The Losses Of Liars
In general, liars seek to deceive others and procure some personal advantage, all the while believing that they are being smart. In fact, they are always the losers, regardless of how many people they deceive. But they cannot see this truth, for all of their energy is devoted to acquiring a temporary gain by lying, the accomplishment of which convinces them that they actually have profited by lying. When looked at from a distance, they may really have obtained an advantage. As we said above, liars may feign illness to avoid a task. For example, by saying: "I have backache," they can make someone else carry a heavy object.
They may have protected themselves from physical exhaustion with this lie, but this momentary benefit, when considered in terms of a person's eternal life, is really harmful. A few minutes of rest or an escape from work secured by lying causes the loss of an advantageous reward in the afterlife; in fact, it brings about eternal harm. Given that liars cannot understand and calculate such things due to their lack of true intelligence, they will suffer great losses in this world and the next. In the Qur'an, Allah addresses them in the following terms:
Shown by their arrogance in the land and evil plotting. But evil plotting envelops only those who do it. Do they expect anything but the pattern of previous peoples? You will not find any changing in the pattern of Allah. You will not find any alteration in the pattern of Allah. (Surah Fatir, 35:43)
Liars devise plots in order to deceive others, to justify themselves, or to protect their advantages. And yet they always end up falling into their own traps and losing a great deal. Some of these losses are as follows:
The trust of others: Since all liars give themselves away sooner or later, they lose other people's trust and respect. Even when they are telling the truth, they are regarded with suspicion. They are entrusted with nothing, and nobody wants to do business with them. Unable to make sincere and honest friends, people act carefully around them. Imam al-Ghazali calls lying "the mother of all great sins" and continues:"If a person is known as a liar, no trust in him remains, he is disgraced and is regarded as of no value. If you want to understand the ugliness of lying, look at the ugliness of the lies of other people, see what hatred is felt for them and how much a liar is scorned, and be aware of how ugly you will find your own lie..."10
Self-affection and self-trust: Liars, all of whom are aware of their own immorality, regard themselves as wicked and worthless, and so neither respect nor trust themselves. They behave in a crushed and complex-ridden way, because they know how others see them. In addition, they try to hide their cunning by behaving in a self-assured and pushy manner.
Whenever their lies come to light, the liars are belittled: While liars strive to exalt themselves and protect their pride, they show to everybody their extremely low character.
Imam Rabbani explains the situation in which liars find themselves, as follows:"In Surat al-Isra' 17:84, we are told that each man acts according to his nature. That is, a person's deeds and words are the mirror of himself. It is better not to return either a good or a bad answer to the debased. There is no end to their lying. Their words, none of which are compatible with each other, suffice to make them contemptible..."11
Their consciences are always uneasy: Lying causes great discomfort to one's conscience, and so liars are always worried. Indulging in what Allah has forbidden causes them to live in a permanent state of internal discomfort.
The thoughtlessness of liars is revealed in their inability to foresee the potential results of their lying:
If they tell the truth, regardless of the possible negative consequences, they show their lack of desire to achieve a particular position or superiority. Indeed, admitting their mistake and confessing their impotence will attract the compassion and trust of others.
In addition, by listening to their conscience because of their fear and awe of Allah, they will defeat Satan and rescue themselves from the troubled and confused conscience that comes from lying.
Definitely, their largest gain will be their earning of Allah's good pleasure and of approaching Paradise's great salvation.
The fundamental loss of people who persist in lying will occur in the Hereafter. People who do not recognize the boundaries established by Allah and lie in order to obtain a small gain or a momentary pleasure in this life, and who regard doing so as unimportant, should be aware that such an attitude will earn them the punishment of Hell in the afterlife. Ultimately, everyone who engages in evil deeds only harms himself or herself, for as the Qur'an states:
If anyone commits an evil action, the responsibility for it is his alone. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:111)
They think they deceive Allah and those who believe. They deceive no one but themselves, but they are not aware of it. There is a sickness in their hearts, and Allah has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment on account of their denial. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:9-10)
Whoever acts rightly, it is to his own good. Whoever does evil, it is to his detriment. Your Lord does not wrong His servants. (Surah Fussilat, 41:46)