In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Trickery

Allaah [The Exalted] said:

وَاسْأَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ إِذْ يَعْدُونَ فِي السَّبْتِ إِذْ تَأْتِيهِمْ حِيتَانُهُمْ يَوْمَ سَبْتِهِمْ شُرَّعًا وَيَوْمَ لَا يَسْبِتُونَ لَا تَأْتِيهِمْ كَذَلِكَ نَبْلُوهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ * وَإِذْ قَالَتْ أُمَّةٌ مِنْهُمْ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا اللَّهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا قَالُوا مَعْذِرَةً إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ * فَلَمَّا نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ أَنْجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ السُّوءِ وَأَخَذْنَا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا بِعَذَابٍ بَئِيسٍ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ * فَلَمَّا عَتَوْا عَنْ مَا نُهُوا عَنْهُ قُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ

And ask them (O Muhammad ) about the town that was by the sea, when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them for they used to rebel. And when a community among them said: “Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?” (The preachers) said: “In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah), and perhaps they may fear Allah.” So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel (disobey Allah). So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected.” (It is a severe warning to the mankind that they should not disobey what Allah commands them to do, and be far away from what He prohibits them). [Surah Al-A’raaf 163-166]

Imaam Ibn Katheer [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “These were a people who used a trick to violate Allah’s prohibitions- employing means that appeared to be (permissible), but its meaning – with regards to what was hidden- was to commit an unlawful deed”. (1) Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “So Allaah seized them with torment and transformed them into monkeys, which shows that employing tricks with Allaah’s divine rulings is unlawful”. (2)

The Evil Consequences of Hiding Facts During Dispute

Umm Salamah [may Allaah be pleased with her] reported that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Indeed, I am only a human being and you people (i.e. disputants) come to me with your disputes. And it may be that one of you can present his case more eloquently than the other and I consider him truthful, and judge in his favour. So if I ever judge and give the right of a brother to his brother, then it is a piece of hell-fire and let him not take it”. (3)

Some Benefits Derived From This Hadeeth:

[a] The Ummah [i.e. the scholars and judges] have been commissioned to judge based on what is apparent; but the mere judgement of a judge cannot prohibit the lawful and allow the unlawful [i.e. because it cannot be taken if proven erroneous]. [b] This Hadeeth contains a refutation against those who say that the Messengers possess knowledge of the unseen. [c] This hadeeth also shows that speech can be seen to be true based on what is apparent, but it is truly falsehood with regards to what is hidden within it. [d] Also this hadeeth shows that the one who receives a judgement in his favour is more aware than every other person as to whether he is entitled to it or whether he is a falsifier. So, he takes it if he is entitled to it or leaves it if he a falsifier, because in reality a judgment cannot change an affair from what it was in origin [i.e. the original truth in the affair before its distortion or concealment]. [e] Also this hadeeth shows the sinfulness of the one who argues based on falsehood until he receives what he wants publicly, whilst he is upon falsehood. [f] Also in this hadeeth is proof to show that a scholar can make a mistake and it is a refutation against those who say that every Mujtahid is correct. [g] Also this hadeeth shows us that the Mujtahid is forgiven (when he makes a mistake). (4)

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّٲمِينَ بِٱلۡقِسۡطِ شُہَدَآءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَوِ ٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبِينَ‌ۚ إِن يَكُنۡ غَنِيًّا أَوۡ فَقِيرً۬ا فَٱللَّهُ أَوۡلَىٰ بِہِمَا‌ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ أَن تَعۡدِلُواْ‌ۚ وَإِن تَلۡوُ ۥۤاْ أَوۡ تُعۡرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah; even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do. [Surah An-Nisaa. Ayah 135]

[وَإِن تَلۡوُ ۥۤاْ أَوۡ تُعۡرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا – and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do].

