Praise be to Allaah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evil of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides, none can lead astray, and whomsoever He sends astray, none can guide.
One of the things that have become widespread among the common people is the so called “April Fool’s Day”, where they claim that the first day of the fourth solar month is a day when lying is permitted without being subject to any shar3ee guidelines.
The prohibition of lying:
1. Allaah says
إنما يفتري الكذب الذين لا يؤمنون بآيات الله وأولئك هم الكاذبون
(interpretation of the meaning): “It is only those who believe not in the Aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allaah, who fabricate falsehood, and it is they who are liars” (1)
2. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said:
آية المنافق ثلاث إذا حدث كذب وإذا وعد أخلف وإذا اؤتمن خان. رواه البخاري 32 ومسلم 89
“The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.” (2)
The most evil kinds of lies are:
1. Lies told about Allaah and His Messenger sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam.
This is the most serious kind of lie, and the one who does this is subject to a severe warning. Some of the scholars said that the one who does this is to be denounced as a kaafir. Allaah says:
إن الذين يفترون على الله الكذب لا يفلحون
(interpretation of the meaning): “Say: ‘Verily, those who invent a lie against Allaah will never be successful’” (3)
وعن علي رضي الله عنه قال : قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” لا تكذبوا عليَّ ؛ فإنه من كذب علي فليلج النار
It was narrated that 3Ali radi Allaahu 3Anhu said: “The Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Do not tell lies about me. Whoever tells lies about me, let him enter the Fire.’” (4)
وعن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” من كذب عليَّ فليتبوأ مقعده من النار رواه البخاري 110 ومسلم 3
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah radi Allaahu 3Anhu that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever tells lies about me, let him take his place in Hell.”(5)
2. Lying in buying and selling.
عن أبي ذر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” ثلاثة لا يكلمهم الله يوم القيامة ، ولا ينظر إليهم ، ولا يزكيهم ، ولهم عذاب أليم ، قال : فقرأها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثلاث مرار ، قال أبو ذر : خابوا وخسروا من هم يا رسول الله ؟ قال : المسبل ، والمنَّان ، والمنفق سلعته بالحلف الكاذب
It was narrated from Abu Dharr radi Allaahu 3Anhu that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “There are three to whom Allaah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection and He will not look at them or praise them, and they will have a painful torment.”
The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam repeated this three times.Abu Dharr said: “May they be doomed and lost, who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “The one who lets his garment hang below his ankles, the one who reminds others of his favours, and the one who disposes of his goods by swearing a false oath.” (6)
3. The prohibition on lying about visions and dreams
عن ابن عباس عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال من تحلَّم بحلم لم يره كلِّف أن يعقد بين شعيرتين ولن يفعل
It was narrated from Ibn 3Abbaas that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said:“Whoever tells of a dream that he did not see will be commanded [on the Day of Resurrection] to tie two grains of barley together, but he will never be able to do it…….” (7)
4. The prohibition of speaking about everything that one hears
It was narrated that Hafs ibn 3Aasim said: “The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: ‘It is sufficient lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.’” (8)
5. Lying in jest (joke)
Some people think that it is permissible to tell lies if it is in jest. This is the excuse that they use for telling lies on April 1st or on other days. This is wrong. There is no basis for this in the pure sharee3ah. Lying is haraam whether the one who does it is joking or is serious.
Lying in jest is haraam just like other kinds of lies.
عن ابن عمر قال : قال صلى الله عليه وسلم : إني لأمزح ولا أقول إلا حقّاً
It was narrated that Ibn 3Umar said: “The Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “I joke, but I speak nothing but the truth.’” (9)
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: “They said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam, you joke with us.’ He said, ‘But I only speak the truth.’” (10)
3Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Abi Laylaa said: the companions of the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam told us that they were travelling with the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam. A man among them fell asleep and some of them went and took his arrows. When the man woke up, he got alarmed (because his arrows were missing) and the people laughed. The Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said, “What are you laughing at?” They said, “Nothing, except that we took the arrows and he got alarmed.”
The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim.” (11)
6. Lying when playing with children
The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam warned against doing that. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “My mother called me one day when the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam was sitting in our house. She said, ‘Come here, and I will give you (something).’
