Great Islamic teachings
Maulana Shahzaib ‘Attari Madani
(Teacher, Jami’ah-tul-Madinah Faizan-e-Umm-e-‘Attar, Karachi)
Human rights are enshrined in the core teachings of the Islamic tradition and are practically achieved through the behavioural parameters and moral values that Islam not only encourages but prescribes in strong terms. In this article, we will explore one such value, trustworthiness.
The Holy Quran directly commands the faithful to be trustworthy in their dealings with other people:
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ یَاْمُرُكُمْ اَنْ تُؤَدُّوا الْاَمٰنٰتِ اِلٰۤى اَهْلِهَاۙ-
Indeed, Allah commands you to hand over whatever you hold in trust to their owners
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 05, Surah Al-Nisa, Verse 58)
The trustworthy Messenger صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
Every page of the Holy Prophet’s life is embellished with this quality so much so that even the staunchest of enemies could not deny his trustworthy nature, describing him as ‘truthful,’ (Al-Sadiq) and ‘trustworthy,’ (Al-Ameen).
Trustworthy people who respect the rights of others and punctually fulfil their promises are loved by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. In contrast, untrustworthy people are described as having deficient, incomplete faith. (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 4, p. 271, Hadith 12386)
The breadth of trustworthiness
Unfortunately, it seems that with the passing of time, the scope of trustworthiness has been reduced to material trusts whereby the trustworthy person is simply someone who returns deposited items to their rightful owners. Although this is one aspect of what it means to be trustworthy, there is much more to this lofty characteristic as Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه explained: The rights of Allah Almighty and the rights of people are all trusts. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 3, p. 236, paraphrased)
This holistic definition implies that fulfilling the rights of Allah Almighty and of people are essential aspects of trustworthiness. Hence, praying Salah, fasting in Ramadan, paying Zakat, performing Hajj, being truthful, and performing other righteous acts, all of these, fall under the rubric of trustworthiness. Similarly, the limbs of a human being such as the tongue, eyes, ears, hands, etc., are also trusts from Allah Almighty, and protecting these limbs from sins and futile acts is one realisation of trustworthiness. Moreover, trustworthiness is realised by protecting the secrets of others, giving good counsel when sought, concealing the faults of Muslims, and completing employment-based tasks with integrity.
Us and trustworthiness
It seems that trustworthiness is not exempt from the exponential moral decline that sweeps our communities. Although positive morals and ethical behaviour are sometimes met with bewilderment and criticism, we should persevere to be trustworthy in our dealings with people.
May Allah Almighty enable us to be people of integrity! اٰمین