Honesty (Hadith No. 1218)
Hadith no. 1217 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Allah’s Apostle said, “When a woman gives in charity from her husband’s meals without wasting the property of her husband, she will get a reward for it, and her husband too will get a reward for what he earned and the store-keeper will have the reward likewise.”
Narrated Abu Musa :
The Prophet said, “An honest Muslim store-keeper who carries out the orders of his master and pays fully what he has been ordered to give with a good heart and pays to that person to whom he was ordered to pay, is regarded as one of the two charitable persons.”
Honesty in words implies telling the truth in all cases and under all conditions. Honesty also implies fulfilling the promise, whether written or given orally, in text and spirit. Honesty also implies giving the right advice to the one who asks for it.
Honesty also implies doing one’s work as sincerely and as perfectly as possible. Honesty also implies carrying out duties as fully as possible whether the person is supervised or not. Honesty means giving every person his due rights without his asking for these rights.
Honesty means doing the right thing in the right way at the right time. Honesty means objectivity in judgment, objectivity in evaluation, and objectivity in decisions of all types. Honesty implies the right selection of personnel and the right promotion of personnel, i.e., selection by merit and promotion by merit, not by temper or favoritism or personal relations.
Honesty is a blanket term that covers a wide range of traits. It covers telling the truth, sincerity in work, carrying out duties, fulfilling one’s word, objective judgments, and objective decisions. Honesty is the opposite of lying, the opposite of bluffing, the opposite of hypocrisy, the opposite of favoritism, and the opposite of deceit.
Islam builds ethical qualities in general and honesty in particular in several ways:
- Instructions. Allah orders the Muslim to be honest in all cases, in all deeds and words, to himself and others.
- Reason. Allah shows the Muslim rationally that honesty is the best policy, even on utilitarian bases.
- Reward. Allah promises the honest person generous rewards in the first life and in the second life.
- Punishment. Allah threatens the dishonest person with severe punishment for his dishonest behavior.
- Practice. Allah develops the habit of honesty in the Muslim through actual practice, i.e., through fasting and prayer.
Thus Islam builds the habit of honesty in the Muslim through direct instructions, through rational arguments, through the reward and punishment principles, and through practice.