The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said, ‘What do you want to give him?’
She said, ‘I will give him a date.’ The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: ‘If you had not given him something, you would have been lying.’” (12)
7. Lying to make people laugh
It was narrated that Mu3aawiyah ibn Haydah said: “I heard the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam say: ‘Woe to the one who talks to make the people laugh and tells lies, woe to him, woe to him.’” (13)
The punishment for lying
The liar is warned of destructive punishment in this world, and humiliating punishment in the Hereafter. These include:
1. Hypocrisy in the heart.
Allaah subhaanahu wa ta3aala says:
فأعقبهم نفاقاً في قلوبهم إلى يوم يلقونه بما أخلفوا الله ما وعدوه وبما كانوا يكذبون
(interpretation of the meaning): “So He punished them by putting hypocrisy into their hearts till the Day whereon they shall meet Him, because they broke that (covenant with Allaah) which they had promised to Him and because they used to tell lies” (14)
2. Guidance to evildoing and to the Fire
It was narrated that 3Abd-Allaah ibn Mas3ood said “The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Truthfulness is righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. A person will continue to tell the truth until he is written with Allaah as one who tells the truth. Lying is evildoing, and evildoing leads to Hell. A person will keep on telling lies until he is written with Allaah as a liar.’” (15)
3. His testimony will be rejected
4. Blackening of the face in this world and in the Hereafter
5. The liar will have the flesh of his cheeks torn to the back of his head (16)
Permissible kinds of lies
Lying is permissible in three cases: war; reconciling between two disputing parties; and a husband lying to his wife or vice versa for the sake of love and harmony.
عن أم كلثوم بنت عقبة أنها سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ليس الكذاب الذي يصلح بين الناس فينمي خيراً أو يقول خيراً
رواه البخاري ( 2546 ) ، ومسلم 2605
It was narrated from Umm Kalthoom bint 3Uqbah that she heard the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam say: “He is not a liar who reconciles between people and narrates something good or says something good.” (17)
It was narrated that Asmaa’ bint Yazeed said: “The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: ‘It is not permissible to tell lies except in three (cases): when a man speaks to his wife in a way to please her; lying in war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.’” (18)
But with regard to “April Fool”, (in Arabic, Kidhbat Neesaan or the lies of April), the origin of this lying is not known for sure. There are differing opinions concerning that.
It does not matter what the origins of April fool are. What matters more is knowing the ruling on lying on this day, which we are sure did not exist during the first and best generations of Islaam.
The things that happen on April fools’ day are many. Some people have been told that their child or spouse or someone who is dear to them has died, and unable to bear this shock, they have died. Some have been told that they are being laid off, or that there has been a fire or an accident in which their family has been killed, so they suffer paralysis or heart attacks, or similar diseases. Some people have been told about their wives, that they have been seen with other men, and this has led them to kill or divorce their wives.
These are the endless stories and incidents that we hear of, all of which are lies which are forbidden in Islam and unacceptable to common sense or honest chivalry.
We have seen how Islaam forbids lying even in jest, and it forbids frightening a Muslim whether in seriousness or in jest, in words or in actions. This is the law of Allaah in which is wisdom and care for people’s circumstances.
And Allaah is the Source of Strength.
Summarized from E-book “April Fool” by Shaykh Salih Al-Munajjid
=========================================================References: (1) soorah Al-Nahl, v:105 (2) al-Bukhaari, 32; Muslim, 89 (3) soorahYoonus, v:69 (4) Bukhaaree (5) Bukhaaree, Muslim (6) Saheeh Muslim (7) Saheeh Bukhaaree (8) Saheeh Muslim (9) Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer (10) At-Tirmidhee (11) Abu Dawood & Ahmad – this version narrated by Ahmad (12) Aboo Dawood (13) Tirmidhi. He said: this is a hasan hadeeth. Abu Dawood (14) soorah At-Tawbah 9:77 (15) Bukhaaree, Muslim (16) (as narrated in a long hadeeth by al-Bukhaaree (17) Bukhaaree, Muslim (18) At-Tirmidhee 1939 Islamqa.com