First step in purification of ethics

Obviously, the most important and effective means of attracting reliance and confidence is “truth and trust”, and its most dangerous enemy is lie.
If economical firms lie only in introduction of one of their goods, people will suspect their best products.
If the rulers lie, people will disregard their promises, invitations, and warnings, and they will lack powerful public support.
If lie becomes popular in scientific environments, scientists and scholars will not trust on the speeches, narrations, and judgments of each other, and thus everybody should personally suffer all required labours for a scientific research, and could not use the results of thousands years of others’ life. And this type of lie is the ugliest and dirtiest one.
Lie, source of all sins
In several narrations, it is referred to this reality that trust and truth cause purity of action, and lie is the key of all types of sins.
For better understanding of effect of truthfulness and lie on the man’s deeds and actions, first we refer to a number of narrations from Prophet’s House (A.S.) in this regard, and then we will analyze it.
Imam Ali (A.S.) says:
Truthfulness guides people to goodness, and goodness invites to paradise.11
Imam As-Sadiq (A.S.) says:
When a God’s servant says the truth, God says: he said the truth and performed a good deed, and when he lies, He says: he lied and performed an evil deed.12
Imam Askari (A.S.) says:
All vices are put in a room and its key is lie.13
It is easily inferred from this tradition that lie is the key of all vices and evils.
Now we study the effects of truthfulness and lie in man’s deeds:
1- Lie is the source of hypocrisy, because truthfulness refers to harmony of tongue and heart, and lie is disharmony of these two, and hereof difference between men’s interior and outward is started, and the liar gradually proceeds to full hypocrisy.
Holy Qur’an refers to this fact and says:
So He hath made the consequence (to be) hypocrisy in their hearts until the day when they shall meet Him, because they broke their word to Allah that they promised Him, and because they lied. (9:77)
2- Lie is the tool of most sins. Dishonest and guileful, robber and treacherous, short weighing and hoarder, tricky and perjurer individuals cannot continue anymore and reach to a stalemate if they do not lie.
3- An envious person for envying, a proud person for ostentation and frippery, a subservient and flatterer person for achieving his goals, greedy and secularist individuals for attaining their objectives, usually resort to lie. They debase the envied person in public view falsely, and glorify themselves falsely. They say thousands of flatteries falsely, and resort to lie for satiation of their greedy souls.
4- One who is bound to truthfulness has no alternative save restraining himself from most of the sins, because he thinks that if he is asked about that issue, he shall say the truth, and if he says the truth, it will be disgraceful. So, he prefers to forget those deeds on the whole. Thus, being bounded to this attribute insures man against numerous sins.
5- Most of the lies cause other lies or sins, because it is widely seen that liars say other lies for justifying their untrue subjects, and or perform other evil deeds for preventing disclosure of their lies.
It is clarified from what was mentioned above (considering the explanations mentioned in each part), that if a man is verily bounded to truthfulness and honesty, he has to leave most sins because each of them somehow originates from lie. Rather, lie is the key of achieving them and a truthful man should recede from sin willingly or not.
Lie is not compatible with belief
It is deduced from different traditions that lie is not in concord with belief, and lying is the sign of a sort of disbelief.
These traditions have been inspired by Holy Qur’an where it says:
Only they invent falsehood who believe not Allah’s revelations, and (only) they are the liars. (16:105)
“Forge falsehood” may refer to deliberate falsehood.
And now some of the narrations:
The Prophet (S) was asked: Is it possible for a believer to be coward? He answered: yes. It was asked: Is it possible for him to be stingy? He answered: yes. It was asked: Is it possible for him to be liar? He answered: no.14
Imam Ali (A.S.) said: A man does not taste the taste of belief, unless he refuses lie, either seriously or for humour.15
Avoid lie, which is not in concord with belief.16
And it is concluded from these narrations that believers avoid lie, and belief and lie do never accompany each other.
This point refers to the fact that the liars do not easily accept invitation of the prophets based on self-comparison. Since they themselves lie in little affairs of life, they cannot believe prophets to be really truthful in such big affairs.
They may be among the believers, but if we explore in depth of their hearts, we will find that it is not free from doubt and suspicion. Of course, this is true for those whose life is overshadowed by lie, and as interpreted in the tradition are liars.
The contrary is also true. That is to say the truthful people are often credulous, because they themselves are truthful and honest, and accept whatever they hear based on their superior nature, and so called they are “ear” unless they are notified.
Liars have a special pessimism and suspicion on everybody and everything. They assume everything false, untrue, or at least suspicious. How it is possible for such people to believe in all speeches of prophets without any doubt and suspicion. So we see in history that hypocrite, deviated and liars often attribute lying to divine prophets.
The issue of self-comparison is one of the mental conditions in man, which could serve as the key for solving a lot of problems. It is often observed that unusual movements of criminal, thief and treacherous individuals acquaint the others. Since they are aware of their own condition, they suppose the same about the others, and so try to conceal themselves, and such unusual movements attract the attention of others.
Lie makes man improvident
A liar supposes that if he does not perform his different duties, can justify his violation through false excuses. For such person, not being faithful to promise and covenant, not observing time, not performing assigned duties and such like is easy, because he glosses over the issue with a series of false pretexts and saves himself from any rebuke.
But in contrary, one who is bound to observing the principle of “truthfulness and honesty” is obliged to observe such affairs and so cannot be improvident and careless.

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