Playing with words is an art that many wicked people use to deceive others and wrongfully consume their rights. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) clearly declared that intention is the basis on which people will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment. Thus, a Muslim has always to watch his tongue and train himself to be honest and truthful.

Addressing this issue, we would like to cite the response of a prominent scholar, Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen on this:

Double entendre refers to the case when a person means something other than the apparent meaning of his words. This is permissible with two conditions:

1. The word could be interpreted in that fashion.

2. There should be no wrongdoing involved.

Thus, if a person says, for example, “I only sleep under the saqf (lit. roof),” then he sleeps on a roof, and says that what he meant by saqf was the sky, this is acceptable, because [in Arabic] the sky can be called saqf as in the verse where Allah says,(And We have made the heaven saqafan (roof/ canopy), safe and well-guarded) (Al-Anbiya’ 21:32).
However, if you use double entendres in order to wrong someone, this is not permitted. For example, a person deprived another of a right of his, then he was taken to the court. The one who was wronged has no proof. Hence, the judge asked the wrongdoer to swear that he did not possess anything that belongs to the claimant, and so he swore saying, “Wallaahi ma lahu `indi shay’ (the apparent meaning would be translated as by Allah nothing belongs to him is with me)”. Thus, the judge issued a verdict in his favor. Some people spoke to him and told him that this oath he made was a deliberate false oath which may doom him to Hell as the hadith states, “Whoever swears an oath in order to deprive a Muslim man of his rights unlawfully will meet Allah when He is angry with him.” The person who swore this oath said, “I did not mean to deny, I meant to affirm, as by saying “maa lahu” I meant “what belongs to” [and thus the sentence would be interpreted as by Allah what belong to him is with me].

Now, even though the Arabic words he used may be interpreted that way, his intention was to wrong another person and not to give him his right, and therefore this is not permissible. In one hadith the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Your oath has to be according to what your companion believes.” Thus, twisting the meaning will not avail you anything before Allah, and you are now swearing a false oath.