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Lying is Obligatory for all Muslims, according to the ‘Reliance of the Traveller’.
Most of us have heard of ‘Taqiya’ (which is also lying), but the Reliance of the Traveller uses the word ‘Hiyal’ which is a stronger term.
According to Reliance of the Traveller, book R, 8.0 Lying is obligatory on all Muslims.
Book R, 2.2 says that slandering people you dislike is permitted.
Book R, 8.2 (page 744 in the book, or pg. 762 in the PDF) lying is good as it brings about peace whenever there is a disagreement.
There are 3 areas where lying is permitted: 1) in the time of war, 2) in settling a disagreement (such as lying in an argument), and 3) lying to your spouse.
Lying is particularly supported when the Muslim needs to achieve an objective, especially when it benefits Islam.
Taqiyya is used in war as a tactical deceit, and to spread Islam, according to Lloyd.
Book R, 8.3 the word Tawriya is used to describe someone who is using a misleading impression.
Lying is encouraged when it is better to do so in a case where to tell the truth would bring about bad.
In the book ‘Ihya Ulum al Din’, written by Al Ghazzali, mentions that false speaking is at times compulsory. Ghazzali says, “False Speaking (lying), is better than speaking the truth”.
He stipulates 3 times when lying is obligatory:
1) To bring about a compromise between two disputing parties
2) In the context of war
3) Between a wife and a husband.
He goes on to say that lying is also permissible when it benefits a Muslim, or removes some form of harm (such as doubt), or to save his honor.
The word which is used for lying in the Reliance of the Traveller is “Hiyal”, which is defined as a form of “Legalistic Trickery”. It is also known as contortion (i.e. twisting the meaning), or contrivance (i.e. scheming), or expedience (i.e. getting an advantage), or a device (i.e. to trick someone), or subterfuge.
Hiyal, in the context of commerce allows someone to break the law or circumvent it if need be, even to the point of deceiving the customer, so that the Muslim can win a contract.
Adab al-djadal is another word which is used for debating, where the intent is not to define truth, but to say anything in order to convince your opponent, or the audience, and thus win the debate. One can even trick the other in order to win the debate.
Da’wah, which we have been told is ‘evangelism’ or ‘to invite’ is considered in the Reliance of the Traveller as a form of propaganda, to pretend, in order to bring people to Islam.
“Eristic Refutation” is a form of disputation, or even a form of haggling, which is used in Islam as a means to win an argument, and can be an end in itself.
© Pfander Centre for Apologetics – US, 2022
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