Allah, [he’d] never had more wealth than the day the people went out for Tabuq.” And he said, “By Allah, I’ve never had more wealth, more strength, and I’ve never been in a better position to go out for a battle than that day.” But, you will see the evil of procrastination.

When the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and the companions were preparing for the battle, Ka’ab Ibn Malik would say, “I will go and prepare.” But the day would come to an end and he hadn’t prepared anything. And then, the next day would come and he would say, “I will go and prepare,” and the day would pass and he hadn’t prepared anything. Until the people had gone out and he said, “I’ll catch up with them,” and they left and days passed and he said, “I’ll catch up, I’ll catch up.” Until finally, news came that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam was on his way back and the battle had happened and that he had come back.

Ka’ab Ibn Malik would go out and he would see the hypocrites – the people who didn’t want to join the companions, the people who would say to the companions, “Why are you going out in this battle? It is so hot outside.” These were the people Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala refuted saying:

Say, “The heat of Hellfire is more severe” (At-Tauba 9/81).

Ka’ab Ibn Malik said he would become very distressed because he would only see hypocrites; everyone knew them as hypocrites and he realized that he was in their lawn.

So the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam came back, and he would return home from a journey during the day and the first place the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would come to was the masjid. So we learn here also the Sunnah of RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam that when a person returns from a journey, he should start with a masjid; go to the masjid and pray two rakaat.

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam went to the masjid and prayed his two rakaat. At this time, all those people who hadn’t gone out for the battle came to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and started explaining and giving excuses – which were in fact lies – for the reason why they did not go out for battle. And they were known as hypocrites.

So, one after the other, they would come to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and they would give an excuse to him saying, “I was doing this,” or “I was doing that,” or “I wasn’t able.” The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would ask forgiveness for them and let them go.

Then, Ka’ab Ibn Malik came. He says that he was very eloquent in speech and when he came to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam that day, he told him that he had prepared lies and excuses that he was going to say, so he could avoid the Prophet’s anger. But, as soon as he saw the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, he canceled all those lies that he was going to say and he said, “Today, nothing will save me but telling the truth.”

So, he went to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and he said, “Wallahi, I’ve been given eloquent speech and if I sat in front of anybody else, I could have lied to them and I could’ve gotten away from their anger. But ya RasulAllah, I may please you today and you may not be angry with me today, but if I lie to you today, perhaps tomorrow Allah may make you angry at me.” And he said, “But if I tell you the truth today, hoping for the mercy of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala, perhaps tomorrow Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala will be pleased with me.”

And so he says that when he came to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam smiled at him and Ka’ab Ibn Malik said, “The smile of someone who is angry.”

And when Ka’ab Ibn Malik said this, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam replied, “As for this person, he has told the truth.”

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam knew that everyone who had come to him had lied to him. But he said, “As for this person, he has told the truth.” And he told Ka’ab Ibn Malik to go back until Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala decides his affair.

When Ka’ab Ibn Malik left the masjid, some people from Bani Saleem came to him and started saying to him, “Why did you say that to him? You could’ve said this, or you could’ve said that. Didn’t you see that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam was asking forgiveness for them and forgiving them and letting them go?”

They said, “You put yourself in this position,” and because they kept insisting on him, Ka’ab Ibn Malik said, “I wish I could’ve gone back and lied to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam; I wish that I could’ve contradicted myself and gone back and made up an excuse.”

Then, Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu asked them, “Is there anyone else in my situation?”

They said “Yes.” There were two companions who had done the same thing that Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu had done. And when Ka’ab Ibn Malik found out that those two people had been from the People of Badr, he kept firm with the truth that he had said.

After that, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam commanded all the people not to talk to Ka’ab Ibn Malik and his two companions, not to deal with them, and to boycott them.

The two companions, they would remain at home and Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu would go to the masjid. He would say, “The earth that I knew so well, it was not like that anymore.” And the times had changed, the way people were treating him had changed. He said that he would go to the masjid and nobody would say as salamu alaykum to him. And he would try going to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and say, “As salamu alaykum ya RasulAllah,” and he would look and try to see if the Prophet’s, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, lips would move in reply to his salaam; but he could not tell. And he would say that he would enter the masjid and he would look at the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam but the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would not look at him. But then, when he would avert his gaze, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would turn to him and look; but when he would look back, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would turn away again.

