Lying to mother to end her suffering
Fatwa No: 346159

Question

Dear Brother, I was molested and abused a lot as a child. These past few days, I was repenting to Allaah and read that the parents are responsible for their young children. My parents were negligent; they allowed me to sleep in one bed with my brothers and study with male teachers all by myself. I asked my mother to repent for what happened to me, but she got very upset and totally angry and claimed that she was a good mother, which she is (she was just negligent), and started accusing me and fell ill and said that she could die from the pain that I have caused her. So to calm her down, I asked her for her forgiveness and said that I had lied to her about everything, just to satisfy her and to stop her from torturing herself. Sadly, however, one of the molesters was a family member. Am I sinful?

Answer

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  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

Lying is forbidden, and it is not permissible for a Muslim to resort to it as it involves many disadvantages in the religion and the worldly matters.

There are many Islamic texts that emphasize its prohibition, like the hadeeth which was reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim [and the wording hereunder is Muslim’s] and reads that Ibn Mas’ood, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “Beware of lying, for lying leads to wickedness, and wickedness leads to Hellfire, and a man continues to tell lies till he is written before Allah as a liar.

However, if it was the only way to please your mother and you did not find another way to do so, then we hope that you are not sinful in having lied to her.

The scholars gave a concession in regard to resorting to lying if it is the only means to achieve a valid purpose that could not be achieved otherwise; for more benefit in this regard, please refer to fatwas 84728 and 88412.

In the above fatwas that we have highlighted, it is explained that it is better to resort to Tawriyah (use ambiguous terms) instead of openly lie.

We have already referred you to some fatwas regarding not separating between the children in bed and that it is a grave mistake on the part of the parents, but if any of them did so out of ignorance, then we hope that he is not sinful.

You are also not sinful regarding what happened because you were not accountable for your actions at the time.

Allah knows best.

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