Therefore it has been said that lies are the source of sins. According to a hadith from Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH), the 11th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), Lie is the key to a house where all evils are stored. It means that lying is the worst of all sins. The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (PBUH) has said: No evilness is worse than lying. It is thus clear that lying is fatal disease. In Surah Baqarah, God Almighty says in ayahs 8, 9 and 10:
“And among the people are those who say, ‘We have faith in Allah and the Last Day,’ but they have no faith.”
“They seek to deceive Allah and those who have faith, yet they deceive no one but themselves, but they are not aware.”
“There is a sickness in their hearts; then Allah increased their sickness, and there is a painful punishment for them because of the lies they used to tell.”
The liar exposes himself to physical and psychological problems. Psychologists have come to the conclusion that persons who are honest and truthful, have healthier bodies and minds that those who lie on the assumption of escaping the difficult situations. A liar, therefore, ruins his life in this world and suffers permanent loss in Afterlife. In other words, the liar does not benefit from lies but suffers its dire consequences. The liar is like a usurer who thinks that he has benefitted but he actually has incurred irreparable loss, because his life and possessions are deprived of God’s blessings. In view of this, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) has considered lying to be similar to usury and says that lying is the worst form of usury. The Prophet says: strive for honesty, since it is the source of salvation and not annihilation as you assume, and refrain from lying, although you think lying might benefit, whereas it is the source of annihilation.
Among the other impacts of lying is that it turns a person into an oppressor, for; he has trampled divine laws. Various ayahs of the holy Qur’an are pointer in this regard. In Surah An’am, ayah 21, God says:
“Who is a greater wrongdoer than him who fabricates a lie against Allah, or denies His signs? Indeed the wrongdoers will not be felicitous.”
Among the other impacts of lying is that the liar is deprived of divine guidance and the ability to differentiate between right and wrong. In other words, a liar is unable to make a proper analysis of issues. In Surah Jathiyah, in ayahs 7 and 8, God says:
“Woe to every sinful liar;”
“Who hears the signs of Allah being recited to him, yet persists disdainfully, as if he had not heard them. So inform him of a painful punishment.”
Since the liar becomes deprived of understanding truths, naturally he will be deprived of divine guidance and will go astray. In Surah Ghafir, part of ayah 28, says:
“Indeed Allah does not guide someone who is a profligate, a liar.”
In view of these factors, it is clear that lying leads to hypocrisy. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) says that whoever possesses these three characteristics is hypocrite, even though he might perform the ritual prayer, observe fasts and consider himself a Muslim: First misappropriation of trusts, second telling lies and third breaking a promise.
Lying, says the Prophet leads to straitened circumstances and reduction of sustenance and provisions. It also makes a person forgetful, and makes his memory short. The Prophet’s 6th Infallible Heir, Imam Ja’far Sadeq (PuH) says: God makes the liar forgetful. He tells a lie and forgets it and then he gives another version which is contradictory to the first, and in this way disgraces himself before people. The Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (PuH) says: the liar incurs Divine Wrath, the reproach of angels, and humiliation among people. The Prophet has said: Refrain from lying, for; it leads to sins and sedition and ultimately to the fire of hell.
Among the other impacts of lying is distrust. There is no doubt that trust is the most important social asset of every person. Distrusting a person means to lose the biggest social asset. Imam Ali (PuH) says; the liar is equal to a dead person, for; the worth of a person who is alive is trust; so when no one trusts a liar, his life become useless and he is similar to a dead person. The Prophet of Islam says: It is a great treason to tell lies to your brother who considers you honest.
Once a man came to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and said: I commit certain sins which I cannot give up what should I do. The Prophet said: can you promise me never to lie?
The man gave a positive answer. Then he said to himself: what an easy thing the Prophet has taught me, since he asked me just not to tell lies. It happened that once this person thought of stealing, but then said to himself: What answer can I give the Prophet If I commit such an act. If I say that I stole, then the Prophet will consider me a thief and I will deserve punishment; and if I say I did not do it then I have lied and broken my promise. No I will remain loyal to my promise, since it is better not to do it.
Thus, whenever this person thought of a committing a sin, he quickly remembered his promise to the Prophet not to tell lies. Finally he was purified from all sins and became pious.