Wednesday 19 April 2023

Believers!! Be true to your trusts and covenants

Surah 23. Al-Muminun is one of those chapters of Qur'an which spells out many traits of the successful believers. We have already shared all these traits in one of our earlier posts: Characteristics of Believers who will inherit Paradise - Jannah الۡفِرۡدَوۡسَؕ. Today, we take out one of the important traits upon which the moral fiber of a Muslim society hinges: Keeping one's trusts and covenants. A society deficcit in trust among its members is most likely to fail and collapse. In fact, this trait is a very comprehensive expression for all moral directives in Islam. This is especially true for the leaders and administrators and representatives of people who make promises but then fail their people in their expectations from them.

وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ لِاَمٰنٰتِهِمۡ وَعَهۡدِهِمۡ رَاعُوۡنَ ۙ‏ 
(23:8) who are true to their trusts and their covenants,
The Believers fulfill the terms of the trusts which are placed in their charge. In this connection it should be noted that the Arabic word amanat is very comprehensive and includes all those trusts which are placed in their charge by Allah or society or individuals. Likewise, `ahd includes all those compacts, pledges, and promises which are made between Allah and man, and man and man. The Holy Prophet himself used to impress the importance of the fulfillment of pledges in his addresses: "The one, who does not fulfil the terms of his trust, has no Faith, and the one, who does not keep promises and pledges has no Islam. " (Baihaqi) According to a Tradition reported both by Bukhari and Muslim, he said: Four characteristics are such that if a person has all the four in him, he is beyond any doubt a hypocrite, and the one who has one of these, is a hypocrite to that extent till he gives it up:

(a) When something is placed in his trust, he commits breach of the trust,

(b) when he speaks, he tells a lie,

(c) when he makes a promise, he breaks it, and

(d) when he has a quarrel with somebody, he exceeds all limits (of decency and morality)"

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat and to their covenants) When they are entrusted with something, they do not betray that trust, but they fulfill it, and when they make a promise or make a pledge, they are true to their word. 

This is not like the hypocrites about whom the Messenger of Allah said: (The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.)

Yusuf Ali Explanation
Trusts may be express or implied. Express trusts are those where property is entrusted or duties are assigned by someone to some other whom he trusts, to carry out either immediately or in specified contingencies, such as death. Implied trusts arise out of power, or position, or opportunity; e.g., a king holds his kingdom on trust from Allah for his subjects. The subject of covenants, express and implied, has been discussed in n. 682 to v.1. Covenants create obligations, and express and implied trusts and covenants taken together cover the whole field of obligations.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
This is a very comprehensive expression for all moral directives in religion. 
Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes: اَمٰنٰت  refers to all trusts which our Lord has blessed us with in the form of strengths, abilities, obligations and responsibilities or in the shape of favours, blessings, riches and offspring. Also included in them are things people have been entrusted with or those discharging, which is our responsibility according to the norms. In a similar way, also included in it are the covenants and promises our Lord has taken from our nature in the unseen world or taken in this world in the form of the sharī‘ah through His messengers. Moreover, it also comprises all those promises and covenants which we made with God through our nature or through His prophets. Similarly, it also consists of promises made with a group or an individual in this world, whether they are written or oral or are thought to be understood in a civilized society even if they are not made orally or in writing. It is stated by the Almighty that it is these servants of His who abide by all these trusts and promises. They are neither dishonest and rebellious in the matter of their Lord nor are ones who are unfaithful to His creatures or go back on their word with them. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 5, 299)
Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
They, individuals and community alike, honour their pledges and discharge their trust. Both the individual and the community have many types of trust to maintain, the first of which is the trust encapsulated in their own nature, i.e. they are created by God in an upright fashion so as to be in harmony with the rest of the universe to which they belong. This testifies to God’s oneness by the natural feeling of unity that governs the universe. Believers are faithful to this great trust, and they protect their nature from deviation so that it continues to testify to God’s oneness. Other trusts are derived from this basic element.

The first pledge is that God has taken from, and made ingrained in human nature, committing it to believe in His existence and His oneness. All other pledges, covenants and treaties derive from this first one. When a believer commits himself to something, he makes God his witness. Honouring his commitments is, to a believer, part of being God-fearing, of taqwā.

The Muslim community is also responsible for honouring its public trust, and for the fulfilment of its pledges to God and the duties that result from these pledges. The sūrah gives its statement in very general terms so as to include every type of trust and pledge. Believers are faithful to all these, at all times. Being faithful is part of their character. No community can hope to have a straightforward life unless pledges and trusts are fulfilled, so that every individual and group are certain of this basic rule of community life. It is a rule that gives everyone a sense of trust and security.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'an and Important DOs and DONTs from Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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