15 Nov Truthfulness.Part2
HONESTY IN SPEECH
An important fundamental of Islamic morality is truthfulness and making every effort toward achieving transparency (this applies to business and personal relations on every level).
The Messenger of God showed great care to ensure that children acquired the ethic of always speaking the truth. In order to prevent parents from making the mistake of lying to their children or perpetrating any such type of dishonesty with them, the Prophet taught general principles that guide the parent–child relationship. For instance, he said it is unacceptable to mislead or deceive children under any circumstances, and warned parents against any type of carelessness in their relationship with their children. There is an interesting hadith about this. ‘Abdullah ibn Amr recalls,
“One day my mother called me. God’s Messenger was sitting in our house. My mother told me, ‘Come here and I’ll give you something.’ God’s Messenger asked her, ‘What are you going to give him?’ She answered, ‘I’m going to give him a date.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Be warned, if you had not been planning to give him something, it would have been written in your book of deeds as a lie, a sin.’”
Abu Hurayra also relates a similar narration:
“God’s Messenger said, ‘Whoever says to a child, “Come here, I will give you something,” and then does not give them anything will be accountable for lying.’”
HONESTY OF CHARACTER
A Muslim’s inner conformity to his or her outer appearance is also critical for integrity. Just as we are to refrain from harmful words, so too must we restrain ourselves from hateful feelings or thoughts. In other words, a Muslim should speak as they think, and act ac- cording to their word; there should be no difference between who they are inside and who they appear to be. The following hadith addresses this aspect of integrity:
“A person whose heart is not correct cannot have correct faith. If the tongue does not speak truth, the heart cannot be right, and if the person’s neighbors are not safe from him, he cannot enter Paradise.”
Here the Prophet teaches that the heart and the tongue should be consistent with each other, and both of them should manifest integrity.
HONESTY IN BUSINESS
When there is consistency between a Muslim’s inner self and outer actions, they will always be honest, both at work and in business. A Muslim must be careful never to cheat or deceive others to gain greater profit or for any other reason.
A hadith handed down by Abu Hurayra reports,
“One day the Prophet saw (a man selling) a heap of wheat. He put his hand in- to the pile and found that, while the top was dry, the bottom was damp. He asked the seller, ‘What is this?’ The man said, ‘The rain wet it.’ The Prophet responded, ‘You should put the wet part on top (so people can see it). One who cheats us is not of us.’”
One of the most unique characteristics of the blessed Companions of the Prophet—perhaps their most important characteristic—was their unfailing integrity and righteousness. These qualities brought a deep atmosphere of peace and security to their inner lives as well as to their interpersonal relations.
Once Abu al-Hawra asked Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib,
“What have you memorized from God’s Messenger?”
“Turn away from whatever gives you doubts or misgivings, and look at that which does not! For righteousness gives the heart rest, but lies bring uncertainty and suspicion.”
In a similar narration, Sufyan ibn ‘Abdullah al-Sakafi said,
“O Messenger of God, give me such knowledge of Islam that it will suffice me and I will never need to ask anyone else about Islam.”
“Say, ‘I believe in God,’ and then be completely honest in everything.”