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The Slyness Of Liars

Liars, who are inherently insincere, use indirect means and slyness to obtain whatever they desire. While from the outside their every act might be seen as harmless or even beneficial, in fact each one is calculated and planned to benefit the liar based upon an internal bargain. Thus, their acts and their words are never sincere and do not reflect their real feelings.

The Qur'an presents Pharaoh as one such liar. When Musa (as) and his brother Harun (as) conveyed Allah's message to the Egyptian people, Pharaoh opposed them, threatened them and the believers, and oppressed the believers. Pharaoh tried to cover his cruelty in what was, to him, a cloak of innocence and said that he was doing all of this for the people's benefit, a claim revealed in the following verse:

Pharaoh said: "Let me kill Musa and let him call upon his Lord! I am afraid that he may change your religion and bring about corruption in the land." (Surah Ghafir, 40:26)

Thus, he tried to justify murdering a Prophet by claiming that he was protecting people from corruption or the loss of their religion. In truth, however, he had no such intention, for he was the actual source of corruption and the enemy of religion.

Just like Pharaoh, sly people try to present themselves to others as different from what they really are: people who are devoted to wickedness and treachery. Slyness colors even their everyday behavior. For example, they have secretive methods of making others angry. Under a mask of benevolence and innocence, they take pains to avoid giving themselves away. However, others detect their immorality right away, because their superficial cleverness contains no real wisdom. And so they lose other people's affection and respect and are gradually shunned.

For instance, seeking to reduce their own workloads, they sometimes take some of their paperwork and leave it on their coworkers' desks. They make it seem as if this job was specially given to them or they were doing some kind of favor by transferring an important job to them, when, in fact, their only intention is to get rid of the work that they do not want to do. If their coworkers object, these insincere people try to forestall any protest by saying: "But I thought that you would like to do it."

However, liars do not undertake such "kindness" without prior planning and calculation. For instance, they refuse their coworkers' request for help by claiming: "I can't help you. I have my own work to do." But when they begin to see that their coworkers are becoming tired and are facing great difficulties, while they themselves have nothing to do, they only "listen to their conscience" when the job is nearly finished so that the boss or other people will not ask why they did not help out. Or, they might be looking for a way to prevent a possible complaint from their coworkers by going to the boss and saying: "My colleague has too much work to do by himself. I don't want things to get delayed, so please let me help him out." Thus, if the people actually doing the work complain, the liars can claim that they offered to help out, thereby "protecting" themselves. In fact, liars may manage to avoid detection even when they are being watched closely. However, their lack of true morality, general behavior, words, and facial expressions eventually will reveal them for what they are: liars who are pushy, insincere, and rude.

Liars also scheme to have their own wishes met by others. For instance, they convince their friends to go where they want to go by lying effortlessly and speaking badly of the places where their friends want to go.

Or, they present a dish of food that they do not want or like to somebody else while praising it. Thus, they appear to be engaging in polite behavior and offering something to eat while their true intention is to get rid of the food.

When the team's work is shared out, they agree to do those tasks that superficially appear arduous but are really much easier, so that they will appear to be self-sacrificing. But in reality, the work has not been divided fairly and they have behaved selfishly.

They are on a constant quest for personal advantage, both large and small. Maybe they can rest for a few hours while everybody else is working, and have other people do their work, or carry out their demands. Although they seem to be gaining some benefit, in reality they are losing those things that are far more important: Allah, Who deprives such people of their intelligence, causes them to lose their lovable, attractive, and warm characteristics; and makes them become very cold, pushy and unlikable. Allah places a blight on such people, as stated in the following verse:

No self can believe except with Allah's permission. He places a blight on those who do not use their intellect. (Surah Yunus, 10:100)

In addition, liars are unaware of the danger in which they find themselves. More importantly, they may lose Allah's approval and mercy, as well as Paradise. They overlook such facts for the sake of very small and temporary gains in this life, and thereby forsake eternal happiness, ease, peace, and unimaginably magnificent blessings in the afterlife. In the Qur'an, Allah informs us of those who will obtain no benefit from the Hereafter:

There are some people who say: "Our Lord, give us good in this world." They will have no share in the Hereafter. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:200)


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