Lying to Your Husband to Set Him Right?


Answered by Dr. `Ali Goma | Translated by Naiyerah Kolkailah

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Question: My husband used to drink alcohol, and I am someone who prays alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah). I was very concerned and unsure of what to do, so I lied to him, and I hope that Allah forgives me. I told him: ‘I dreamt of a Shaykh, and he told me that my husband has to stop drinking, or else such and such (bad) will happen.’ When I told him in the morning, he believed me. He made ablution alhamdulillah, and started praying. I still feel uneasy because I lied to my husband, but alhamdulillah he prays now, and has not missed a single prayer ever since. I hope you can benefit me, and pray that Allah forgives me for this lie.

Answer: What [you] did is not considered lying because it’s permissible to use these types of allegories to rectify certain wrongs. This is an allegory because what you told him is, in reality, agreed upon amongst Muslims. So, you made him understand something that was not based on an actual occurrence, but its general meaning does exist.

This is considered figurative lying, and it is permissible (only) in war, in reconciling between people, and in reconciling between husbands and wives. It is also permissible if the husband wants to please his wife, as with telling her she is the most beautiful of women – even if that’s not so! This is not actual lying, but it takes the form of lying; and although it contradicts reality, it is still not considered lying because it brings about greater good. That is why Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (Exalted and All-Mighty) blessed your words, and made this blessing lead to the guidance of your husband, and made him fully convinced by what you said. You should feel content because, insha’Allah (by the will of Allah), you are not sinful.

Translated from Fatawa’l-Nisa’, p. 301.

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10 Comments

  1. Maryam says:

    jazaki Allahu kul khayran for an awesome translation!

  2. Reem says:

    This seems like a slippery slope, no?

    • Chad says:

      The Shaykhs response’, May Allah preserve him, was based on a certain incident, so it’s better that it be taken as such. However his saying: “This is considered figurative lying, and it is permissible (only) in war, in reconciling between people, and in reconciling between husbands and wives.” is based on a Hadith of the Prophet(SAW), although he didn’t mention it.

      But I think the point was clear, especially in that drugs and alcohol destroy people, familes, communities, and have been doing so for centuries. May Allah bless this sister, who waged war on alcohol and the devils behind it, ‘…and war is deception.’

  3. This warmed my heart greatly.

  4. Many people do not understand this concept of figurative lying, although I think it reflects the mercy of Islamic teachings. Of course, it has to be understood in the proper context.

    Thanks for getting the good information out there.

  5. israa says:

    Al salamu alykom thanks for the nice topic. actually i have a question n i need its answer very bad, but i cant find an e-mail to send my question on it.please advice.

  6. muslim says:

    Alhandullilah sister you found a solution. May Allah swt keep him strong and protect him.Its really hard to help out especially when the person is a muslim who knows and understands whats Haraam and Halaal.
    When someone is doing something that is haraam. How do you help them?
    Pray? Or also step in and try to help?

    Do you have all the resources you need?
    How do you help them?
    Tell them to stop cause its haraam? Do they always listen?
    Give them the verses in the Quran that forbids the habit and examples of the sunnah ? what about when they know more than you do ?.
    Ignore them since they are acting ignorant?

    I talked to the person in every way possible.
    I tried to be supportive and I felt like I was encouraging the person.
    I even screamed and yelled only to end up asking myself “ooh God what have I done “this was not the character of the Prophet saw. How am I supposed to approach this?.
    I told myself “why is this happening to me why is it happening to someone I love and care about? Am I doing something wrong? .
    one day you have this caring ,honest ,respectful, someone who prays and fasts. tells you to stay away from haraam. yet the next day the same person is completely different.

    • Purify says:

      Keep praying for them bro. Advise them gently, patiently, kindly. And most importantly, be an example for them.

      Remember that guidance, in the end, is not in our hands. “Surely, you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best who are the (rightly) guided.” (28:56)

  7. Abdullah says:

    Yes, it does seem like a slippery stone. “I had a dream that if the Shaykh said if you don’t take care of your wife, you are not from us, so take care of me and take me to Bloomingdales NOW”…

    • Someone'sWife says:

      This was a specific problem that the questioner was referring to. Of course its a slippery slope but the fact that she was guilted into asking this question after – appearingly – not doing anything wrong, means she wont be using such dreams to blackmail him into buying her diamonds ;)

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