During the battle of Tabuq, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam in fact inquired about Ka’ab Ibn Malik. One of the companions had said that nothing left Ka’ab Ibn Malik except that he was so happy with his clothes, and happy with his wealth. Mu’adh radi Allahu anhu replied back and said, “What an evil thing what you said,” and he turned to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and he said, “Ya RasulAllah, we only know good about Ka’ab.”

In fact, in the sharh of this hadith, Imam Nawawi rahimahullah says that we learn from this example that when someone backbites on a Muslim brother in front of you, it is not enough to remain silent; you should hit back and tell the person that he is wrong and that is not what a Muslim should say. We should do as Mu’adh radi Allahu anhu did, as he replied back to the companion.

Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu like we said, would go to the masjid and try to find out if the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam would reply to him. And he kept entering into deeper sadness and Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala describes the sadness that he and his two companions were in. He says, subhaanahu wa ta’aala:

…until when the earth closed down and constricted upon them (At-Tauba 9/118).

Notice that you’ll see people who have the biggest castles in the world, but no matter how expansive their property is, because they turn away from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala constricts their livelihood.

They say that danka, in one of its literal sense, is like having a sinus, or having a stuffed nose. Because when a person turns his back, it is as if he is constricting and stuffing himself, and he cannot enjoy the worldly materials that he has.

So here, because of them not going to the battle, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala describes the situation that they were in – even though they had the expansive earth in front of them, it constricted before their very eyes.

On the other hand, someone may have the earth constricting in front of them, they may be poor and they may be living in a hut, but they have an expansive heart. They have an expansive heart because they believe in Allah and His Messenger. So, their heart expands out to where they are content with what they have and they are living as if they were in Jannah, content with what Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has given them.

Thus, Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu was going around in this sadness and he went to the garden of Abu Qutada radi Allahu anhu, who was his cousin and one of the most beloved people to Ka’ab Ibn Malik. He got up on the fence and he said, “As salamu alaykum Abu Qutada,” and Abu Qutada did not reply. He kept saying again and again, “As salamu alaykum, as salamu alaykum,” and Abu Qutada radi Allahu anhu would not reply to him.

And then he said, “Oh my cousin! Do you not know that I love Allah and His Messenger? Do you not know, and have you not learned, and have you not seen from my example that I do indeed love Allah and His Messenger?”

Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu then remained silent and Abu Qutada radi Allahu anhu said, “Allahu ‘alim.”

He said Allah knows best if you really love Allah and His Messenger. And Ka’ab Ibn Malik, when he heard this, he went off the fence and he started crying. On the fortieth day – and the boycott lasted for fifty days – the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam commanded that they separate from their wives.

Before this, the King of Ghasaan from the Romans had sent a letter to Ka’ab Ibn Malik. Ka’ab Ibn Malik was in the marketplace when he saw a man come, a traveler, and then everyone was pointing at Ka’ab. That traveler came to Ka’ab with the letter from King Ghasaan. The king says in the letter, “The news has reached us that your companion (RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), has turned away from you. Come to us. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala did not make this earth as a constriction and a discomfort for you. Come to us and we will give you comfort. We will give you honor.”

When Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu read this letter he said, “By Allah, this is another test from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.” And then he made a circle and a pit of fire, and then he took that letter and he threw it in the fire.

So, now on the fortieth day, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam had sent out the message that those three people should separate from their wives. And Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu immediately said, “Shall I divorce my wife, or should I just separate from her?”

And they said, “No, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said separate from her.”

One of the other two companions was old in age, and so his wife came to the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and she asked the Messenger of Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam for permission to remain with her husband and serve him because he was too poor to have his own maid or to have his own servant. The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam granted her permission. He said, sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, “But do not allow him to come near you.”

And then she said, “By Allah, he has not stopped crying since the day this began. By Allah, he has no desire for anything of which you are speaking of.”

