Sunday, October 11, 2015

Brief Comments on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen #93

Lying for making reconciliation between people

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

Narrated Umm Kulthum bint `Uqbah رضي الله عنها that she heard Allaah’s Messenger saying: “The person who (lies) in order to conciliate between people is not a liar, when he conveys good or says (something) good.”

Imaam Muslim added that she also said: “I did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people call as lies except in three cases: in battle, for reconciling among people and the conversation of a man with his wife and the conversation of a woman with her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between the two).”

[Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2692) and Saheeh Muslim (6303)]

Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

If a person intends to make reconciliation between the people and says to a person: ‘so-and-so has been praising and commending you and was supplicating for you’, or something along the line, then there is nothing wrong in that.

Scholars have differed in this regards: ‘Does it mean that a person can say a straightforward lie?’ or ‘does it mean that a person should speak in such a way that it hides the obvious?’ But there is another way which is, for example, when a person says to another: ‘so-and-so has been praising you’; (making the general praise into something specific). And verily, every (Muslim) person praises the (other) Muslims in general.

Or intending with his statement: ‘so-and-so has been praying for you’, even though the supplication was for the servants of Allaah in general. A person prays for every righteous servant in every prayer, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم had said: “If you say this”, meaning: when a person says in the Tashahhud: As-salaamu `alainaa wa `alaa `ibaadil-laahis-saaliheen (Peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allaah), “then you have surely sent the greetings to every good (pious) worshipper of Allaah, whether he be in the Heaven or on the Earth”. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim]

Some of the scholars have said: using equivocation (a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids the truth) in speech is tantamount to lying because it conflicts with the reality, even if the one who conveyed the information intended with it the correct meaning. As evidence, they (the scholars) quoted the Hadeeth of the intercession in which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “So they (the people on the Day of Judgment) will go to Ibraaheem, and he will say: 'I lied three times.” Then the Messenger of Allaah said: “He did not lie except defending Allaah’s religion.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim] Even though Ibraaheem عليه الصلاة والسلام did not tell a lie except that he used deliberate ambiguity.

Anyways, the conciliator (who wants to make reconciliation between two people) should abstain from lying (as much as possible), but if he has no other option then there is nothing wrong with using deliberate ambiguity as an alternative. A person who uses equivocation in his speech will not be sinning; rather, deliberate ambiguity becomes permissible when it serves the interest (of reconciliation).

(In the narration of Saheeh Muslim), there is additional information that apart from reconciliation between people, it also allowed during war.

Lying during a battle is also a form of deliberate ambiguity, example, saying to the enemy: ‘I have the support of a great army’, or something similar by which to frighten the enemy.

Using deliberate ambiguity during war can be divided into two parts:

The first is by the way of speech.

The second is by the way of action, like how al-Qa`qaa` Ibn `Amr رضي الله عنه did during one of the battles. In order to terrify the enemies, he brought his army to face the enemies one morning. But before arriving to the battlefield, al-Qa`qaa` divided his troops into several smaller groups and instructed them to appear on the battlefield one after the other, giving the impression that large reinforcements were arriving to help the Mujaahideen. This made the enemies to believe that there were, indeed reinforcements coming to help the warring Mujaahideen. So this way of scaring and terrifying the enemies is permissible when it serves the purpose.

As for the third point: “the conversation of a man with his wife and the conversation of a woman with her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between the two)”, again deliberate ambiguity is allowed in this regards. Example, the man says to his wife: ‘you are the most beloved of people to me, and I am attracted towards you’, or something similar in wording which would increase the harmony and love between the two.

And with this (being said), one should not exceed in this regards - between the affairs of the husband and wife, because if a man discovers that the woman is in complete opposition to what she had informed him, it may backfire and he may end up hating her more than before. Similarly, the same may happen to the wife in regards to her husband.

[Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen of Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen (3/38-41)]

No comments:

Post a Comment