Salam Dear Brother,
Thank you for contacting us with your question.
The fact that you are worried that you are a hypocrite i.e. a “munafiq”, shows the sincerity of your faith in Allah, and is proof that there is much good still there in your heart.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said of hypocrisy: “No one fears it but a believer, and no one feels safe from it but a hypocrite.” It is a fact that many of the most sincere companions of Prophet Muhammad feared hypocrisy for themselves, and were extremely conscious of their words and actions because of this fear.
You are right to be worried about your lying habit, and to be scared of your final destination in the Hereafter because of this sin. It is considered one of the major sins (kaba’ir) in Islam, and it is also a sign of nifaq in the heart, as mentioned in a hadith.
Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie; whenever he is entrusted he proves dishonest; whenever he promises, he breaks his promise.”
In order for you to give up lying completely, you need to follow a long term, slow-and-steady approach, in order to get rid of this habit:
– The first step in giving up a sin is to acknowledge and admit that it is sin. Unless this acknowledgement takes places, and there is no denial and/or making of excuses, only then can the habitual sinner take their first baby steps towards giving up that sin permanently.
– Make sure you uphold all the obligations of Islam, especially the five daily prayers (salah).
– Start studying the Quran on your own and in a group, perhaps by joining a halaqah at the nearest masjid. Try to memorize short surahs and portions of the Quran, and repeat these in your daily salah.
– Try to find out why it is that you lie. Is it because you are afraid of displeasing people? Are you unable to say “no” to someone when they request you to do something? Or do you lie in order to appear to be better than you really are? If you lie because you are too afraid to offend people or to face confrontational and challenging situations, then you need to build up your self-esteem and your self-confidence. This will require long term efforts, but you can start by reading books in the self-help genre and attending short self-help courses and workshops to change the way you view yourself.
– If you tell lies because it is a family habit (because in some families, unfortunately, lying is the norm) then you need to work on your family too. You need to remind them that lying is a sin, and that it brings nothing but loss and self-destruction in both this life and the next.
– If you lie because of, and when you are around, your friends, then you need to start working on changing the company of people whom you regularly hang out with. This is a long and slow process, but the biggest journey begins with a single step, and no one gives up something for the sake of Allah, except that Allah eventually compensates them with another thing that is better than what they gave up.
– There is a dua taught by the Prophet (peace be upon him) for giving up lies of the tongue. I suggest that you recite this dua abundantly, with the firm belief that no one can become righteous or give up any sin unless Allah helps them and guides them to the Right Path.
Recite: “Allahumma tahhir qalbee min an-nifaq wa lisaani min al-kadhib”. Translation: “O Allah, cleanse my heart from hypocrisy, and my tongue from falsehood.”
I hope that the above advice is of help to you. May Allah help you give up lying completely, and cleanse your heart. Ameen.