That shows you that these people were yearning for the mercy of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala and yearning for the tauba of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala, until the fiftieth day came.

In fact, Ka’ab Ibn Malik’s relatives told him to go to the Messenger of Allah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam and ask that his wife serve him like he granted permission for the other companion. And Ka’ab Ibn Malik said, “By Allah, I am younger than that man and I am more capable, and I am afraid of what the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam may say if I ask such a thing.” He said, “By Allah, I am not going to ask for that” – that his wife remain with him.

So on the fiftieth day, Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu was praying Fajr on one of the roofs and as he completed his Fajr prayer, a rider came running and he was calling out. He said, “Glad tidings Ka’ab Ibn Malik! For verily Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has forgiven you. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has forgiven you.” Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu immediately did sajdah for Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala and for the tauba of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.

Very often, I remember Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah would say this, that in the time of Hajj, when people commit mistakes in Hajj, the easiest thing for a person is, if he is told that he has to ask for forgiveness from Allah and there is no material penalty. In such a case, the person would say, “Oh! Only ask for forgiveness? OK, that is no problem.” But you will see the way the companions asked for forgiveness from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala and how they yearned and spent their time hoping for the reward, the mercy, and the forgiveness of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.

When Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu heard that Allah had forgiven him, he did sajdah to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. And then, immediately when he completed his sajdah, he took off his clothes and he gave it as sadaqah to that man who had come with the good news.

When he walked into Madinah, and this is all from his happiness, the people came to him and they congratulated him for the forgiveness of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. Indeed, it is something that a person should be congratulated for. Nothing from the material world is equal to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala forgiving you.

When he entered the masjid, from the Muhaajireen, only one person, Talha radi Allahu anhu, stood up and shook the hand of Ka’ab Ibn Malik. And he said, “By Allah, I will never forget the deed that Talha radi Allahu anhu had done” – that he had stood up and hugged him and gave him glad tidings.

Then, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Have the glad tidings of the best day of your life since the day your mother gave birth to you.”

So, Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu smiled and said, “Ya RasulAllah! Is this forgiveness from you or is it from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala?”

And he said, “Rather, it is from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.”

Then, Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu, and remember he was poor, he said, “And from my tauba, I will give all my wealth as sadaqah to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. Everything I have, because of my happiness that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has forgiven me, I am going to give everything to Allah, everything for the sake of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.”

And the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “No, rather keep some of it with you.”

And then Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu said, and in fact this is the main point here, he said, “From my tauba and the fact that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has forgiven me, from this day forward I will never tell a lie. I will never say a lie from this day forward.”

In fact, in the end of the narration, Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu explained that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala had saved him because of the truth that he had told in the beginning. And Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has never tested somebody, with the truth and telling the truth, more than he tested Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu.

As for those people who lied to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala revealed verses about them. In Surah Al-Munaafiqeen and in other surahs, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says:

Verily, they are impure, they are filthy, those people that have lied to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and their end is Hellfire as a reward and a compensation for what they used to do.

Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says in these verses that they keep swearing to you and telling you, “to leave [them] alone.” Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says, “Leave them alone, for they are impure and that they are going to Hellfire,” and that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala hates them.

So, Ka’ab Ibn Malik said, “Those were the people who had lied to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.” As for those people who told the truth, Ka’ab Ibn Malik and his two companions, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala revealed:

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Ansar and the Muhaajireen… (At-Tauba 9/117)

And He continues and in the next verse Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says:

And Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has forgiven those three who didn’t make it to the battle [of Tabuq]… (At-Tauba 9/118)

So, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala revealed in the Qur’an that He has forgiven Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu and Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala commands Ka’ab Ibn Malik and everyone else:

O you who believe, fear Allah, and be with those who are truthful (At-Tauba 9/119).

PART II

Dear brothers, this story of Ka’ab Ibn Malik – and it’s a story from the Seerah – is a story that we should all frequently go over because you will see that in every paragraph there are lessons for the Muslims to learn. From the way Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu acted, to the things that he fell into, we, as followers of these companions and followers of the person that they were following, RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, can learn much about what we should abstain from.