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Allaah [Glorified Be He and Free is He from all imperfections] mentions two reasons that will inevitably lead to concealment of truth, then He warned against them and issued a threat: The first of them is distortion and the second is to turn away from giving truthful witness. That is because when a proof that supports the truth is manifested and the one who wants to repel it finds no way of doing so, he refrains from mentioning it and thus becomes a silent devil, and sometimes he distorts it. Distortion is of two types: Distorting words and distorting meanings. Distorting words is when one utters a word in a context in which it does not establish the truth – either adding to the word or omitting something from it, or substituting it with something else- to the extent that the listener is made to believe something, whilst something else is intended by it, just as the Yahood [i.e. those Yahood who disbelieved in the Prophet and hated him] used to distort words when giving Salaam to the Prophet [i.e. saying As-Saamu Alayka (death be upon you), instead of saying Assalaamu alaykum)]. This is one type of distortion. The second type of distortion is related to meanings – distorting the wording; giving it an interpretation that is not intended by the one who uttered it and pretending not to know its unintended meaning; or dropping other meanings intended by it etc. Allaah [The Most High] said:

[وَإِن تَلۡوُ ۥۤاْ أَوۡ تُعۡرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا – and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do]. And when it is the case that a witness is required to bear witness based on what the affair should be [i.e. the complete truth], therefore neither should he hide nor change it. Turning away from the testimony is tantamount to concealment, and distortion is tantamount to alteration and substitution. Therefore, contemplate on this ayah and the treasures of knowledge it contains. The Eemaan of a person cannot be complete, except by way of accepting the texts of the sharee’ah and calling the people to them – neither turning away from them at times nor distorting them at other times. (5)

 

Be Warned Against Burdensome Speech

The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Indeed, Allaah hates the eloquent one among men who moves his tongue round [within his teeth], as cattle do”. Al-Allaamah Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbaad [may Allaah preserve him] said, “The person intended in this hadeeth is the one who speaks eloquently, while using obscure or ambiguous language, immerses himself in speech and burdens himself. He burdens himself in speech and thus utters something blameworthy. However, if this [eloquence] is not done by way of burdening oneself in speech, such as the one whom Allaah has granted eloquence and he utilises it in his speech in order to clarify the truth, then this is not blameworthy. Allaah hates the person who speaks eloquently and utters that which is blameworthy due to deliberately utilising obscure, ambiguous and burdensome speech. This person is likened to a cow that moves its tongue round [among its teeth] when eating. It is said that a cow is not like other animals-because other animals use their teeth but a cow uses its tongue. This hadeeth forbids the likes of this action [i.e. eloquent burdensome speech] and the one who does so is hated by Allaah”. (6)

Quarrelsomeness

The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The most hated of men in the sight of Allaah is the one who is most quarrelsome”. Al-Allaamah Zayd Bin Haadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “A warning against (blameworthy) argumentation, falling into wicked behaviour and its severe (consequences), especially if the argumentation is based on falsehood. As for when it is based on truth, there is nothing wrong with that for the one who has a right to do so; but he should be just in his argument so that he does not enter into oppression or error, and Allaah knows best. The hadeeth is related to warning against lying during argumentation- [a warning against] bringing falsehood and adorned speech into it until one change falsehood into truth and truth into falsehood – not bothered about making an oath, lying or giving false witness. All this occurs from a person who is extremely quarrelsome, goes into excess in the affair and does not feel shy in the presence of Allaah- neither fears punishment in this life nor in the next life. And when it is the case that the extremely quarrelsome person is blameworthy, then indeed the person who has good conduct – if entitled to something – during an argument and other affairs, he will not utter except truth, and will not seek after anything except the truth- neither lies nor deceives the Sharee’ah judge. This is from the characteristics of the people of Eemaan – those whom Allaah praised in the Qur’aan and the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] (also) praised them in the [texts of] the pure Sunnah. (7)

Therefore, the affair is very serious! Let us not be from those who evade important questions and desperately seek to change the subject matter so that facts are concealed. We cannot behave like irresponsible young men! A parent asks his child, “Are you up to date with your recent assignments”, he replies, “I have written an essay on such and such”. Yes indeed, maybe he wrote this essay many months ago, but he has not submitted his recent assignments due to laziness, and thus he misleads his parents by telling the truth – in general – that he has written something, but conceals the specific details being sought from him. This is nothing but paltering – deception, which a person may utilize to deceive others. The individuals who are deceived in this manner – in most cases – cannot differentiate between lying and paltering when interacting in person, so how about when the deceivers utilize such a strategy to deceive people on social media whilst seeking fame, leadership, beautifying their errors, portraying others as the guilty party and refraining from recanting errors. This is not befitting anyone who is engaged in Dawah or teaching.

