Telling Lies To Make Someone Feel Special

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Resat

Question:

Assalamu alaikum. Is it okay to tell little white lies to make people feel special? For example, I give a person a gift they love and say, ‘I brought it just for you, even though I just happened to have the gift on hand and didn’t really buy it specifically for them. Would it be halal?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Lying to make someone feel special is only permitted between spouses and in situations of resolving conflicts between two people – if it is helpful. Otherwise, lying with statements like that is impermissible. (Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al Din)

Saying nice things, however, is rooted in the Sunna. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A beautiful statement is charity.” (Bukhari) Therefore, one should go out of their way to say nice things to people.

You can use general statements that are true, like “It’s good to see you.“ For the gift, you could say it is especially for them or that it will suit them. The point is not flattery; it is to make someone feel good, and that is possible with words that make them feel attention or appreciation has been directed to them.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.