The Prophet was recognized, even by the Quraish of Mekkah, his worst enemies,
who called him by the name of as-Sadiq (the truthful) and al-Amin (the trustworthy) long before his Prophet hood because of his honest and truthful dealings as a trader. But the titles al-Amin and as-Sadiq do not simply imply honesty in money matters alone; they are comprehensive and cover righteousness in every form. Whoever happened to have any dealings with him at this early period never ceased to praise him all his life.
The consistency of his honest and truthful conduct is proven by the fact that he began his mission of Prophethood with the words: La ilaha illa ‘Llah (there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah) and ended his Mission with the same thought when he said, on his death bed:
“Lord! Blessed Companion on High.” Having sincerely and faithfully rendered his obligations towards Allah’s creatures, he then returned to the loving bosom of Allah and His Companionship on High (Bukhari, 4463).
He loved truth intensely, adhered to truth and preached truth all his life. He never uttered a single lie all his life, either before or after his Prophethood. In the battle of Hunain, when the fighting became rough and fierce and the Muslim warriors were in disarray, and running in all directions and when defeat seemed certain, the Prophet was not in the least in doubt about his mission. He declared openly: “I am the Messenger of Allah; there is no untruth in this” (Bukhari, 4317). This implies that truth was deeply ingrained in the mind of the Prophet and the only thing he could do with it was to pass it on to his listeners.
It is because of his universal reputation for honesty and integrity that the Qur’an says: “0 Muhammad! We know that what they say grieves you, but it is not you whom they charge with falsehood; these wicked people are, in fact, denying the Revelations of Allah”(Qur’an, 6:33).
The Prophet went further to say a true action leads to the path of virtue, and virtue paves the way of a person to paradise, and this person continues to speak the truth until, in the sight of Allah, he is named as-S’iddiq (the Truthful). Lying, on the other hand, leads to vice, and vice leads to indecent acts and a person goes on lying until, in the sight of Allah, he is called a liar (Bukhari, 116).
This shows that truth brings peace of mind, but falsehood disturbs the mind. When the mind is disturbed as a result of vice, there is no way an individual can achieve peaceful coexistence with another brethren. This is also related to interpersonal transactions:
A sale agreement is revocable until the buyer and seller part company. If they tell the truth and disclose everything relevant to the transaction, it becomes full of blessings for both of them; but if they speak falsely and conceal that which should be disclosed, the blessing of the transaction is wiped out. (Bukhari, 2079)
Once a man asked the Prophet about who the best kind of person can be and his reply was very clear on this matter:
Four characteristics belong to a believer: when he speaks, he speaks the truth: when he is trusted, he fulfils his trust; when he makes a promise, he abides by his promise; and when he is in dispute with anyone, he does not use obscene words (but sticks to the truth). (Bukhari)
These sayings clearly show that, according to the Prophet, a truthful and righteous person is one who is truthful in words, in intentions, in motives and in actions. The Prophet was an embodiment of truth, honesty and righteousness. He did not speak anything but truth all his life, did not preach anything but truth and did not practice anything but truth. He presented the word of truth from his Lord to mankind and stuck to it under all circumstances; in victory and defeat; in weakness and strength; and in poverty and richness. He never felt doubtful, weak or disappointed, for he had full trust in his Lord that truth must prevail over falsehood in the final analysis: “Nay, We hurl the truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood perishes! Ah! Woe be to you for the (false) things you ascribe (to Us)” (Qur’an, 21:18).
It is an undeniable fact that truthfulness is an indispensable quality of a Prophet. And this quality was found in absolute perfection in the person of the Prophet. The Prophet loved truth and righteousness and never spoke a lie throughout his life. And even his opponents recognized this great quality of the Prophet .When the Prophet gathered together all his relatives near Mount Safa to convey his Message to them, he asked them whether they had ever heard him tell a lie. They all replied that they never had.
Once a group of the chiefs of the Quraish went to the Prophet and repeated the offer previously made by Utbah. The Prophet replied in these words:
My object is quite different from what you have said. I have not come to you with my call for the purpose of amassing wealth, or to secure leadership of the clan or to become your king. In fact God has sent me to you as His Messenger and has revealed to me the Law and has ordered me to warn you and to give glad tidings. So I have conveyed to you the injunctions of God and have done my responsibility for your welfare. Now if you accept what I have conveyed to you it will be good for you here and hereafter. But if you reject it, I will patiently wait for the Divine dispensation when God shall decide between you and me. (Rahman, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, Vol. VIII, p. 161).
This reply of the Prophet showed his determination to fight for the truth, which he held to be dearer than life. His prayer after returning from Ta’if, where he was abused, ridiculed, stoned and left bleeding from wounds, showed the depth and height of his love for truth and his sincerity in being willing to suffer anything for it. Weary and wounded, he prayed to his Lord in these most passionate and honest words:
0 Lord! To You alone I make complaint of my helplessness, the paucity of resources and my insignificance before humankind. You are the most Merciful of the mercifuls. You are the Lord of the helpless and the weak, 0 Lord of Mine! Into whose hands would You abandon me, into the hands of an unsympathetic foe who would sullenly frown at me, or the enemy who has been given control over my affairs? But if Your Wrath does not fall upon me, there is nothing for me to worry about. . . I seek protection in the light of Your Countenance, which illuminates the heavens and dispels every darkness, and which controls all affairs in this world as well as in the hereafter. May it never be that I should incur Your Wrath, or that You should be wrathful to me. And there is no power nor resource, but Yours alone. ( Rahman, 1992, 161-162)
There is no doubt that this prayer confirms his extreme love for the truth and belief in the Majesty and Grandeur of Allah. This prayer also affords an insight into the working of the Prophet’s mind and reflects the loftiness of his thinking, the purity of his spirit and the nobility of his feelings. It was a spontaneous expression of his deep love for God, his implicit faith in His Mercy and Help.
Prophet Muhammad defined a truthful and righteous man in these words: “He who is truthful in words, in motives, in intentions, in determination, in obedience, in actions and in religious duties”.