The life of the Holy Prophet (SAW) is the best example for all humankind. Before the mission of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as a prophet, His people were ignorant of science, and most of them were illiterate. As he grew up, he became known to be truthful, honest, trustworthy, generous, and sincere.
What Does Prophet Muhammad (SAW) say about Truthfulness and Honesty?
Holy Prophet (SAW) said,
إِنَّ الصِّدْقَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْبِرِّ، وَإِنَّ الْبِرَّ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ
In addition, a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. FalsehoLod leads to wickedness and evil-doing, and wickedness leads to the (Hell) Fire. And a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before God, as a liar.
وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَصْدُقُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ صِدِّيقًا، وَإِنَّ الْكَذِبَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْفُجُورِ، وَإِنَّ الْفُجُورَ يَهْدِي إِلَى النَّارِ، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَكْذِبُ، حَتَّى يُكْتَبَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَذَّابًا ”.
Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.”
Honesty is an essential element of a Muslim, including being truthful towards Allah by worshipping Him sincerely; being truthful to oneself, adhering to Allah’s laws; and being truthful with others by speaking the truth and being honest in all dealings.
It is narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) say,
“Honesty descended from the Heavens and settled in the roots of the hearts of men (faithful believers), and then the Quran was revealed, and the people read the Quran (and learnt it from it) and also learnt from the sayings and traditions. Both the Qur’an and the traditions strengthened their honesty.”
How is the life of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) an example for humankind?
Undoubtedly, no one can be more truthful and honest than the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He proved by his life example that the Truthfulness and honesty of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are beyond comparison. And He was the most honest and truthful person of his time. Everyone was impressed by the Truthfulness and honesty of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Since his parents died too early, he started trading with his uncle, and during this business, everyone was impressed by the Truthfulness and honesty of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). People gave him the title of Sadiq (the truthful) and Al-Amin (the faithful). Everyone in Makkah, poor or rich, addressed him by these titles.
Here we are discussing a few examples from the life of the Holy Prophet (SAW) truthfulness and honesty.
1. Fixing Black Stone in Holy Kabah
Once Makkah faced an issue of which tribe will lay the black stone in the holy Kabah, they decided that the one who entered the sacred Kabah first would fulfil the duty. The following day Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered the Holy Kabah. First, everyone was happy to see him. They were pleased to know that truth full and honest people will lay the black stone in the holy Kabah.
Once, the heads of Quraysh were sitting together and talking about the Prophet (PBUH). A Nader bin Al-Harith the most experienced of them all said:
“O people of Quraysh, you cannot find any plan to meet the calamity that has fallen upon you. In your presence, Muhammad grew up from childhood to maturity. Now when he has presented these things to you and has grown to maturity, you say he is a soothsayer, a mad man, a magician and poet. By Allah! I have heard his Message; he is none of these things. A new calamity has fallen upon you.”
2. What happened at the Safa Mount?
Once Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gathered people of Quraysh around the Safa mount, he asked them that “O people of Quraysh, if I say that from behind of this mountain an army is advancing on you will you believe me or not?” All replied, “Yes, Prophet, we shall assume you because we have never heard you telling a lie.” Everyone in Makkah believed in his honesty and Truthfulness without any exception. He had lived a pious and unblemished life among them for forty years.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had spent his life in purity and simplicity; his most strong enemies acknowledged this. They knew that he was the most truthful and honest person. The glorious Quran appealed to them to understand and look at his life.
3. Letter to Qaiser of Rome
Once, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sent a letter to the Qaiser of Rome inviting him to Islam. When the Qaiser of Rome received the letter, he called the Arabs who were then visiting his country. Qaiser called them and asked Abu Sufyan, their head: “before his claim to prophethood, did you ever hear Muhammad telling a lie? He replied no.
Then the Qaiser said
“I asked you about his Truthfulness, and you replied that he is truthful. If he spoke unfairly against Allah, he would not have abstained from speaking falsely against human beings.”
The Qaiser of Rome then asked about his behaviour and conduct with general people. Abu Sufyan replied
“He has never broken a pledge; Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is nobly born and truthful and honest. He calls his followers to worship Allah and to pray for him alone. He preaches purity, tolerance, and kindness.”
Honesty descended from the Heavens and settled in the roots of the hearts of men (faithful believers), and then the Quran was revealed, and the people read the Quran (and learned it from it) and learned from the sayings and traditions. Both the Quran and the traditions strengthened their honesty.
4. Story of the Robber
A person came to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and said,
“O Messenger of Allah, I have numerous bad practices. Which one of them should I give up first?”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,
“Give up speaking lies first and always speak the truth.”
The man promised to do so and went home.
At night, the man was about to steal, but he thought about the promise he made to Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“If tomorrow Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asks me where I have been, what shall I say? Shall I say that I went out stealing? No, I cannot say that. But nor can I lie. If I tell the truth, everyone will start hating me and call me a thief, and I would be punished for stealing.”
So the man decided not to steal that night and gave up this bad habit of stealing.
The next day, he felt like drinking alcohol; when he was about to do so, he said to himself,
“What shall I say to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) if he asks me what I did during the day? I cannot lie with Him, and if I speak the truth, people will hate me because a Muslim is not allowed to drink alcohol.”
And so, he gave up the idea of drinking alcohol.