Danger of Forgery and Fraud
Sheikh Saud ash Shuraim
May 31, 2013 ~ Rajjab 21, 1434
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Praise be to Allah, praise be to Allah! He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him). He is the Evident and the Hidden. He has created everything and then proportioned it, and He has measured (preordainments for everything even to be blessed or wretched), and then guided. In His hand is the sovereignty of everything, and He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector. Praise be to Him! I thank Him, repent to Him and ask Him His forgiveness; I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah with no associate, and I also bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Servant and Messenger; Allah sent him very shortly before the Hour as a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner, and as one who invites to Allâh by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light. May Allah send His salat and blessings upon him, his virtuous and pure family, his wives –the mothers of the faithful– his Companions, the tabi’in, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment!
Having said that, I advise you and myself to fear Allah (Jalla wa ‘Ala). You should know that this life is but a temporary passageway, not an eternal abode, and that Allah has appointed you His vicegerents in it so that He sees what you do. Therefore, he who fears Him is guided; and he who disobeys Him should only blame himself: “whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself; and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves.”[Surah Fussilat: 46]
O People! An honest believer is kind-hearted, good looking, and has neither rancor nor envy. He wears his heart upon his sleeve and has a natural disposition for goodness.
(The Sheikh quotes a line of poetry):
Whatever trait an individual may harbour within,
Will not be hidden from people, even if he should think so.
His good words, his countenance, and his whole being are sufficient to disclose his nature and to translate his thoughts, for the tongue is the mirror of the heart and, as the saying goes, “each vessel filters what it contains.”
Besides, it is more becoming of you, O Muslims, to be seen by people as you are without any embellishment, staining, or forgery. It is also more becoming of you not to pretend the provision of that which you do not have or withhold from anyone that which you possess. Let people see you as you would like to see them so that you would not end up holding grudges one against the other.
Know your own worth before trying to know the worth of others; do not ever wear what is not yours, nor adopt a title other than yours; do not act like a lion while Allah has created you a gentle lamb, and do not claim to possess what you have not been granted, for you would be like someone wearing two garments of falsehood.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated a hadith from Asma’a (Radiallahu Anha) that a woman came to the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and said: “‘O Messenger of Allah! I have a co-wife; would it be a sin if I pretend that our husband has given me something which he actually did not? The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The one who pretends to be given something which he was not is like the one who wears two garments of falsehood.”
Allah is great! How great this hadith is! Allah is great! How relevant it is to our reality!
Interpreters of the hadith construed it as follows: anyone who pretends to have what he really does not in order to earn others’ praise will be reprimanded as will be the one who wears two false garments.
O Allah! How odd things have turned out to be today seeing a great many people of this type in our communities! Just notice how many of them are dressed in apparels and engulfed in covers that are not theirs! You would see the poor pretending to be rich, the miser generous, the foolish wise, and the frivolous knowledgeable. Each one of those is boasting a credit which he, by no means, possesses. By so doing, he sets himself on a par with a cat pretending to be a ferocious lion, or a small bird that forgot its own size and pretended to be an eagle. This is, by Allah, vainglory. We seek refuge with Allah from its evil consequences.
People will only look askance at those pretending to have what they have not been given. They certainly disapprove of them and scorn them even though they may not make it explicit to them. The least they will do is speak ill of them in their backs. Indeed, one of the most wretched follies on the part of such people is when they forget that the others know all about them even before they boast of possessing what they actually do not.
However, what leads such people to this folly is their dissatisfaction with what Allah had granted them, their hunger for false praise, and their tendency to boast and conceal the truth either by forgery or fraud, both of which are equally despicable.
Ali (Radiallahu Anhu) said: “I am indeed astonished by an evil person getting angry when he is told that he is evil, and by a person feeling content when he is described as being good while he knows he is not“.
O servants of Allah! A true believer does not lie; however, a person pretending to have what he has not been given has not given people a reason to believe him. This is lying which is rejected by the Sharia, and had been rejected even before that simply by common sense. An example to this effect is what Abu Sufiān (Radiallahu Anhu) said prior to embracing Islam while having a conversation with Hercules about the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “I swear by Allah that if it were not for shame of being known as lying, I would have lied about him“.
