Telling the Truth and Keeping Promises
The Boy who Cried Wolf
There was once a boy who was sent to guard his father's sheep outside his village. One day, he cried out "Help! The wolf is killing the sheep!" The villagers rushed out to help him with sticks and guns. When they looked around, they found no wolf, only the boy laughing at them. The next week, he again cried, "Wolf!", and again, the villagers rushed out to him for nothing. Then, one day, a real wolf attacked his sheep. "Help!" he shouted. "The wolf is here!" But, nobody came to help him. He had told lies so often that even when he told the truth, no one believed him.
The Girl Who Broke Her Promises
Maryam had a friend named Latifah. Latifah never kept her promises. Any time she promised to do something, she didn't do it. One time, Maryam told Latifah a secret, and Latifah promised not to tell anyone. The next day, everyone knew Maryam's secret. Latifah had broken her promise, and Maryam never trusted her again. Latufah didn't keep her friends for long, because she always broke her promises. Even when she would swear by Allah (S) nobody believed her. Soon, Latifah was very lonely.
The Lesson of These Stories
It is very important to be truthful and to keep promises. Nobody likes a liar. Nobody trusts a person who breaks promises. Liars and untrustworthy people soon find they have no friends.
Rasulullah's (s) Example
Rasulullah (s) was a very truthful and trustworthy person. Even before he was called by Allah (S) to be His Messenger, people liked his honest character. They even called him "Al-Amin", which means, "The Trustworthy", and As-Sadiq which means the "Truthful One."
Rasulullah (S) is also reported to have said:
If anyone is pleased to love Allah (S) and His Messenger, or rather to have Allah (s) and His Messenger love him, he should speak the truth when he says anything, and fulfill his trust when he is in position of trust.
What the Qur'an Says About Truthfulness and Trustworthiness
The Qur'an tells us to be truthful and trustworthy in many places. For example:
And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is)
O you who believe! Fulfill (all) obligations.
O you who believe! Why say you that which you do not? Grieviously hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not.
A Muslim must stop himself from telling lies. One lie often leads to others, Sooner or later, when the truth comes out, the only one hurt is the liar himself. A Muslim must make sure that whenever he makes a promise, he keeps it to the best of his ability. Only then will the others respect him and trust his word.
We Have Learned
*A true Muslim is one who does not lie or break promises.
*People who lie all the time soon find themselves in trouble.
*Telling the truth gains the love of Allah (s) and the respect of others.