Lying – Lying is a major sin. And in fact, it’s one of the biggest major sins that a person can do because of all the things that it leads to. And, in certain cases, scholars have said that lying, when it deals with the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam (making halaal haram and haram halaal), may actually lead to kufr. Imam An-Nawawi rahimahullah says in Kitaab Al-Adhkaar, the proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah are clear and apparent that lying is one of the ugliest sins that a person can do. And he says, sufficient is a deterrent from lying that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“The sign of the hypocrite are three things [one of which is] if he speaks, he will lie…”

So, the fact that lying is the sign of a munaafiq, should be sufficient as a deterrent for a believer, a mu’min, someone who believes in Allah and His Messenger. If one speaks and he is thinking that he is going to lie, he should remember that this is a sign of his hypocrisy in the deen.

In another hadith, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud radi Allahu anhu reports that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“This thing (sidq – truthfulness) leads to piety.”

If you want to know about a good Muslim, and how to become a good Muslim, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said, being truthful will lead you to be a good Muslim, will lead you to piety. And that piety leads to Paradise, and we all want to go to Paradise. The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam is showing us the road to that Paradise and that is through truthfulness. To continue the hadith,

“A [truthful] person, or man, or woman, will continue to tell the truth and keep trying to avoid lying and keep trying to bring out the truth in all cases, until he is written with Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala as someone who always tells the truth.”

This is the end that we all want, that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala will say that, “Such and such, this person, is a truth-teller.”

From these people that we know was Abu Bakr radi Allahu anhu – As-Siddeeq. Because he always told the truth again and again and again, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said that he is the truthful one, the one who accepts the truth, the one who always knows truth, the one whose whole existence is surrounded around the truth.

And then, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“And verily, lying, it takes a person to disobedience and transgression of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. Transgression and disobedience will lead the person to Hellfire and a person, man or woman, will continue to try and lie, keep trying to lie, try to avoid situations by lying, until he will be written, or she will be written, as a liar to Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.”

PART III

There are some points on how a person can move forward, trying to seek out the truth and trying to be truthful in all walks of one’s life.

Firstly, we should remember that lying is a sign of a person’s hypocrisy in Islam. Lying doesn’t just happen with words; lying can happen with an action or even a gesture. A person can write a letter, can pretend to be someone else on the computer or in letters and that’s an example of a lie. A person may speak to other people and lie. When a person is going to do this, he or she remember or the severity of the lying as well as Imam An-Nawawi’s conclusion, rahimahullah, that it is a sign of a munaafiq; this is a sign of the person’s hypocrisy in Islam.

Secondly, we should strengthen our eman in the Final Day. We should strengthen it because when a person lies, he has a weakness of eman – he or she doesn’t really believe in the Day of Judgment, for on that day, if they had told the truth, their truth will save them. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says:

This is the day when their (the truth-tellers’) truth will benefit them.

This is the day, on the Day of Judgment, when all those truths and all the good things that they used to say will benefit them.

An incident took place during the khilaafah of Hisham Ibn Abdul Malik that had to do with the verse in the Qur’an speaking about the accusation against Aisha. It was a known hypocrite who had started that accusation but Hisham Ibn Abdul Malik was of the opinion that Ali radi Allahu anhu was the one who started the accusation. So he would bring scholars to his court and ask them, “Who is this person who started this accusation?” and the person or that scholar would say, “Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Salul.” And then, the Khalifah would say, “Rather, it’s Ali.” And then the person, that scholar, would succumb to the Khalifah and he would say that the Ameer al-Mu’mineen or Khalifah knows better of what he’s saying. That is until the Khalifah brought Imam Ad-Dhuhri rahimahullah to his court. And here, we will see the power of the scholars.

He brought Imam Ad-Dhuhri and he asked him, “Who is this one who started these accusations?” and he replied, “Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Salul.”

Then, the Khalifah said, “You’ve lied, it was Ali.”

