Everything starts with Trust
Suhaib Ashraf Bhat
“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.” ― Paulo Coelho,
Trust is a central part of all human relationships, including romantic partnerships, family life, business operations, politics, and medical practices. If you don’t trust your doctor or psychotherapist, for example, it is much harder to benefit from their professional advice. Trust is all types of trust, whether they have to do with matters of religion or with people’s rights. That is because when Allah swt said “We did offer al-Amaanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah swt has ordained)”, He did not single out some of the meanings of amaanaah to the exclusion of others. End quote from Tafseer at-Tabari (19/204-205)Al-Qurtubi (may Allah swt have mercy on him) said:The word Trust includes all religious duties, according to the correct scholarly view, which is the view of the majority. End quote from Tafseer al-Qurtubi (17/244)
And Allah swt, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):“Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah swt has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts etc.) and to their covenants” [al-Mu’minoon 23:8].
The mufassir Shaykh Muhammad al-Ameen ash-Shinqeeti (may Allah swt have mercy on him) said:
The trust includes everything that Allah swt has entrusted to you and instructed you to take care of. That includes guarding your physical faculties from engaging in anything that is not pleasing to Allah swt, and guarding anything that has been entrusted to you that has to do with the rights and dues of others. End quote from Adwa’ al-Bayaan (5/846)
With regard to the specific meaning of trust:There are numerous mutwawaatir Islamic texts which enjoin paying attention to trusts and fulfilling them, and not neglecting or betraying them. That is widely discussed in the books of the scholars and fuqaha’, and is widely spoken of among people in general. Based on that, what is meant by trust in this sense is everything that the individual is obliged to take care of, uphold and fulfil of the rights of others.
There are three well-known scenarios with regard to trust:
Financial rights that are established by contracts and covenants, such as items left with a person for safekeeping, loans, hiring and rentals, and so on; and those concerning which there is no contract, such as found items and what people pick up of the lost property of others.It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah (6/236):
From researching the issue, it becomes clear that the fuqaha’ use the word amaanah in the following senses:(i) in the sense of an item that is left in the possession of the person to whom it was entrusted. This may be with regard to one of the following scenarios
(a) a contract in which the amaanah is the primary focus, which is when an item is left with a person for safe keeping. This is more specific than amaanah, because every item that is left with a person for safekeeping is an amaanah, but the converse is not necessarily true
(b) a contract in which the amaanah is implied, but it is not the primary focus; rather it is connected to it as a consequence, such as renting, borrowing, profit sharing, appointing someone to act as an agent, partnerships and collateral for loans.
(c) cases in which no contract is involved, such as picking up lost property, or that which the wind blows into a neighbour’s house. Such cases are called shar‘i trusts.
Keeping people’s secrets
It was narrated that Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah swt have mercy on him) said: The Messenger of Allah swt (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “One of the most evil people before Allah swt on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who is intimate with his wife and she is intimate with him, then he broadcasts her secrets.”
It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah said: The Messenger of Allah swt (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) said: “If a man says something then turns away, it becomes a trust [which should not be disclosed by the one who heard it].”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (4868). Also narrated by at-Tirmidhi (1959), who said: This is a hasan hadith. It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah (4868)
Positions of responsibility, whether social, public or private
One should carry out such positions of trust and responsibility on a basis of truth and justice. A position of rulership is a trust, a judicial position is a trust, a management position in any organisation is a trust, responsibility for a family is a trust, and the same applies to all positions of responsibility.It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah swt be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah swt (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) said: “When trusts are neglected, then await the Hour.” He said: How would they be neglected, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “When positions of authority are given to people who are not qualified for them, then await the Hour.”Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6496)
It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: I said: O Messenger of Allah swt, will you not appoint me (to a position of authority)? He struck me on the shoulder with his hand and said: “O Abu Dharr, you are weak and it is a trust, and on the Day of Resurrection it will be a source of humiliation and regret, except for the one who takes it and fulfils all obligations and does all duties required.”Narrated by Muslim (1825)
BETRAYAL OF TRUST is one of the signs of hypocrisy.It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) said: “There are four characteristics, whoever has them all is a pure hypocrite, and whoever has one of them has one of the characteristics of hypocrisy, until he gives it up: when he makes a covenant he betrays it, when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he disputes he resorts to obscene speech.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (34) and Muslim (58).BETRAYAL OF TRUST is a sin, and in fact it is a major sin. Although it is a grave sin, the gate of repentance is open.Allah swt, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):“Say: “O Ibadee (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [az-Zumar 39:53]
“And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do”[ash-Shoora 42:25].
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah swt be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah swt (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from its place of setting, Allah swt will accept his repentance.”
Narrated by Muslim (2703)
Sincere repentance means hastening to give up the sin, regretting it, and resolving not to go back to it.An-Nawawi (may Allah swt have mercy on him) said: The scholars said: Repentance is obligatory from all sins. If the sin has to do with a matter that is between the individual and Allah swt, may He be exalted, and does not have to do with the rights of other people, then three conditions must be met:1. He must give up the sin2. He must regret what he has done 3. He must resolve never to go back to it.
If one of these three is missing, then his repentance is not valid.
But if the sin has to do with other people, then four conditions must be met: the three mentioned above, and he must also absolve himself of any wrongdoing and pay his dues to the one whom he wronged. If it is the matter of money and the like, then he must return it to him. If it has to do with punishment for slandering him and the like, he should submit to the punishment to be carried out on him, or seek that person’s forgiveness. If it is the matter of backbiting, he must ask him to forgive him for it. End quote from Riyadh as-Saaliheen (p. 14)