Lies: Uttering simple lies

Q329 :My grandmother is over 90. Sometimes we tell her little lies to please her. Is it acceptable from the Islamic point of view.


A329 : The Prophet was asked by one of his companions about the cardinal sins and whether a Muslim may be guilty of any of them. With every one of them the Prophet said that a Muslim may commit such a sin. But when he was asked whether a true believer may lie, his answer was an emphatic 'No'. Indeed, the instructions against lying in all situations are both clear and numerous. There is no situation which makes a lie acceptable, except in three cases: when the purpose is to achieve reconciliation between two quarreling people, or lying to the enemy of a Muslim state or Muslim community and when a man lies to his wife or she lies to him. Perhaps a word is needed here to explain each of these situations. If a mediator trying to achieve reconciliation between two people goes to each of them and tells him that the other has been speaking highly of him, when he has not, this is acceptable. Similarly, lying in order to protect the Muslim community from its enemies or to foil the enemy's designs is also acceptable. Indeed it is encouraged if it is the only way to achieve that end. Again, when a man tells his wife that he loves her, such a lie is acceptable. Similarly, when a wife assures her husband of her unfailing love in order to maintain a happy family atmosphere, knowing that her feelings towards him are not that passionate, she commits no sin. Obviously, the case of you and your grand-mother does not fall under any of these three headings. To tell her a lie whether to please her or to have a little laugh at her expense is unacceptable from the Islamic point of view. Indeed it is forbidden.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )