can i lie to my parent to protect them? my mother is extremely depressed and in a span of months has lost her father to alzheimers and now is losing her mother to cancer and her sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and her brother abandoned his parents and my father lost his job and thus they are in financial trouble. I lied to her to give her some good news after only hearing bad news for months and months but in actuality, the worst case scenario had occurred. but with the good news that i gave her, my mother for the first time in months has hope and finally smiled and relaxed. the bad news wont affect her in any way other than worry her and right now ive shouldered all the burden but i feel very guilty but at the same time, i know that if i tell her, she really might have a heart attack or just give up in life… ive prayed to Allah and asked him for forgiveness and begged him to help me and to guide me but i honestly do think that telling my mother the truth might break her… i plan on telling her the truth someday when she isnt being faced with the death of her loved ones but i just cant now…am i committing a grave scene? what should i do? i saw somewhere that there are certain cases in which lying is acceptable (i think in a hadith…) but ive been praying 5 times a day and reading the Quran like crazy and begging God to forgive me…so is it acceptable to lie in order to protect a loved one?
Your attitude is commendable and your actions are understandable. We hope that your mother’s situation improves and you help her throughout in the best way possible. Lying – depending on the amount and severity – is the very small decaying cavity in the concept of what is good. It can be almost harmless but usually is the subversive element to positive outcomes in any particular situation. While you did not commit a grave sin you may have lit a flame that eventually would turn into a fire. Your mother is obviously facing a lot of downturns in life; however, she has you and your father and most importantly God to turn to in such situations. Life can be quite difficult at times but if we resorted to making something up to make ourselves or loved ones feel better where would it leave anyone when the truth came out? In fact, you even mention that eventually you will tell her the truth after a time you deem is right but the question arises can you ever be sure? Moreover, what guarantees a better time? I do not know the intricacies of the lie but if you have to make up other lies to support the original untruth then it should stop. You can never know the disappointment of being given positive information only to later find out that it was fraudulent. While I do recommend that any further lying stop it may be wiser not to mention anything that has to do with it again. This means do not bring it up especially if there is a possibility that it goes away without harm. However, if that does not work then I see no point in breaking her heart further by dropping a bombshell on her until you feel it is proper – keeping in mind what I previously mentioned.
The tradition (i.e. hadith) you may be referring to is related keeping the peace. In other words, if the bitter truth can be sweetened to avoid societal disorder then it should be. In fact, there is another hadith related to a marriage as this has an effect on society. The circumstances you presented do not apply.
Regardless of what happens, your love and care is praiseworthy and your sensitivity is admirable. Your intentions were good and know that God judges us based on that. In the future, whenever faced with anything like this, get the advice of a wise person because it may help at a moment when you are too emotionally attached to the situation. May God be with you and bless you and your loved ones.
I hope this helps.
God knows best.