Be honest - even when joking, says sermon

Honesty is the subject of this week's Friday sermon.

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Honesty connects believers to the doors of heaven, worshippers will be told in Friday's sermon.

Muslims across the country will be reminded of the importance of being honest and the reward it brings from Allah.

"Lying and faith cannot be together in the heart of a believer," the sermon reads, citing the Quranic verse from Surat An-Nahl: "Only they invent falsehood who believe not Allah's revelations, and [only] they are the liars."

The sermon cites God's words that nothing will help the worshipper on the day of judgment except honesty. "Honesty will win you the love of God almighty," it says.

Honesty should be shown in speech and deeds, according to the sermon.

Muslims will be reminded that they should not lie, even when joking.

"Prophet Mohammed joked, but said nothing but the truth," the sermon says, citing a Hadith recited by the Prophet: "I guarantee ... [there is a] house in the middle of heaven for whoever abandoned lying, even when joking."

Muslims need to be honest in all their actions, in public and private, says the sermon.

In the second segment of the sermon, imams will remind worshippers that honesty also entails asking Allah for forgiveness.

The sermon cites a Quranic verse from Surat At-Tahrim: "O ye who believe!

"Turn unto Allah in sincere repentance."

The sermon adds that "sincere" repentance means "honest" repentance.