Truthfulness and Trustworthiness
Truthfulness and trustworthiness are virtues of foremost importance in Islam. In the words of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), these are the pre-requisites of Faith. Without them, no one can be a true Muslim. A hadith tells us that telling lies, betraying a trust and breaking a pledge are the special signs of a hypocrite. A person in whom these attributes are present is a dissembler, not a faithful Believer.
(1) It is related by Abdullah bin Masud that the Apostle of God said: “Observe truthfulness as a duty and always speak the truth, for truthfulness puts you on the path of virtue, and virtue leads you to Heaven, and when a person tells the truth as a rule, and makes truthfulness a way of life, he attains the place of sincerity and faithfulness and, with God, his name is written among the Sincere, and stay strictly away from falsehood, for falsehood puts you on the path of immorality, and leads you to Hell, and when a man takes to lying, the sequel is that his name is written, with God, among the Faithless and the Insincere.”
– Bukhari and Muslim
What it seeks to convey is that truthful-ness, besides being a noble habit, in itself, makes a man virtuous in other spheres of life as well, and one who habitually speaks the truth attains the high station of those who are Sincere, in the sight of God. Conversely, falsehood, apart from being a filthy habit, in itself, gives rise to viciousness and evildoing in the other fields of existence, too, and makes him deserving of Hell, and the ultimate end of a habitual liar is identical to that of men on whom there is the eternal curse of God.
(2) Narrates Abdul Rahman bin Abi Qurad that, one day, as the Apostle of God was performing Wuzu, the Companions began to rub the water he used for it (on their faces and bodies). The Prophet enquired (from them): “What makes you do it?” “The love of God and His Apostle”, they replied. The Prophet, thereupon, observed: “Whoever sincerely wishes to love God and the Apostle or that God and the Apostle loved him should always speak the truth when he speaks, and restore honestly what he has received in trust to whom it is due, and be good and courteous to the neighbours.”
It tells that an essential condition of sincere devotion to God and the Prophet is that the faithful man always speaks the truth, observes trustworthiness, and abstains from falsehood and violation of faith. Otherwise, the claim that he loves God His Apostle is pure impudence and a form of hypocrisy.
(3) It is related by Obadah bin Saamit that the Apostle of God said: “You promise six things (to me), and I (shall) give you the guarantee of Paradise. (These are): speak the truth when you speak; fulfill a promise when you make one; render back honestly when a trust is placed in your charge; protect your private parts from a forbidden act (specially fornication and adultery); shut your eyes to things to look at which is prohibited; (and) hold back your hands on occasions on which you are commanded to hold them back (as, for instance, do not hurt or harm anyone unjustly or stretch the hand to seize a thing unlawfully).”
– Musnad-i-Ahmad and Baihaqi
It shows that if a person has affirmed his faith in Islam, and observes his duties, and also pays attention to the six moral virtues indicated in it, for him there is the assurance of Paradise from God and the Apostle, and he is destined to attain salvation.