“Of all the natural conditions of man, one that is an essential part of his nature is truthfulness. Normally, unless a person is moved by some selfish motive, he does not wish to tell a lie. He is naturally averse to falsehood and is reluctant to have recourse to it. That is why he dislikes a person whom he knows to be a liar and looks upon him with disdain.
“But this natural condition by itself cannot be considered moral. Even children and the insane exhibit this quality. The fact is that so long as a person does not renounce the selfish motives which prevent him from telling the truth, he cannot be considered truthful. If a person tells the truth only when he stands to lose nothing, but tells a lie when his honour, property or life are threatened, how can he be considered better than children and the insane?
“Do minors and the insane not speak this kind of truth? There is hardly anyone in the world who would tell a lie without any motive. Therefore, the truth that is forsaken when faced with possible loss can never form part of true morals. The real occasion of telling the truth is when one apprehends loss of life or property or honour.”
Courtesy: MKAN-Tarbiyya Department