Lying Is Cooperation With Satan
Satan: The first liar
In the Qur'an, Allah informs us about some of Satan's characteristics:
He only commands you to do evil and indecent acts and to say about Allah what you do not know. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:169)
Lying is one of the bad effects that Satan has on people. Satan convinces people that lying is an easy way out of their problems and so inspires them to adopt that forbidden habit. People with weak faith listen to his whispers. Abdul Qadir al-Jaylani, the eleventh century Muslim thinker, drew attention to Satan's ability to make lies attractive with these words: "What has Satan not done to you? He has made you love lies. He has made evil acts seem attractive to you."9
Another of Satan's characteristics is that he was the first liar. After Allah created Adam (as), the first man, He commanded all of the angels to prostrate to him. All of the angels obeyed Allah's command, but out of arrogance and jealousy, Satan (Iblis) did not obey. And so Allah dismissed him from His presence and told him that he would be one of those who earned the eternal torment of Hell in the Hereafter. Satan swore to divert people from Allah's path, and started by trying to deceive Adam (as) and Eve, his wife, by lying to them. Allah informs us of these lies in the following verses:
Then Satan whispered to them, disclosing to them their private parts, which had been concealed from them. He said: "Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree, lest you become angels or among those who live forever." He swore to them: "I am one of those who give you good advice." (Surat al-A`raf, 7:20-21)
Satan deceived Adam (as) and Eve by lying. In addition, he presented himself as extremely well-intentioned and said that he had done them a favor by giving advice, a "fact" upon which he swore an oath. As we have seen, swearing oaths and claiming to be well-intentioned would later come to be among all liars' most defining characteristics.
In another verse, Allah informs us that Satan makes many promises to people, even though he cannot fulfill them:
When the affair is decided, Satan will say: "Allah made you a promise, a promise of truth, and I made you a promise but broke my promise. I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you responded to me. Do not, therefore, blame me but blame yourselves. I cannot come to your aid nor you to mine. I reject the way you associated me with Allah before." The wrongdoers will have a painful punishment. (Surah Ibrahim, 14:22)
Satan lies all the time
While deciding or thinking about something, people listen to both the voice of their conscience and the whispers of Satan. Believers who possess wisdom and a conscience, who believe in Allah and the Hereafter, listen to the voice of their conscience. Most others listen to the voice of Satan, even though everything he says is a lie. For example, by telling a person who wants to help the poor: "If you give this money to them, your own cash will be reduced and you will have no security if something goes wrong in the future," Satan tries to prevent them from performing good deeds. Satan lies because whenever people do good deeds, Allah is their helper and friend. Moreover, Allah is the One Who provides their sustenance. People can try as much as they like to protect their money by being as miserly as they wish, but they can obtain a profit only if Allah wills it.
Satan tells those who intend to begin establishing prayers in accordance with their conscience such things as: "Whatever happens, you can establish prayer in the future when you get old. It doesn't matter if you don't establish prayer now." This is a blatant lie, because nobody knows how long they will live or when and where they will die. Therefore, instead of postponing a good act, a person should perform it right away.
Satan also deceives a wrongdoer with empty promises and lies. He says to a thief, for instance, things like: "You're in need. What's wrong with your stealing this? Nobody is watching you anyway. This can't be counted as theft, because it's something trivial." In reality, even if nobody sees and notices, Allah is watching and listening at all times. In the Qur'an, Allah warns people against Satan and tells us that he deceives people and that those who are deceived will wind up in Hell:
He makes promises to them and fills them with false hopes. But what Satan promises them is nothing but delusion. The shelter of such people will be Hell. They will find no way to escape from it. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:120-21)
Another one of Satan's lies is that they can sin now and repent later. A lot of people fall into this trap. In reality, however, this is just another lie, because Allah informs us that He does not accept the repentance of those who only repent when death comes to them. Committing any sin with the intention to postpone one's repentance is a great insincerity, and a path fraught with peril, for who knows when death will come? Allah informs us of this in the following Qur'anic verse:
There is no repentance for people who persist in doing evil until death comes to them and who then say: "Now I repent," nor for people who die as unbelievers. We have prepared for them a painful punishment. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:18)
For those who can see Satan's lies and avoid them, the only solution is to know and live the Qur'an's morality. Doing so will allow them to clearly see Satan's lies and insincerities, as well as those of their own selves and of other people, and so they will be able to avoid these. In the Qur'an, Allah informs us that, for believers, Satan's scheming is very feeble:
Those who believe fight in the Way of Allah. Those who disbelieve fight in the way of false gods. So fight the friends of Satan! Satan's scheming is always feeble. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:76)
Lying demonstrates devotion to Satan
Lies and empty promises are among Satan's most defining traits. Given that he is the source of all lying in people, any person who lies is listening to Satan at that moment and showing his or her devotion to him. The reason for this devotion is explained in the following verses:
What they call on apart from Him [Allah] are female idols. What they call on is an arrogant Satan whom Allah has cursed. He [Satan] said: "I will take a certain fixed proportion of Your servants." (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:117-18)
Nobody wants to admit that he or she serves Satan or shows devotion to him. However, those who spend their lives ignoring their conscience and heeding the voice of Satan, which is always within them, are always true to Satan. In the Qur'an, Allah gives us the following information about such people:
If someone shuts his eyes to the remembrance of the All-Merciful, We assign him a devil who becomes his bosom friend—they debar them from the path, yet they still think they are guided—so that, when he reaches Us, he says: "If only there was the distance of the two Easts between you and me!" What an evil companion! It will not benefit you today, since you did wrong, that you share equally in the punishment. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 43:36-39)
One of Satan's most telling characteristics is his constant belief that he is always right. Therefore, he incites those people to whom he speaks to believe that they are always right as well. As we can see in the verses above, Satan's friends believe that they are guided.