Another strategy utilised by some people in the worldly affairs is that they would do their utmost to ruin the reputation of a person who is responsible for bringing them to justice, or they plot and plan until that person is removed from a position so that he is not able to pursue their affair. Likewise, there are people who utilise this strategy in religious affair, such as those ahlul bidah and hizbiyyoon – those who have not left any stone unturned in their desperate attempt to topple the scholars, especially Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi, Al-Allaamah Muqbil Bin Haadi, Al-Allaamah Ubaid Bin Abdillaah Al-Jaabiri and others, so that they can get away with their crimes against the sound Salafi Methodology?!

Therefore, when any of us commits an error related to knowledge or manners, and he is given advice or receives a justified reprimand depending on the severity of the mistake, then indeed it is not befitting any seeker of truth to seek to diminish the status of a truthful adviser or turn people away from him – either openly or in a discreet manner – out of fearing that their unambiguous knowledge based clarifications will always remind people of the error you have refused to recant. So, you begin to utilise flattery and overstating the status of others to divert attention from the one who asks you to recant your error. We end this article with some statements of Al-Allaamah Abdur Rahmaan Bin Yahyah Al-Mu’allimee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] when he stated:

“To oppose desires – by way of action – for the sake of the truth is a manifest affair due to the obligation and difficulty it involves, and this can be viewed from different angles as follows: A person sees that by acknowledging the truth, it would necessitate that he has acknowledged that he was upon falsehood, because a person is nurtured upon a religion, creed, school of thought or views, which he acquired from his nurturer and teacher, considers it to be the truth and followed it for a long time. Then when it becomes clear to him that (the religion, creed, view, or school of thought) is false, it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge, just like when his forefathers, ancestors or the one he follows are upon a (particular) way and its falsity is clarified for him, because he sees that their deficiencies necessitate his own deficiencies, and an acknowledgement of their misguidance or errors necessitates his own. It may be that clinging to falsehood gave him prestige, fame and a livelihood, so it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge that (what he is upon is) falsehood and thus all those benefits (i.e. the fame, prestige, livelihood etc) would disappear. It may be that a person is upon ignorance or falsehood, then another person comes along and clarifies the proofs for him, so he sees that by acknowledging such proofs, it would necessitate that he is lacking (in understanding) and that it was that person who guided him. And due to this we find that it is not difficult for some of those attributed to knowledge to acknowledge their mistakes when it becomes manifests to them in their researches and studies, but it becomes difficult for them if it was others who clarified such mistakes. When another person clarifies the truth for him, he sees that by acknowledging such truth it would necessitate an acknowledgement of the clarifier’s virtue, knowledge and correctness due to that clarification, and thus that becomes great in the eyes of the people and many people follow him [i.e. the person who clarified the truth]. So you will find some of those attributed to knowledge being eager to prove the mistakes of other scholars even if that is done by way of falsehood due to envy and seeking to diminish their status amongst the people. To oppose desires for the sake of the truth -in affairs of knowledge and creed- can indeed be difficult to accomplish, therefore it requires (sincere) research and contemplation. And in this regard, one is in need of asking the scholars and benefiting from them, adhering to fear of Allaah, seeking the Tawfeeq of Allaah and guidance”. (8)

The Shaikh also stated regarding that which should make a person give precedence to truth over falsehood:

Ponder on the fact that truth is noble and falsehood is lowly. Ponder on the Greatness of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic]- the fact that Allaah is the Lord of the entire universe, Allaah loves truth and hates falsehood, and that the one who follows truth is deserving of the Pleasure of the Lord of the universe. Allaah [Glorified be He] will be his protector in the worldly life and the Afterlife by choosing for him everything that is good, better, more beneficial, more perfect, more noble and loftier until Allaah removes his soul whilst being pleased with him. Then Allaah raises him, brings him close and makes him dwell in paradise with honour- in permanent bliss and eternal nobility which no imagination can fully conceive its greatness. He should ponder on the fact that the one who clings to falsehood is deserving of the displeasure, anger and punishment of the Lord of the universe, and if he receives anything of worldly bliss, then indeed that is only a means of humiliating him in order that he is increased in being distanced from Allaah, so that the painful torment of the afterlife is multiplied for him, which no imagination can fully conceive its severity. He should ponder on the bliss of the worldly life [i.e. temporary] as compared to the pleasure of the Lord of the universe and the bliss in the afterlife [i.e. eternal], compare the misery of the worldly life to displeasure of the Lord of the universe and the punishment in the afterlife [i.e. the severest punishment in this life is nowhere equal to punishment in the afterlife]. He should ponder on the statement of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic]:

