If we look at the life of our holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) before prophet-hood came to him, he was given the titles of al-Amin and Sadiq by the people of Makah because he was honest. His truthfulness and honesty was the foundation of his personality, which had already set him far apart and above everyone. His personality was gentle and non-violent. He never told a lie, never cheated, always kept his promises and was always helpful to everyone but especially to the poor and orphans. He was never boastful and was always humble.

When at the age of 40 he was given the gift of prophet-hood, which was called ‘Din-ul-Haq’ meaning a religion of truth. There was no doubt that he was a prophet as he had already proved that he was a wonderful person. We all know that to be a true Muslim it is essential to be truthful and honest. If a Muslim is not honest he is not a true Muslim but an imposter and a hypocrite (a Munnafiq), even if he observes all the rituals regularly, grows a beard and carries a mark of piety on his forehead.

We have seen a lack of truth now in our society as well as in our ruling elite. This concept of the necessity of being ‘Truth full and Honest’ for a Muslim should be propagated by the media until it takes a firm hold in the minds of majority of Muslims and a code of truth and honesty is established. Once this code is established, we can quantify problems, mark out necessary steps and then act resolutely to overcome the problems plaguing our country, thus earning a respectable place in the comity of nations. I believe that lies and no accountability has given rise to corruption that has eaten into this wonderful country and its people. Once we regain honesty we will be back on the track of success! These are my thoughts as I approach my 95th birthday, and I firmly believe this is the only way for our salvation.

Lt. Gen (R) Malik Shaukat Hasan,

Lahore, March 28.