It's okay to tell lies to achieve unity

December 27, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

It's okay to tell lies to achieve unity

MAUGANSVILLE - Unity, happiness and even an occasional white lie can be a good thing, a speaker told more than 250 Muslims during Wednesday morning's Eid celebration at the Maugansville Community Center.


Unity was a strong message from A.K. Hussain in his speech to celebrate the end of Ramadan, a message the speaker delivered with seriousness and humor.

In any religion - Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or any of the "isms" - lying is a sin, Hussain said.

However, it is permissible to lie on three occasions in an attempt to preserve unity, he said.

When war breaks out between Muslim and non-Muslim people, it is OK to lie to save yourself, Hussain said to the roomful of Muslims paying studious attention to Hussain.

It is also permissible for husbands and wives to lie to each other so they can enhance their marriage.


Hussain was quick to point out that it was not permissible to lie because of an extramarital affair.

"The marriage is meant for keeps," so white lies may be necessary at times so one spouse doesn't hurt the other's feelings, Hussain explained.

For example, say a husband got a haircut on Tuesday for Wednesday's Eid celebration, but the barber did an awful job.

When the husband asks how the wife likes his new haircut, she should stifle her laughter and respond, "You look more handsome than before," Hussain said.

Or when the wife spends days preparing the Eid meal and the food isn't that tasty, the husband should force the food down, Hussain said.

"You are not really happy with it, but you don't want to hurt her feelings," Hussain said.

"You are telling a white lie, but it's OK to strengthen" the marriage, Hussain said.

Hussain's examples drew some giggles and muffled laughter from members of his audience, who remained attentive during the approximately 90-minute ceremony.

Third, Hussain said, it's OK to lie to reconcile two people.

If two brothers aren't speaking, a third person can lie and tell each the other wants to speak with him, Hussain said.

"That is a meritorious deed," Hussain said.

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