true thought, true words and true actions, sidq is reflected in the life of a
traveler on the path to God as follows: he or she does not lie or tell a
falsehood, lives according to truth-fulness, and strives to be a trustworthy
representative of loyalty to God. In other words, he or she never deviates from
truthfulness in all thoughts, words and actions and, in obedience to the
Qur’anic command: Be with the truthful (9:119), always seeks
truthfulness on both an individual and a social level.
Such people are so careful about being truthful that they never give
false evidence or tell lies even in jest. As related in a Prophetic saying, one
who is truthful to that degree is recorded as a truthful one by the Supreme
Court, while one whose thoughts, words, and actions are contradictory and who
deceives others is recorded as a liar.
Truthfulness is the firmest road leading to God, and the truthful are
fortunate travelers upon it. Truthfulness is the spirit and essence of action
and the true standard of straightforwardness in thought; it distinguishes
believers from hypocrites, and the people of Paradise from the people of Fire.
Truthfulness is a Prophetic virtue in those who are not Prophets, by which
“servants” share the same blessings as “kings.” In the Qur’an, God
Almighty described as being true both the one who communicated it and the one
who confirmed it: He who came with the truth and he who declared that it is
Truthfulness can be defined as struggling to preserve one’s integrity
and to avoid hypocrisy and lying, even in strained circumstances when a lie
will cause release. Junayd al-Baghdadi says: A loyal, truthful one changes
states at least forty times a day (in order to preserve personal integrity),
while a hypocrite remains the same for forty years without feeling any trouble
or unease (over his or her deviation).
The initial and lowest degree of truthfulness is sincerity and behaving
the same whether in public or in private. This is followed by being true in all
thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions. The truthful are those valiant
people whose feelings, thoughts, and actions do not contradict one another; the
most truthful are those heroes who are absolutely true in all of their
imaginations, intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions, and gestures.
Using all of one’s faculties and capacities to achieve truthfulness in
all actions, adherence to a lofty ideal or cause, and loyalty to or
steadfastness in it is an attribute of Prophethood. In the verse: Make
mention of Abraham in the Book: he was a most truthful one, a Prophet
(19:41), the Qur’an refers to this highest degree of truthfulness.
Truthfulness is the primary attribute of all Prophets, and the strongest moral
force or means-producing activity for serving Islam and the Qur’an. It is
also a believer’s greatest credit and most valid document in the Hereafter.
God draws our attention to this significant fact: This is a day in which
their truthfulness profits the truthful (5:119).
Truthfulness serves the Prophets, the purified and perfected scholars and
the saints brought near to God, as a heavenly mount that, as quick as
lightning, can carry them to the highest heights; lying, however, pulls Satan
and his followers down to the lowest depths. Thoughts “fly upward” on the
wings of truthfulness and increase in value, actions grow and flourish on the
ground of truthfulness, and truthful supplications and prayers reach the Throne
of Mercy and are welcomed.
Truthfulness is as effective as the “elixir” of God’s Greatest
Name. When asked about the Greatest Name, Bayazid al-Bistami answered:
me the Least Name among God’s Names so that I may show you the Greatest One.
If there is something as effective (for the acceptability by God of prayers and
actions) as the Greatest Name, it is truthfulness. Whichever Name is recited
truthfully, It becomes the Greatest.
Truthfulness caused the light of repentance to shine on the forehead of
Prophet Adam, upon him be peace. Truthfulness served as a vessel of salvation
for Prophet Noah, upon him be peace, when the world was flooded. Truthfulness
carried Prophet Abraham, upon him be peace, to safety and coolness from the
fire into which he had been thrown. Truthfulness elevates ordinary people to
extraordinary heights, and is a key that opens the door to realms and realities
beyond visible existence. One borne aloft by truthfulness cannot be detained
from journeying upward, and doors are not closed in the face of one who uses
this key. How apt are the words of Rumi in this respect:
truthfulness of a lover affects even the lifeless;
Why then should it be found strange that it affects man’s heart?
The truthfulness of Moses affected his staff and the mountain;
Nay, it also affected that great, splendid sea.
As for the truthfulness of Muhammad, it affected
The beautiful face of the Moon and also the shining Sun.
In many verses, the Qur’an relates that being a true believer depends
upon one’s integrity and truthfulness in words, actions, feelings, and
innermost senses. It also regards such a degree of integrity and truthfulness
as the basis of happiness in both this world and the next. The following are a
Say: My Lord, cause me
to enter with truth, and cause me to go out with truth, and grant me a power
from Your Presence to help me. (17:80)
Grant me a good
reputation, being remembered for truthfulness, in later generations.
Give to those who
believe good tidings that they have a true, sure footing in the sight of their
The righteous are in the
Gardens and rivers, on the seats of truthfulness in the Presence of a Mighty
Entering with truth, going out with truth, being remembered for
truthfulness, true and sure footing, and a seat of truthfulness are all
stations of and provisions for a long road extending from this world to the
Hereafter. Since what takes place in this world yields fruit in the Hereafter,
the truthful always pursue what is true, observe truthfulness when starting a
task or moving to another place in the way of God, act and live in accord with
the requirements of truthfulness, and bequeath truthfulness to succeeding
generations. Their objective is to deserve eternal happiness in the Hereafter.
To become truthful in intentions and aims, believers must consciously
decide to become truthful in their thoughts, decisions, and acts. This is the
first step. Those so resolved must persist in truthfulness, regardless of the
consequences, and refrain from whatever might shake their resolution. The
second step is to maintain this worldly life only to support the truth and gain
God’s approval and pleasure. Such people are always aware of the defects and
faults of their selfhood, and do not surrender to the world’s attractions and
change their conditions for worldly reasons. The third step is to establish
truthfulness so firmly in one’s conscience that it governs every facet of
life. This is identical with the station of being pleased, which is explained
in the Tradition: One who is pleased with God as the Lord and Islam as the
religion and Muhammad as the Prophet has tasted the delight of belief.
The greatest truthfulness and loyalty is for people to be pleased with
the Lordship of God regardless of the treatment He dispenses, to accept Islam
as the Divine system governing their lives, and to submit willingly to the
guidance or leadership of the best of creation, upon him be peace and
blessings. The way to true humanity lies in undertaking this grave
responsibility, which is very difficult to fulfill perfectly.
us conclude with a fine couplet:
What befits man is truthfulness even if under threat;
God Almighty is the helper of the truthful.