Were all the companions free of lying?
If you argue that the Companions were also human beings
like us and not free of errors and contradictions. Yet, the commandments of the Shari‘a established
by the Sunna and the conclusions the early “mujtahids” drew through “ijtihad”
are founded upon the general belief and unanimous agreement of the Muslim community
that all of the Companions are just and truthful; they are free of lying.
Answer: It is true that the absolute majority of the Companions were lovers
of truth, passionately devoted to truthfulness and desirous of justice. For
in that age, the ugliness of lying and deception was demonstrated in all its
ugliness, and the beauty of truth and truthfulness in all its beauty, in such
a manner that the distance between them was as great as that between the ground
and the Supreme Throne of God. They were separated from each other to the extent
of the distance between the degree of the truthfulness of the Prophet Muhammad,
upon him be peace and blessings, who is at the highest of the high, and the
deceptiveness of Musaylima the Liar, who is at the lowest of the low. Indeed,
while lying caused Musaylima to fall to the lowest of the law, it is truthfulness
which caused Muhammad the Trustworthy, upon him be peace and blessings, to
rise to the highest of the high.
The Companions, who were illumined by the light of companionship with the
Sun of Prophethood, had lofty emotions and sentiments and adored good morals.
It is certain, doubtless, and undeniable that they never inclined to lying voluntarily,
an act which is infinitely ugly and the cause of utmost degradation, which is
found in the ‘shops’ of Musaylima-like liars, full of filth and disgracing
objects of ridicule. Also, as much they avoided unbelief, they also avoided
lying to the same degree, which is a companion of unbelief. Particularly in
the narration and communication of the commandments of the Shari‘a, they were
as careful as possible in seeking truth and being truthful, and conforming to
truth, which is infinitely beautiful and a means of pride and glory, and a stairway
to spiritual perfection, which is in greater demand than the other ‘gems’ in
the elevated treasury of the Pride of Messengership, and illuminates the social
life of mankind with the splendor of its beauty.
By contrast, at this time, the distance between truth and lying has become
so narrow that they stand side by side. It is extremely easy to pass from truth
to lying. Political propaganda has even made lying preferable to truth. Thus,
if the ugliest thing is sold in a shop together with most beautiful things for
the same price, for sure the brilliance of truth, which is infinitely sublime
and priceless, is not to be bought in blind reliance on the skills and word
of the shopkeeper.