How Can I Help a Brother Who Tells Lies?

20 November, 2021
Q Asalam Aleykum warahmotullahi wabarakatuhu. How can I help a brother who tells lies?


In this counseling answer:

• Find out if he is aware of all of his lying,

• For those who are compulsive liars, therapy is usually recommended.

• Encourage him to seek help.

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us with your most serious concern.  As you know, lying is haram. In a hadith by Abdullah bin ‘Amr, it states that

“The Prophet said, “Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up.

  1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.

  2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.

  3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous.

  4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner.”

As we can see, it’s a very serious issue.

How Can I Help a Brother Who Tells Lies? - About Islam

I would kindly suggest that you ask this person if he is aware of the grave sin he is committing by lying. If needed, go over the Qur’an with him as well as hadiths showing him points to the gravity of his sin of lying.

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I would kindly suggest that you also find out if he is aware of all of his lying. Often times lying becomes a habit, compulsion and the person just tells lies without even thinking twice. In fact, he may not even realize just how many lies he tells in a day. It kind of becomes second nature.

In order to help him overcome lying, you must first ensure he is aware of the grave sin he is committing. Help him to become conscious of everything he says to ensure it is truthful. Ensure that he does, indeed, want to stop the lying.

For those who are compulsive liars, therapy is usually recommended as it is treated as any other addiction. I do not know if this is his case, but perhaps you can tell if it is a compulsion or if it is an occasional lie.

I would kindly suggest that you do address these points with him and see if he is ready to become truthful not only with others but with himself as well.

People lie for many reasons. Some lie to protect themselves, to make them look better or to hide things they do not want to be revealed. Others may lie to avoid hurting someone by the truth. A husband may lie to his wife about how she looks to him to avoid hurting her feelings.  Instead of saying “Oh, that new dress doesn’t look good on you, he may say, “Oh you look beautiful!”

Whatever the case may be, insha’Allah you can sort out the types of lies he says and why. If he is a compulsive liar or one who lies occasionally, encourage him to get help if he cannot stop.

We wish you the best.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.