Truthfulness: An Islamic Perspective
In Surah al Waaqi’ah, Allah asks a simple question to all mankind: نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ فَلَوْلَا تُصَدِّقُونَ
And in Surah Tawba, Allah orders His Messenger thus: خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً
The meaning of the first ayah is, “We have created you, so why do you not believe?
And the meaning of the second ayah is, “Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity“.
Did you find something significantly common in these two verses?
No, when you read the interpretation in English. Yes, when you understand little bit of Arabic!
And that’s the miracle of Qur’anic Arabic!
Inshaaallah, I will come back to those two verses during the course of this post but to start with let us understand that in Arabic the root word for truth, trueness, truthfulness is ص د ق SaDaQa (صدق sadq, sidq)
Allah says/reveals/communicates nothing but the Truth:
قُلْ صَدَقَ اللَّـهُ ۗ فَاتَّبِعُوا مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Say, ” Allah has told the truth. So follow the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of the polytheists.” (Surah Aal Imran 3:95)
A subtle meaning that comes up from this verse is that truth and polytheism are poles apart.
Sadaqa is also used as an expression when someone fulfills a promise. As the Prophet sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam said: صَدَقَ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ – Allah has fulfilled His promise. (Find the hadeeth here, inshaaallah)
The Qur’an says that the satisfied believers will also express the same thing in the Hereafter:
وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي صَدَقَنَا وَعْدَهُ وَأَوْرَثَنَا الْأَرْضَ نَتَبَوَّأُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ نَشَاءُ ۖ فَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ
“And they will say, “Praise to Allah , who has fulfilled for us His promise and made us inherit the earth [so] we may settle in Paradise wherever we will. And excellent is the reward of [righteous] workers.” Surah Az-Zumar 39:74
The phrase Sadaqa Wa’da itself conveys the concept and instills in a Muslim that he should be true to his word. For, breaking up promises is one of the traits of a hyprocrite!
ك ذ ب kadhaba is the root word for lie, deceit, falsehood, untruth.
Dear brothers and sisters, in one hadeeth, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explains everything. The gems that came out from his lips glitter like this:
إن الصدق يهدي إلى البر وإن البر يهدي إلى الجنة، وإن الرجل ليصدق حتى يكتب عند الله صديقاً
وإن الكذب يهدي إلى الفجور، وإن الفجور يهدي إلى النار، وإن الرجل ليكذب حتى يكتب عند الله كذاباً
“Truth leads to righteous and righteous leads to Jannah. A man persists in speaking the truth till he is enrolled with Allah as a truthful.
Falsehood leads to vice and vice leads to the Fire (Hell), and a person persists on telling lies until he is enrolled with Allah as a liar“. Agreed Upon
A صادق Saadiq is the one who is truthful. Allah commands the believers:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
“O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” Surah Tawbah 9:119
In order words: Don’t adopt falsehood! Don’t side with the liars! Be sincere!
In the Hereafter, Allah will reward the saadiqeen (truthful) for their sidq (truthfulness) by proudly declaring thus:
قَالَ اللَّـهُ هَـٰذَا يَوْمُ يَنْفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ
لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۚ رَضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
“Allah will say, “This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness.” For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment.” Surah al Maaidah 5: 119
Now come to the ayah I mentioned in the beginning of this post:
نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ فَلَوْلَا تُصَدِّقُونَ
“We have created you, so why do you not believe?” Surah al Waaqi’ah 56:57
Saddaqa, Yusaddiqu, Tusaddiqu – means to accept truth, to admit, to confirm, to believe.
The imperative ‘We have created you, so why do you not believe?’ actually means ‘Why do you not accept the truth that I am your Creator?
That Allah is our Creator, is a truth beyond doubt! But some people do not accept this truth. They have different ‘beliefs’!
The word Tusaddiq calls for a belief based on confirmation of a truth and an acceptance of a fact.
The glorious Qur’an, through the usage of precise words, establishes the fact that Islam rejects those beliefs that are not based on truth. So there is no room for any blind belief or blind faith in Islam!
‘sadaqah’ is the Qur’anic word used or ‘charity’. The meaning is immense and intense.
خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً
“Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity“. Surah Tawbah 9:103
The meaning is loud and clear. A Muslim adopts truthfulness while giving charity and performing charitable activities. He spends with a true and open heart, having sincere purpose and purity of motive. He doesn’t cheat or ill treat the poor and the needy.
A glimpse of the hadeeth literature reveals that the word sadaqah has the most comprehensive meaning, and that it is not restricted to financial charity!
For example: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
كُلُّ مَعْرُوفٍ صَدَقَةٌ
“Every act of goodness is charity“.
The subtle meaning of ‘sadaqah’ is: If there is goodness in something, there is truth in that. So a Muslim practices that goodness, that truth in his beliefs and practice. Subhanallah!
Sadeeq – صديق is the Qur’anic word for Friend
What does this Qur’anic word imply?
A friend must be truthful to another friend. They should be honest and faithful to each other.
One who has an element of cheating in him cannot be a friend to others!
Be a truthful companion – a Sadeeq!
There are many things to be discussed, InshaaAllah. I will stop here for now lest I bore you with a long post.
See you in the next post, part 2, InshaaAllah.