Without thinking, we teach our children that dishonesty is acceptable. When we instruct our children to tell the caller on the telephone we are not home, this is a lesson in deceit. When we refuse invitations and pretend we are busy, this is lying. We admonish our children for lying, yet the reality is we have been their teachers. Whether we tell lies, or whether we allow our children to live in a world surrounded by deceit, the lesson is learned and the honesty begins to disappear from the hearts of the next generation.
Honesty incorporates the concepts of truthfulness and reliability. It resides in all human thought, words, actions and relationships. It is more than just accuracy. It is more than just truthfulness. It stands for integrity or moral soundness. Islam commands truthfulness and forbids lying. Allah commands that a Muslim be honest.
Allah says: “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and be with those who are true (in word and deeds).” [9 At-Tauba:119]
Ibn Katheer, the renowned Qur’an scholar, explained the meaning of this verse. He said, “Being truthful and adhering to truthfulness, means you will be among the people of the truth and be saved from calamity. It will make a way out for you from your problems”. A true believer, one who is truly submitted to Allah, has many characteristics by which he can be identified. The most obvious of these noble characteristics are honesty of character and truthfulness of speech. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was a perfect example of honesty. Even before his Prophethood, he had earned the titles of Al-Amin (the trustworthy one) and As Sadiq (the truthful).