People who lie always see justice and truth in themselves. They believe that their lies are told for a very good reason. When such people say that they are admitting their lies, they are serious only on a few minor points and insist on not admitting any others, for they have not abandoned their devotion to Satan.
Many people who read these lines may be unable to properly imagine what devotion to Satan is. Those who are loyal to Satan are bound to their ego, pride, personal interests, and wishes. Thus, they evade justice and truth. Satan deceives people through such weaknesses, and uses various methods to divert them from Allah's path. Given this, those who do not behave honestly and confess their lies are serving Satan and displaying their attachment to him. This means that Satan can deceive such people on matters other than lying, thereby binding them to himself because their self is not strong enough to make them abandon their lies and adopt the Qur'anic morality. After a while, Satan can prevent them from getting up for morning prayers, behaving in a self-sacrificing way, and performing those tasks of which Allah approves.
Consequently, people need to sever all ties with Satan. A lot of people think that heeding Satan from time to time is harmless. In fact, this is one of Satan's methods. He accepts those who follow him on one point, even though they conform to Allah's will on every other matter. For example, if such people cannot exercise their willpower in order to stop lying, this is a gain for Satan.
Those who obey Allah and show their devotion to Him at every moment hope that He will be pleased with them. If they perform all types of worship, sacrifice themselves, and show steadfast morality while still being capable of lying, they are nevertheless showing their devotion to Satan in at least one area of life.
Allah informs people of an important truth in the following verse:
They assign to Allah a share of the crops and livestock He has created, saying: "This is for Allah,"—as they allege—"and this is for our idols." Their idols' share does not reach Allah, whereas Allah's share reaches their idols! What an evil judgment they make! (Surat al-An`am, 6:136)
Allah informs people who assign a share of their possessions to Him and a share to their idols that they have made an evil judgment. People who adhere to the morality and faith of which Allah approves can never give any of their devotion or obedience to Satan, for such sincere believers conform to His will at all times. They place Allah's will and mercy, as well as Paradise, above any advantage that they might obtain by lying. In the Qur'an, Allah tells us that religion belongs only to Him:
Indeed is the sincere religion not Allah's alone? People who take protectors besides Him [say]: "We only worship them so that they may bring us nearer to Allah." Allah will judge between them regarding the things about which they differed. Allah does not guide anyone who is an ungrateful liar. (Surat az-Zumar, 39:3)
In addition, sincere and obedient believers never engage in behavior that would justify Satan, because Satan has said that a great majority of people will follow him. Thus, he has started a war against the path of Allah, and the more people who follow him, the greater he believes his victory to be. Allah tells us about this satanic logic in the following verses:
Iblis was correct in his assessment of them and they followed him, except for a group of the believers. He had no authority over them, except to enable Us to know those who believe in the Hereafter from those who are in doubt about it. Your Lord is the Preserver of all things. (Surah Saba’, 34:20-21)
As can be seen in Allah's verses, Satan is greatly deceived. He believes that he gains by drawing people to his side. In fact, he can divert as many people as he likes, but he will never gain anything from doing so. He will live in the torment of Hell for eternity, along with those whom he deceived. In addition, he plans his activities without realizing that he has already fallen into a very big plan devised by Allah. As Allah informs us in the verses above, He allows Satan to separate good people from bad people. In other words, Satan is only a tool for testing people in this worldly life, a means of revealing people's true faces, and thus has no authority over people. However, he will not benefit in any way even if he leads countless people away from Allah's path. On the contrary, he will only ensure that more people are driven into Hell along with him.
Regardless of how deft Satan's methods are, the believers never engage in any behavior that would justify them. They behave and speak in such a way that they always show clearly and definitely that they are on Allah's side.
According to their lives and their speech, as described in the Qur'an, the Prophets are the best example of this. They always made Allah their Friend and Protector, and were Satan's greatest enemies. Allah states the difference between those who believe and those who do not in the following terms:
Allah is the Protector of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light. But those who do not believe have false deities as protectors. They take them from the light into the darkness. Those are the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:257)