When lies are permissible

  • Author: Fatwa no. 88412
  • Publish date:14/03/2018
  • Sections:FATWA FOR ALL
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Question:

 According to your site we can lie for some necessity or to protect someone. Are the following examples reason for lying? My uncle lied that his son passed in the exam. This is to keep it a secret. My wife's aunt lied that she did not give dowry (money given by bride's parents to the groom) to the groom of her daughter. Here both uncle and aunt are trying to protect their children. If these 2 examples are not correct, then can you give examples so that we can understand what lies are permitted?
 
Fatwa:
 
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.
 
In principle telling a lie is forbidden. Severe threats were stated in many Ahadeeth regarding telling lies. For instance, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Beware of telling lies (falsehood), as telling lies leads to wickedness and evil-doing, and wickedness leads to Hellfire." (Muslim)
 
Therefore, it is forbidden not to abide by this principle except in case of necessity or for a general need, and when there is no other means of achieving the objective except by telling a lie.
 
One of the means by which one achieves the objective is by using connotations or equivocations, i.e. to say a word or phrase or sentence by which one means something but the listener understands something else. But when using such a means, one should not cause the loss of the right of others, or cause harm to them.
 
Anyway, it seems that what your uncle has done or what your wife's aunt had done is a real lie, which is informing about or saying something contrary to the reality without real necessity.
 
Allah Knows best.
 
Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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