In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful
Allah Most High says, “O who you believe! Be mindful of Allah Allah and be with the truthful.” [Qur’an, 9:119]
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)said, “Truthfulness (sidq) leads to righteousness (birr) and righteousness leads to the Garden. A person remains truthful until they are recorded as truthful in the sight of Allah. Lying leads to corruption (fisq) and corruption leads to the Fire. A person lies to the point that he is written down as an inveterate liar in the sight of Allah.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him)]
The grandson of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk), al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said, “I memorised from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him): ‘Leave all that makes you doubt for all that doesn’t make you doubt. Truthfulness is peace of mind and lying is doubt.'” [Tirmidhi]
Definition, Explanation, and Perfection of Being True
Being true (sidq) is defined as, “One’s inward conforming to one’s outward, through being upright with Allah Most High, inwardly and outwardly, in public and in private.” [Muhammad Ali al-Tahanawi, Kashshaf Istilahat al-Funun]
A person who is true can change their conduct, attitude, and actions depends on company and circumstances–but with a sound reason, and in a “good” way. Upholding adab (proper manners) that are appropriate to the situation is from being true. Sometimes, the adab would be to joke around; at other times, to be serious; and so on.
Being true relates directly to one’s slavehood to Allah and consciousness of Divine Oneness.
This is why al-Tahanawi continues in his definition of being true (sidq):
“This uprightness is by having nothing occur to one (before) Allah Most High. Whoever has this state–of their outward and inward being the same, and leaving beholding creation by constant beholding of the Real (al-Haqq, Allah)–is named veracious (siddiq). [ibid.]
He also mentions a test of being true is, “To speak the truth in situations when only lying would save you.”
And he closes his useful discussion on being true (sidq) by quoting Imam Abu’l Qasim al-Qushayri, who said, “Being true (sidq) is for there to be no dubiousness in one’s state; no doubt in one’s believes; and no blameworthiness in one’s actions.” [ibid., quoting al-Jurjani’s Ta`rifat]
The Consequences of Being True
There is a tremendous Divine promise for those who are upright in word and deed. Allah Most High promises:
“O you who believe, be mindful of Allah and always speak upright words. He will rectify your conduct, and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed attained tremendous success.” [Qur’an, 33.70-71]
May Allah make us of the true (sadiqin), the mindful (muttaqin), of those whose actions are rectified by Allah, of those who strive sincerely to obey, thank, love, and attain closeness to Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), in this life and the next–for that is tremendous success.
And Allah alone gives success.