Islam is based upon justice, thus the act of cheating or lying is considered contradictory to the nature of an individual being just. One facet of Islam is the issue of being honest in all dealings and not seeking to conceal what should be seen.
The prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) came to all of mankind. He came with a beautiful example on how a person should live their life. One narration details the importance of a seller exposing and telling a buyer about the fault(s) of a product.
Prophet Muhammad(saw) said;
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) happened to pass by a heap of eatables (corn). He thrust his hand in that (heap) and his fingers were moistened. He said to the owner of that heap of eatables (corn): What is this? He replied: Messenger of Allah, these have been drenched by rainfall. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) over other eatables so that the people could see it? He who deceives is not of me (is not my follower). (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Iman)
In reflecting on this hadith, I believe this can be applied in a larger context to our communities and places of residency. It is important to look at the larger issues surrounding the places we call home. Many times things and people are romanticized. We fail to look at the full picture. Many times we think of Paris as being this place of love and romance, but we fail to think about the slums located in France. We fail to understand that there is a lower-class that is barely getting by. This can be said about any country or place. We have to expose ourselves to the full picture and not accept one view. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would listen and take into consideration the circumstances surrounding a person before he ruled on a punishment or an answer to their question. He didn’t give everyone the same answer because he understood the context of these individuals.
In comparison, it is important to look at our communities in the same way. We have to seek out the truth and not accept one thing. We cannot believe that one way of accomplishing a goal is the only way. We all come from different backgrounds and circumstances and we have to think in this realistic fashion. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a man of great wisdom and he never was one to simply answer in a blanket statement. He tailored his answers to the needs of an individual. He sought to investigate, if needed in a given situation. In our daily lives, we should take these pieces of advice as a lesson. We should seek out the truth, look at all of the pieces of the puzzle, and be truthful in our interactions with others.