What Is Considered a Lie?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


When I am on my laptop, I open a tab of my course with the intention of studying. But sometimes I open another tab and watch other videos or search for other stuff. When someone sees my screen I switch to the studying tab, and when asked, I say I was studying. Which is somehow true because I was. But is this still considered lying? Is this hypocrisy?
If I was studying as well as watching other stuff, should I tell the full truth of what exactly I was doing? Is saying that I was studying a lie?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

If you intended when saying, ‘I was studying’ that you were studying before and now you are not — it is technically not a lie, but rather an equivocation. Equivocations are not sinful, but they are also not good, and one should not do so without necessity.

If, however, you intended to cover up the fact that you were not studying — this is a lie.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “All actions are based on their intentions.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Please see this link for more details on lying.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.