Scholars, I have an issue with lying. To my brother, I find myself lying to him over little things such as whether or not I have ironed my clothes or combed my hair. I do this as he has tendency to tease and berate me in an aggressive manner. Recently, i lied about finishing my quran reading for a day and I am feeling immense guilt over it and about to cry. I know I need to stop lying but if i tell the truth sometimes, my brother will say mean things to me. What should I do?
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 is His slave and Messenger.
Lying is forbidden and Islam severely warned us against it. Ibn Mas'ood narrated that the Prophet said: “Beware of lying, for lying leads to vice (wickedness, evil-doing), and vice leads to Hellfire, and a man continues to tell lies, until he is recorded with Allah as a liar." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
In Islam, lying is only approved in very strict limits. Based on the above, you have to avoid lying, and if you are in need for lying in order to repel a hardship, then you may resort to Tawriyyah.
Tawriyyah is to say something that has an apparent meaning and another hidden meaning, while you intend the hidden meaning, and this is permissible.
Imaam Al-Bukhari wrote a chapter: “The Chapter of Tawriyyah as an alternative to lying.”
If you cannot do this and informing your brother about the truth puts you in a difficult situation and in great hardship, and by lying no harm will touch another person, then in this case, it is permissible to lie.
An-Nawawi said: “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. Any praised objective that is possible to obtain without lying, then it is forbidden to obtain by lying. Nevertheless, if obtaining it cannot be done except by lying, then it is permissible to lie. Also, if achieving that objectives is permissible, then lying is permissible. If achieving that objective is an obligation, then lying becomes an obligation.” [End of quote]
Finally, it should be noted that your brother should be advised not to bother you and put you through hardships, or follow up with you in every matter whether it insignificant or important.
Allah knows best.
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