وَقَالُواْ لَوۡلَا نُزِّلَ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡقَرۡيَتَيۡنِ عَظِيمٍ
أَهُمۡ يَقۡسِمُونَ رَحۡمَتَ رَبِّكَ‌ۚ نَحۡنُ قَسَمۡنَا بَيۡنَہُم مَّعِيشَتَہُمۡ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا‌ۚ وَرَفَعۡنَا بَعۡضَہُمۡ فَوۡقَ بَعۡضٍ۬ دَرَجَـٰتٍ۬ لِّيَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُہُم بَعۡضً۬ا سُخۡرِيًّ۬ا‌ۗ وَرَحۡمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّمَّا يَجۡمَعُونَ
وَلَوۡلَآ أَن يَكُونَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ لَّجَعَلۡنَا لِمَن يَكۡفُرُ بِٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ لِبُيُوتِہِمۡ سُقُفً۬ا مِّن فِضَّةٍ۬ وَمَعَارِجَ عَلَيۡہَا يَظۡهَرُونَ
وَلِبُيُوتِہِمۡ أَبۡوَٲبً۬ا وَسُرُرًا عَلَيۡہَا يَتَّكِـُٔونَ
وَزُخۡرُفً۬ا‌ۚ وَإِن ڪُلُّ ذَٲلِكَ لَمَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا‌ۚ وَٱلۡأَخِرَةُ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ

And they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Makkah and Ta’if)?” Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of your Lord? It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work. But the Mercy (Paradise) of your Lord (O Muhammad) is better than the (wealth of this world) which they amass. And were it not that all mankind would have become of one community (all disbelievers, desiring worldly life only), We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Beneficent (Allah), silver roofs for their houses, and elevators (and stair-ways, etc. of silver) whereby they ascend, and for their houses, doors (of silver), and thrones (of silver) on which they could recline, and adornments of gold. Yet all this (i.e. the roofs, doors, stairs, elevators, thrones etc. of their houses) would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world. And the Hereafter with your Lord is only for the Muttaqun”. [Surah Az-Zuhkruf. Verses 31-35] (9)

Al-Allaama Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [may Allaah preserve him] said, “Through [Muhammad (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasalam)] Allaah removed us from the darkness of Shirk, indecency and Bidah, evil deeds and bad manners – lying, deceit, quackery, trickery … And He (purified us) with pure (Islamic)] monotheism and strong sincere Eemaan. He nurtured us upon truthfulness and took the oath of allegiance from us that we speak the truth wherever we may be”. (10)

We ask Allaah for Ikhlaas, Sidq, Thabaat and Husnul Khaatimah Aameen.


[Ref 1: Misbaah al-Muneer Fee Tahdheeb Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

[Ref 2: Al-Fataawa Al-Kubraa 6/28]

[Ref 3: Saheeh Al-Bukhaari -Kitaab Al-Ahkaam (Book of Judgements): Chapter 29: Hadeeth Number: 7181]

[Ref 4: An Excerpt From ‘Saheeh Al-Bukhaari – Kitaab Al-Ahkaam with Fathul Baari’. Paraphrased

[Ref 5: An Excerpt from ‘Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah). Vol 1. Page 300-303. Slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 6: Explanation of Sunan Abu Dawud by Shaikh Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbaad (may Allaah preserve him). Audio number 569. Abridged and paraphrased]

[Ref 7: An Excerpt from ‘At-taleeqaatul Maleehah Alaa Silsilatil Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah. Vol 1. Page 26. slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 8: An excerpt from ‘At-Tankeel Bimaa Fee Ta’need Al-Kawthariy Minal Baatil’ 2/180-181 with the checking of Imaam Albaanee (rahimahullaah). Slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 9: An Excerpt from Aathaar Ash-Shaykh Abdur Rahmaan Bin Yahyah Al-Mu’allimee Vol 11. Page 309. Slightly paraphrased] [Publisher: Daar Aalam Al-Fawaa’id. 3rd Edition 1434AH]

[Ref 10: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Awaasim Mimmaa Fee Kutub Sayyid Qutb Minal-Qawaasim: page 4-5. slightly paraphrased]

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