It is lying and fraud which have deceived societies socially, politically, scientifically, and economically, and in all other spheres of life.
How often have we seen people ascending in wealth and status at the expense of others as if they were pioneers; and how often have we seen people claiming certain achievements which actually belonged to others, or placing their names on books written by others, or claiming to have certificates and scholarly positions which are not theirs. Verily, they have been blinded by pretending to have what they have not been given. They were driven by their fame, position, or business to adopt a scholarly, political, or tribal title even though it is not theirs.
People know that they have pretended to have obtained those titles thanks to their business, fame, or position in order to make up for their shortcomings and their disgrace, and to satisfy their vanity that is never content with reality and the truth.
(The Sheikh quotes three lines of poetry):
If a tradesman is called a doctor,
And a rich man is named a sheikh,
If every fool starts theorizing,
While his going astray is clear to all,
That, by Allah, is a sign of an ordeal
And a pathetic trait in people.
Al-Farouq (‘Umar ibn al Khattab) (Radiallahu Anhu) said: “He whose intention is good in (telling the) truth, even about himself, Allah will suffice him for his affairs with people; and he who beautifies himself (of titles, fame, or position) with what he does not really have, Allah will disgrace him”.
An example of those who pretend to have what they have not been given is Arruwaibidah, a worthless person pretending to be a smart jurist by speaking about public affairs, or pretending to be a physician, or a scholar, but always abstains from supporting the truth for the sake of gaining false appraisal and a fallacious grandeur.
Those cheated and deceived did not know that ‘not all that glitters is gold’, not every white material is a piece of fat, nor every black stuff a piece of coal. A truthful person is one whom people believe in time of ease and distress, weakness and strength, past and future.
In the two saheeh books (that by Imam Bukhari and that by Imam Muslim), it is narrated that some hypocrites during the era of the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to stay behind (i.e. in Madinah) when the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) went to Ghazw (to fight the nonbelievers); they felt happy to stay behind without joining the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). However, when the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) returned, they apologized to him, swore to him and liked to be praised for what they did not do. Thus Allah revealed: “Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about), and love to be praised for what they have not done, – think not you that they are rescued from the torment, and for them is a painful torment.” [Surah Ale-Imran: 188]
May Allah bestow His blessings for you and for me in the Holy Qur’ān and benefit us from the verses, the Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and the wisdom therein. I have said what I have said; if it is true, it is thanks to Allah, but if it is wrong it is because of me and the accursed Satan. I seek forgiveness from Allah. He is All-Forgiving!
Praise be to Allah for His blessings and thanks are due to Him for granting us His guidance and gratitude.
Having said that, O servants of Allah, fear Allah, and know that the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) likened those who boast what they do not possess to those wearing two garments of falsehood not just one. O servants of Allah! This is to underscore the grave consequences this matter might have on the individual and the society, and that it (i.e. this matter) falls within the orbit of forgery and counterfeiting of certificates, manners, and ethics and other kinds of fraud. As for its being likened to two garments of falsehood, it is because the first one represents the person lying to himself by claiming what is not his; the second one represents his lying to others about what he was not actually given.
O servants of Allah! This state of pretending to have what one was not given, might lead a person to commit a major sin; that is claiming to have the rights of other people and unlawfully seizing them as his own; he (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “whoever seizes the right of a Muslim person by his right hand, Allah will prohibit him from entering Paradise and necessitate his entering the Hell Fire”. They said: “even though it might be a small thing, O Messenger of Allah?!” He said: “even if it is a stick of Araak, even if it is a stick of Araak, even if it is a stick of Araak.” [Narrated by Muslim]
An example in this regard is seizing the land (of others) unlawfully. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “whoever seizes a handspan of land unlawfully, Allah will shackle his neck with it to seven earths on the Day of Resurrection.” [Narrated by Muslim]
Not only this, O servants of Allah! Some people are not content with what Allah has given them, so they pretend to belong to fathers who are not really theirs, or to a group of people who are not their people. This pretense is indeed one of the major sins that were strongly condemned. The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “No person who claimed knowingly anyone else as his father besides (his own)committed nothing but infidelity, and he who made a claim of belonging to a group of people that are not his, he should make his abode in Fire.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
The sin of such a false claim becomes even greater when a man pretends to be related to the family of the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in order to take pride and honour in what is not actually his; then, he will have lied to people and to the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
May Allah have mercy on a person who knows his own worth and is content with what Allah has given him. Such a person would make a useful member of a society that should be characterized by honesty and truthfulness, and that should be free of forgery and fraud. Allah is indeed the Guide to the straight path.