At fact that he would be accused of lying, Imam Ad-Dhuhri became enraged and said, “I lie? I would lie, you fatherless man?” And that would be similar, as you know in the English language. to the swear. He said, “I lie, how dare you call me a liar!” He said – and notice here the character of our scholars – he said, “If a person calls out from the heavens and calls out to everybody that lying is halaal, I would never lie.” He said even if it were halaal, he would never lie. And now imagine, he knows it’s haram and he knows the severity of lying, and he makes the statement that even if it was halaal, he would never lie in his life. And so, brothers, we should pay attention to what Imam Ad-Dhuhri is saying.

When the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam saw a woman calling her son, telling him that she had something in her hand for him, he, the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, asked her, “Do you have something in your hand? Were you going to give him something?”

She said, “Yes, I was going to give him a date.”

And then the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said, “If you were to not give him anything, it would have been written as a lie.”

So, even to that smallest point with your children, even to pretend with them and to joke with them, those things are written as lies. And people very often tell jokes and say, “I’m just joking. I’m not lying, I’m just joking.” No, you are lying and nothing makes lying halaal. If you’re joking that doesn’t make it halaal.

The Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“Woe to him, the person that lies to make people laugh.”

The person who makes a joke just to make people laugh is in fact right in the midst of the hadith and right in the midst of the prohibition. And so, dear brothers, we have to abstain from that and no lying should take place.

And one of the worst lies a person can tell is against the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam. Very often you will see weak hadith and fabricated hadith against the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and as one person once said, “I’m not lying against the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, I’m lying for him.” Subhan Allah, to anybody who lies against the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the Prophet doesn’t need us to complete the deen for him. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala says:

…this day I’ve completed your religion…(Al-Ma’idah 5/3)

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam doesn’t need you and me to make up hadith for him; he completed the deen sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“Whoever lies on me, (on purpose, he knows he’s lying; he’s making up these hadith against the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) let him enter Hellfire and choose anywhere he wishes to be in it.”

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam is saying to that person, you’re going to Hellfire so just pick where you want to be in the Hellfire for lying against the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. And there’s no distinction between lying for or lying against; there’s no such thing. Any lie against the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam is a lie.

So firstly, we should remember that lying is a sign of a person’s hypocrisy in Islam. Secondly, we should strengthen our eman in the Final Day. And thirdly, we should remember the blessed end of telling the truth. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala loves the person who tells the truth and whose life was just surrounded with truth. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala writes that person as a siddeeq and as being in the highest level of Jannah, with the prophets and those who used to tell the truth and accepted the truth. And the person who tells the truth, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala will bless them in their livelihood and it will lead them to Jannah. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“The two parties of a transaction have the right (to annul the contract) as long as they do not separate (from each other). So, if they were truthful (to one another), and honest in explaining (the defects of an item), then they will be blessed in their transaction. But, if they lied, and hid (the defects of an item), then the blessings of their transaction are destroyed” (Muslim)!

And so a person shouldn’t think, “I’m going to sell this and I’m going to hide these problems in the product.” No, show that there’s a problem in the product and you will see that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala will bless you in that sale. And never should a person try hiding things. For example, if they’re selling a new car, they’ll put a new paint job to cover the defects. But no, the person should point out when he’s selling, that this is the car, these are the good things and these are the bad things, and with that truthfulness, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala will bless them in their sale.

We should make du’a, for verily this truthfulness is from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala and all good is from Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. So you should ask Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala to bless you and to grant you this blessing and this mercy of always telling the truth. As the du’a in Sunan Al-Bayhaqi reads:

“Oh Allah, clean my heart from hypocrisy and my actions from showing off to other people and purify my tongue from lying.”

And in conclusion, we should always be with those people who tell the truth and distance ourselves form those people who decide to spend their lives in lies and backbiting; we just want to distance ourselves from them and be with those people who’re telling the truth. Be with those people, like Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu and the people who follow the example of Ka’ab Ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu till the Final Day. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala commanded him and He commanded us and He commanded all the believers till the Final Day:

O you who believe, all you people who claim to be believers, fear Allah and be with those who are truth-tellers, and be with the truthful ones.