Islamic marriage advice and family advice

She lied about her pregnancy and about the death of her father. How do I deal with liars?

Assalamu Aleikum,

I believe that my friend is lying to me about her pregnancy and have some pretty convincing proofs.  I sympathized greatly with her once she told me that one of her twins was deformed. I told her that I would help her in any way possible.  Then, I found out that her sonogram pictures were fake.  The pictures did not have her name on them and were not printed on the typical sonogram picture paper.  Not only that, she has made slips in her story that have led me to question its truthfulness.  In addition, she had told me that her father had died in gang warfare, but last weekend my husband met him.

My issue is this: I know that suspicion is wrong in Islam.  But how do I deal with someone who seems to be a liar to me?  Does anyone know of any stories of the Prophet (pbuh) that address this topic? This person is my friend and my neighbor and I used to trust her to babysit my daughter.

Any advice would be great.


- basboosa

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1 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Most of the time when people lie, there's an underlying motivation. What you need to figure out is what your friend's motivation is. I agree with you suspicion is wrong in Islam, but I believe that means misplaced suspicion....suspicion based off of nothing to support it. I think perhaps your concerns about your friend aren't entirely misplaced, especially when you said your husband met her "presumably" deceased father. I guess the first question I would be asking myself (or my husband) is, "Am I sure it wasn't a stepfather or uncle my husband met?"

    If it was in fact her biological father, and you did in fact catch her in a lie, why do you think she lied to you? Could it be that there is something shameful about her father that makes her want to dissociate from him? Maybe he mistreated her at some point, or even disowned her? There could be several reasons.

    Same with the pregnancy. What would make her want to lie about it? What is the lie exactly? That she is pregnant at all, or that the father is who she says he is?

    The truth is, most people lie to get out of trouble. Some people, however, lie to get attention or sympathy from others. A fraction of people have made this such a part of their everyday lives, that they are commonly labeled sociopathic liars.

    If she's been a close friend to you for some time, maybe it wouldn't hurt to sit down and talk to her about the seeming inconsistencies. Tell her, "You've been telling me a lot of things lately, and some of them are hard for me to understand. Would you mind going over some of them again with me so I can make sure I get it?" If, while she's doing that, she says something inconsistent, point it out right there: "you're telling me that you're pregnant with twins, but this sonogram only shows one baby" for instance.

    Sometimes, if something seems strange to me, I'll mention it innocuously: "Wow, this is some interesting sonogram paper, I've never seen this kind before. Usually it's glossy and has the patient's name on it..." and see how others respond.

    The bottom line is, whether you get proof or not of each and every lie someone is telling or not, you aren't obligated to trust someone with personal information, your family, or your goods if it feels wrong to you. If you aren't comfortable letting her watch your daughter, then don't. If you don't want to tell her personal things because you aren't getting the feeling she's shooting straight with you, then don't share them. Just because you don't trust someone on that level, doesn't mean you would treat them with any less kindness or friendliness.

    -Amy Editor

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