Ask Allah, may He have mercy on you, to send His Salat (Grace, Honour and Mercy) and Peace on the best creature of Allah and the purest of mankind, Muhammad ibn `AbdAllāh, who is given al-Hawdh (the sacred basin) and is vested with intercession; for Allah sent His Salat and Peace on him and then ordered His angels, that are praising His sanctity, to do likewise and called out to you, O believers, to ask Him to send His Salat (Graces, Honours and Mercy) and Peace on him. Allah, the Almighty, says: Allâh sends His Salât on the Prophet , and also His angels. O you who believe! Send your Salâtn him, and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islâmic way of greeting. [Surah al Ahzab: 56]. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “He who offers me a Salat, Allah will offer him ten such Salats as a reward”.
O Allah! Send Your Salat, Peace and Blessing upon Your Servant and Messenger, Muhammad as You have sent Your Salat on Ibraheem and the family of Ibraheem in the worlds; You are The Laudable, The Glorious; O Allah! Be pleased with the four Caliphs, Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali, with all of his Companions, the tabi’în and those who righteously followed them till the Day of Judgment! O Allah! Be also pleased with us all, along with them, by Your Pardon and Generosity, O You, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate!
O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! O Allah! Grant glory to Islam and Muslims! And fail polytheism and polytheists (who associate partners with You)! O Allah! Grant glory to Your religion, Your Book and the Sunnah of Your Prophet, and Your believing servants!
O Allah! Relieve the distressed among Muslims, alleviate their anguish, pay off the debts of those indebted, and cure our patients and theirs, with Your Mercy, O You, Most Merciful!
O Allah! Grant our souls piety, and purify them! You are the best to purifies them; You are their Guardian and Master!
O Allah! Grant us safety in our homelands, and set right our Imams and leaders! O Allah! Make our leadership from among those who fear You, observe taqwa and seek Your satisfaction, O Lord of the Worlds!
O Allah! Guide our leader to say and do whatever You love and please, O You, the Living, the Everlasting! O Allah! Set right his retinue, O You, the Lord of Majesty and Honour!
O Allah! Grant victory to our brothers who are oppressed and defenseless in their religion, wherever they may be! O Allah! Grant them victory in Burma, Palestine, Syria, and everywhere, You, Lord of the Worlds, The Lord of Majesty and Honour! O Allah! Grant them victory against Your enemy and theirs!
O Allah! The revealer of the Book, The sender of clouds, the defeater of the Ahzaab (coalition of the nonbelievers), defeat their enemy, O You, the Lord of Majesty and Honour! Let their enemy pay sooner rather than later O You, the Living, the Everlasting! O You, the Lord of Majesty and Honour!
“… Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!“ [Al-Baqarah: 201]
Glorified be our Lord, the Lord of Honor and Power! You are free from what they wrongly attribute unto You! May peace be upon all the Messengers! And the last of our supplications is “praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!”
Translated by Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.
 These words are borrowed and paraphrased (not directly quoted) from the Holy Qur’ān [Surah Al-A’lā: 2-3]. Note that this is a common practice in delivering Friday khutbahs, in making supplications and giving lessons. Such borrowing and paraphrasing can also be from the Hadiths of the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
 These words are also borrowed and paraphrased from the Holy Qur’ān [Surah Al-Ahzāb: 45-46].
 Araak is a desert tree whose small sticks are usually used to brush ones teeth.