June 2014: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Shaban 1435

Volume 30 No 6

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson


[33:70-1] O you who believe, reverence GOD and utter only the correct utterances. He will then fix your works, and forgive your sins. Those who obey GOD and His messenger have triumphed a great triumph.

As submitters we know the importance of being honest and truthful people. At the same time we live in a society where white lies and half-truths are part of the world around us.  For example, a study was done where researchers recorded test subjects who were strangers to each other for ten minutes. At the end of the test, the subjects generally believed they had been honest in their conversation. But when they reviewed the ten minute conversation, about 60% of the subjects recognized that they had spoken at least one lie during those ten minutes and on an average of 2.92 false things.

Just as interesting as how often humans lie is the question of why we lie in the first place. We tell untruths for several reasons. Sometimes we lie to gain others’ respect. For example, maybe a coffee-fetching intern tells friends he’s a “research assistant.” Other fibs help stave off the consequences of making a mistake. Still others will lie to spare someone’s feelings. While a person’s hearts might be in the right place, and a diplomatic answer may appear to be nicer than the absolute truth, the fact is

they’re still telling a lie. As a submitter, God says we must be honest.

[3:17] They are steadfast, truthful, submitting, charitable, and meditators at dawn.

The thing is that even if in the short term you may spare someone’s feelings, in the longer term you will end up hurting them. For example, suppose a student who is getting a “C” asks me how he’s doing and I say “you’re doing ok, a B is in sight.”  That’s not going to help the student. In the moment it may feel better because I spared his feelings, but in the long run it will hurt him.

Honesty doesn’t mean being a nasty person. Usually the nastiness is based on lies to begin with. For example with that same student who was getting a “C” if I said, “You’re failing—get it together. You’re hopeless and stupid,” that would also be a lie. I may think he’s going to study harder now to save himself, but it’s still not right.  A white lie told either to spare his feelings or to scare this person—are both wrong. For all I know, the poor kid may get depressed or simply give up, saying he can’t figure the subject out, and then actually end up failing. The right thing to say is the truth. “You’re currently getting a C. Would you like some help to understand the

subject better so you can try and raise your grade?”

In terms of being factually honest a good example is in sura 109, which some people might see as being a harsh sura. But it’s stated in a factual way, not trying to get personal or hurtful. It does not say, for example, “O you disbelievers – you’re scum of the earth and I will rejoice in seeing you suffer in hell.”

[109:1-6] Say, “O you disbelievers.

I do not worship what you worship.

Nor do you worship what I worship.

Nor will I ever worship what you worship.

Nor will you ever worship what I worship.

To you is your religion, and to me is my religion.”

We don’t have to go running around telling atheists, “See you in hell.” But if someone asks us, “I am an atheist and don’t believe in mumbo-jumbo religion. Will your God, the Most Merciful, put me in hell?”, we shouldn’t sugar coat the response. One can simply say, “If you maintain atheism until the end, then you’ll get what you chose—the absence of God, which is Hell.” Maybe it’ll help

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