Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem,
“No legacy is as rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare
“Being hurt never hurts anyone. Being a liar only hurts you.” – Anonymous
It’s a simple word, isn’t it? Just say the truth whenever you are asked about something. Say that you came late for class because you overslept inside of blaming it on the death of a close relative. Give change while you have it, even if it means breaking down your Rs.1000 to a couple of hundreds to just pay Rs.20 instead of saying you don’t have money. Admit your mistakes such as joining in a group discussion where your friend was being insulted without stopping them instead of saying that you were never part of the discussion. Here are the simple situations where people tend to lie often, where they think there are no consequences to their actions. After all, it was just a small lie, right? No one was hurt, right? It was just a moment like many other moments that pass in less than a blink of an eye. Who would remember that, right? No one, probably, except the One that created our ability to utter a word and created the concept of time.
Being honest is a very important trait which has become underestimated and whose importance has been diminished in our society. Apparently, being honest means that you are dumb and easy to manipulate. It would mean that you are not smart enough to get what you want, to look for loopholes in the system and derive whatever benefits you can for yourself. Whereas those who are manipulative enough to reap more profits from something than intended are considered more successful and smarter and are given more praise than others. The liars are held at a higher position than the honest. People who cheat in their exams and get good grades are showered with compliments by their peers as compared to an honest hardworking, struggling student who managed to get from a C to a B. However, the cheaters are not always called liars but smart. The hard workers are not always given praise for their honesty, but are labeled as dumb. The perception of cleverness and intelligence has been altered in our society.
Lying does have its benefits though. You can get away with anything you want by making some excuse or blaming it on another person. For example, you crash your parents’ car and say your friend was driving. You can be in prestigious positions where you reap the benefits of your company and others, living life with a fancy tie and suit while stealthily taking hard-earned money from those who are not as well off as they are. This is the life of some CEOs, politicians, salesman and people of many different professions. But what’s the hustle, right? You’re getting an advantage out of it. What does it matter? Being honest, keeping promises, not cheating in life has no value.
But that’s the thing. It does matter. Moral values and ethics such as honesty are what make a person human. Just because your actions do not show any visible and instant benefits and rewards doesn’t mean it won’t be of value. A person can go through life cheating others and draining success from others and be a big shot, to satisfy their soul with worldly desires. But eventually that will end as eventually people will realize the true colors of these ‘smart’ people and stop trusting them and conducting business with them. And if this is not so, then the ‘smart’ people may earn riches but will not lead a very happy and content life. Certain problems can occur when people cheat others such as loss of friends, misunderstanding between family members, poverty, divorce, depression, anxiety or other stressors in life, etc. Either way, they may not be pleased and content with themselves. In the effort to gain instant benefits at the current moment, their future gets destroyed.
Whereas people who stay true to themselves, believe and trust in their own capabilities and are able to admit their mistakes and failures and work hard to achieve their goals will surely succeed in this life and the next. They have faith that if things do not work out because they honestly admit their mistakes, they know that they will be rewarded somehow in the future. They may not reap rewards instantly but they can receive much more than that. They can receive the love, trust, respect and care for friends and family as no one is harmed or mistreated. They can sleep easily at night without kilos of lies and broken promises weighing them down only to save themselves from potential disgrace because they know that they’d truly be disgraced when Allah would bring all their sins forth one way or another. They may be ridiculed at first for being stupid not to care for their own benefits as much as that for others, but they know that man was sent to this world so that they could coexist in unity and justice so no matter how much they are ridiculed, they are able to go to bed at the end of the day having made a positive difference in this world while always fulfilling their heart’s desire to a promisingly happy life.
Thus, it is important that we lead an honest life from birth to death in every area of life while we are conscious of our actions to lead a joyous and comfortable life. Even by lying in the smallest of deeds such as not telling you ate the last piece of cake can manifest and form a harmful habit of lying at every possible moment when it is reinforced because if you lie about the smallest deeds to reap small benefits, lying about big and important deeds will be a piece of cake. In the end, we can lie to everyone around us, but we can never lie to ourselves and the One Who created us. Hazrat Ali(R.A) has spoken about honesty:
“O people, try to be honest for Allah is the helper of honest people. Avoid telling lies since it will ruin your faith. Know that honest people are on the verge of nobility and honour while liars are on the verge of collapse and destruction.”