Can I Lie to Avoid Hurting a Friend?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel

Question

My friend asked that I watch a meditation show and practice it. I don’t have time because I’m too busy. To avoid hurting my friend’s feelings, I pretended I had started when the friend asked if I had started. I feel guilty lying because I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

This year, I began practicing Islam, and I have a habit of lying, which sometimes goes unnoticed. So I’ve been actively trying to stop for Allah’s sake because I don’t want to be a hypocrite, and now every time I lie, I feel guilty and fear that Allah is angry.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are well.

Asma bint Yazid (Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It is not lawful to lie except in three cases: Something the man tells his wife to please her, to lie during the war, and to lie in order to reconcile people.” [Tirmidhi]

The three cases explained in the Hadith are, when spouses express to each other that will increase love or calm down a situation. At times of war, tactics to demoralize the enemy that might say otherwise, and when one person or party says something good about the other in order to facilitate reconciliation.

Solution

In your case, you are not a hypocrite, nevertheless it is a lie and a major sin. Just repent and ask for forgiveness. Rest assured, your guilt feeling is a sign of Allah turning towards you, and not Him being angry. And if you have to, adopt a strategy by using statements that have multiple meanings and could serve the purpose in some cases. Like for instance, you could have watched a little bit of meditation and done a minute or two of it, to show that you have watched and done it.

Most importantly, speak to your friends and loved ones about your situation and share your feelings and life change. This will bring about trust and love between you.

Please see this for details:
The Truth About Lying: Is It Sinful Or Not? – MUSLIMA COACHING

I pray this helps in your questions.
Wassalam,
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete hifz of Quran in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.