Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra
I told my father that I was going to a particular masjid for salah. While walking to the masjid, I decided to go to a different masjid as they pray salah a bit later to get there before the prayer starts. Would this be considered lying to my father?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
No, changing your mind from doing what you said you would do would not make what you said before into a lie. Lying is to intentionally say something that does not correspond to reality or is knowingly different from the thing you are talking about. [Jurjani, al-Ta’rifat; Khadimi, Al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya]
So if you said you were going to Masjid A, then you said this while fully intending it to be true, and you even set out to do it. Therefore you told the truth about that. When you changed your mind, it does not go back and change the status of what you said.
That being said, if you keep saying one thing and doing another in more significant matters or seem to make commitments to people and don’t fulfill them, it may cause people to think you are lying (which they should not assume, but they may), or that your word cannot be trusted or relied upon. Still, this would not be lying if it wasn’t in your original intention to deceive them.
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.