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Honesty: A key ingredient of happiness

Honesty: A key ingredient of happiness

June 19th, 2009


 Abdullah Hasan


Honesty is one of the universal principles which all civilized communities and peoples agree with. Without it individuals and the society at large will be in complete turmoil and live in suspicion of each other. When friends, family, work colleagues and couples are not honest with each other, to create and develop a society that is conducive to the equilibrium that God desires for us, then the life of those and others in the wider society will be in jeopardy.


As I opened the news yesterday, some very disturbing and odd news caught my attention. A woman cancelled her wedding just weeks before her big day after discovering that her fiancé lied about his profession. I’m sure the poor woman was in a state of shock and distraught to find out her husband had been lying to her and her family. Stories like this , unfortunately, are quite rife in our community. There are many reasons as to why people may resort to this; the main reasons of course are lack of faith [iman] and insecurity about themselves and their surroundings. What they do not realize is that not only do they wreck their lives by lying but they impacts others by this act.


This is why Islam prohibits lying. God, Almighty, says in the Qur’an, “Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies.” [Surah 40:28], and the Prophet [peace be upon him] warned people about lying and its consequence in his statement, ‘Stick to truthfulness, for it leads one to righteousness, and the latter leads to Paradise. Thus, when one sticks to truthfulness and shows keenness in it, Allah considers him as an absolutely truthful man. And avoid telling lies, for it leads to excessiveness, and this leads to Hell-Fire. Thus, when one persists in telling lies, Allah considers him as a liar.’ [Agreed upon].


Honesty becomes extremely vital when one is looking for a potential spouse. The fuqaha wrote that when a person comes to you for advice regarding a potential suitor and you are, to a certain extent, acquainted with the suitor, you are obliged to inform of him of any defects in that person which may jeopardize the marriage in the future if he/she is not aware from the outset. The Scholars explain that this is one of the situations where it is permissible to talk about the defects of a person [in effect backbite]. Not to have the intention to ridicule or scorn but to inform and aid a Muslim in making the correct life changing decision.


I wish to highlight an issue which I believe has not been substantially clarified by our Scholars in the West.


The readers are aware of the disease of black magic and jinn possession prevalent in the Muslim community. Some of the stories are extremely shocking and upsetting, to say the least. Those people who carry out this crime against innocent people have no fear of Allah or the last Day. However, the responsibility, in this situation, is to understand that in the Shari’ah if a person has been afflicted with jinn possession or black magic and we have some knowledge of it then it is our religious duty to inform the possible suitor of this. If not then the person will embark on a journey that is from the beginning paved with spikes and thorns, inevitably leading to a perilous end, except the ones whom God has showered his mercy.


If we are in a position of leadership such as an Imam, teacher, social worker etc, we have to be sincere and help those people in need. This is to be done in the ambience of justice and fairness without any prejudice and bias. Unfortunately, there are not many individuals in our society who are in a position to provide such counsel and advice. Too many barriers are placed in front of people.


The reason I say this is due to a incident that occurred which I was informed some time ago regarding a couple who got married but  the family of the afflicted person did not inform the other side and the marriage, unfortunately, is going through serious difficulties. They probably thought that Islamically they did not have to inform the other side of this problem or they had unsavory intent. We hope it is the former and not the latter. Nonetheless,  we have to educate people about the seriousness of jinn possession in the community and how it effects and breaks family life and corrupts the harmony within the society, and this cannot be done except by being honest with oneself and with others.


We are living in a society which is very beautiful externally but internally, due to the detachment from God and His commandments, the moral and social fabric of the community is rotting away as cancer decays the body, the only way to rescue it from destruction is by turning to God in the setting of selflessness, justice and honesty, and thus achieve true happiness and tranquility, both individually and collectively as a community.



Categories: Abdullah Hasan Tags: fiqh, hadith, honesty, marriage, qur'an, spouse

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