CAN ALLAH (HALLOWED BE HIS NAME) TELL A LIE?
Fatwa answered by Allama Rashid Ahmad Gangohi
Translation and Notes by (Abu Aisha) Mansur
Question: What is your opinion (may your merit always remain) about Allah, can he be attributed with the characteristic of lying or not, and what is the ruling regarding the person who believes that he lies [can lie] (please give us a legal verdict, you will be reciprocated)?
Answer: Surely Allah is far above from being attributed with the characteristic of lying and neither is there ever any suspicion of lying in his words just as Allah has said “Whose speech could be truer than Allah’s?” And whoever believes and expresses that Allah lies is definitely a rejected disbeliever, an opposer of the Qur’an and Sunna and the Ijma of the umma, Allah is transcendent and above all that the transgressors say.
Nevertheless, it is the belief of the people of Iman that whatever Allah has said in the Qur’an regarding Pharaoh, Haman and Abu Lahab that they are from the denizens of Hell is a definite decision of which he will never do the contrary. However, Allah is capable of entering them in to heaven and is not powerless to do so; nonetheless, he will not do this out of his willingness. Allah Says “Had We so willed We could have given guidance to everyone, but now My Words are shown to be true: that I shall fill up Hell entirely with jinn and human beings.” It is clear from this verse that had Allah wanted he could have made all of them believers, but he does not contradict what he has [already] said. All of this is out of willingness and not out of compulsion, for he is the doer out of his own accord and he does whatever he intends to do. This is the opinion of all the scholars of this umma as al-Baydawi has mentioned under the commentary of the verse “If you punish them…” [al-Baydawi says] ‘Not forgiving Shirk is due to Allah’s warning [that He will never forgive it], not due to it being intrinsically impossible.’
Written by the most humble Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (may Allah forgive him)
Abu Aisha: This fatwa is based on an understanding of highly abstract philosophical concepts. Some sincere people who could not understand the depth of the sheikh’s arguments lost no time in condescending him and attacking his erudition and probity. This resulted in people entertaining very bitter and sour thoughts regarding the sheikh. This translation hopes to serve as a rectification of people’s perception as well as to fill the lacuna towards a more integrated and harmonious umma. Ameen Yaa Rabb.
 Gangohi, Rashid Ahmad, Ta’leefaat Rashidiya, Fataawa Rashidiyan 2nd edition, (Lahore: Idara Islamiyaat, 1992), p. 97.
 Special thanks to Mufti Hussain Kadodia (South Africa) for clarifying few subtle points.
 Words in square parenthesis are mine and not the author’s. Calligraphy by Sudanese artist Hassan Musa
 Sura al-Nisa 4:122. The translation and references of Qur’anic verses given in the translation of this fatwa is from Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley, The Noble Qur’an: A New Rendering of its Meaning in English, (Norwich: Bookwork, 2005).
 Sura al-Sajda 32:13
 Sura al-Ma’ida 5:118. The full verse reads “If You punish them, they are Your slaves, If You forgive them, You are the Almighty, All-Wise.