Ramadan Lectures- Pearls1- Morals 1436H- Lesson (2): Trustfulness (Al-Amanah)
Last update:2017-06-16
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.


 Ustaz Bilal:
 I would like to mention a story we heard a lot when we were kids. It is the story of the milk seller written in verse:

The mother said to her daughter, "Mix milk with water
so that it will become heavier and will bring more money."
The daughter said, "O mother I am sorry I will not do that
Umar has forbidden us from mixing milk with water."
Her mother said, "Umar cannot see us
Umar is not here with us."
The daughter said, "Do not ever do that
for Allah knows what we reveal and what we hide.
Umar is not with us watching,
but the Lord of Abi Hafs (Umar) is with us."

 "Trustfulness" is one of the pearls of Islam which we are about to tackle in this episode with the pleasure of your company dear viewers. It is mentioned in an authenticated Hadith the following:

((When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour (Doomsday).))

 We, Muslims, should be keen on the trust, better yet we should long for a society of believers where honesty and trustfulness prevail, so that Allah and His Messenger will be pleased with such a society. Let us enter the heaven of trustfulness and go deep in its details from the Quran and Sunnah.

 In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Who created man and taught him Al-Bayah (eloquent speech). May Allah bless and grant peace to Muhammad, the Faithful and the Honest, and may Allah bless his folks and companions. Welcome to all of you dear viewers wherever you might be, and let us start a new episode and tackle a new pearl of Islam's pearls. Allow me first of all to welcome the esteemed Dr. Muhammad Rateb Al Nabulsi.

 Dr. Rateb:
 May Allah bless you and make you beneficial to others.

 Ustaz Bilal:
  Dr. Rateb today's pearl is trustfulness, and I will start with the most famous Ayah with regard to this topic:

﴾ Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah's Torment). But man bore it.﴿

[Al-Ahzab, 72]

 What is the trust of which the heavens, the earth and the mountains were afraid?


 Dr. Rateb:
  In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may He bless and grant peace to Muhammad, the Faithful and the Honest, and may Allah bless his folks and companions.

 In fact there are two worlds: the world of Al-Azal (the world prior to the creation of human beings on earth where Allah obtained their acknowledgment of His Divinity and Lordship) and the world of As-Surah (The life of this world after Allah created the heavens, the earth and the creatures). In the world of Al-Azal, Allah offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains (the heavens and the earth is a term in the Quran which indicates everything other than Allah), but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it, while man bore it, and because man accepted the trust, he has become the foremost creature. As a result, Allah subjugated to mankind the heavens and the earth as means to honor man and as means to get acquainted with Allah. Man's stance with regard to this Divine subjugation is mentioned in the following Ayah:

﴾ And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him.﴿

[Al-Jathiyah, 13]

 Man's stance towards the subjugation as means of getting acquainted with Allah should be to believe in Him, whereas his stance towards the subjugation as means of honoring him is to thank Allah. Thus, upon believing and thanking, man will fulfill the purpose of his existence. The precise fact is that the trust is manifested in man's self that is Divinely made to be controlled by man through the free will, and Allah made man in control of it, so that he would be able to purify it and exalt with it. Allah says:

﴾ Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds)* And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allah has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism or by following polytheism, etc. or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds).﴿

[Ash-Shams, 9-10]

Difference between Al-Falah (prosperity) and An-Najah (success):

  There is no doubt that the difference between prosperity (Falah) and success (Najah) is substantial, for man might be successful in becoming rich, in earning money, in occupying an important position or in touring the entire world, and all these are different manifestations of success, whereas prosperity is something else; it is achieved when you fulfill the purpose of your existence in this world, and only then you are prosperous.

 Success can be achieved by a student in collage in choosing good friends, in having the best seat in the hall which overviews the park or in acquiring the PHD, but all these things are just aspects of success but not prosperity, for the latter is achieved only through fulfilling the purpose of man's existence. Hence, success is partial whereas prosperity is inclusive. When does man become prosper? He becomes prosper when he knows the purpose of his existence. Namely, when he knows that he is created to be admitted to Paradise, and that Allah has given him the chance to exist in the worldly life, so that he can pay the price for Paradise. Allah says:

﴾ By the night as it envelops* And by the day as it appears in brightness* And by Him Who created male and female* Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse (different in aims and purposes);﴿

[Al-Lail, 1-4]

People are classified into two groups:

 There are 7 billion and 200 million people on earth, and each of them is heading towards a certain direction, but despite this diversity in directions and striving, they all fall within two categories only. Allah says:

﴾ As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him* And believes in Al-Husna.﴿

[Al-Lail, 5-6]

 The first group of people includes those who believe that they are created to enter Paradise, and because of that belief they fear disobeying Allah, and they build their lives on giving, whereas the other group includes those who deny Al-Husna and the existence of the Hereafter, who believe only in the life of this world, who dispense with obeying Allah and who build their lives on taking.

 This leads to the following fact: The pyramid of human beings since Adam till the Day of Resurrection is topped by two groups of people, which are the powerful and the Prophets, peace be upon them. While the Prophets, peace be upon them, give and never take, they win hearts of people and they live for them, the powerful take and never give, they own necks and people live for them.

 Hence, the rest of the pyramid of human beings are either followers of the Prophets, peace be upon them, or followers of the powerful. Whoever among them is happy with giving is a follower of the Prophets, peace be upon them, whereas whoever is happy with taking is a follower of the powerful. Success then lies in being a follower of the Prophets, peace be upon them, and in building our lives on giving (or may be taking and giving), but building life in taking and never giving makes man a follower of the powerful.

 Ustaz Bilal:
 May Allah bless you Ustaz Rateb. The rest of the Ayah catches the attention and raises a question:

﴾ Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).﴿

[Al-Ahzab, 72]

 Why was man unjust and ignorant?

Whoever fulfills the trust will succeed:

  Dr. Rateb:
  I have my own opinion concerning this point, and I hope it is right. This part of the Ayah can be comprehended in two ways: it can be read as a question or as a confirmation of a fact. This part of the Ayah is considered a question if the one who bore the trust in the world of Al--Azal (i.e. man) fulfills this trust upon coming to this life, he is neither unjust nor ignorant, but rather he is genius, prosperous, right, happy and successful. On the other hand, this part of the Ayah is considered a confirmation of a fact if this person, who comes to this world, wastes the trust and follows his lusts and desires, and so he is certainly unjust and ignorant.

 To elaborate this concept, consider the following example. A father says to his sons, "The one who acquires a PHD from America shall own half of my factory", and one of them says, "I will do it", so he travels to America, whereas the rest of his brothers stays at home, because their business is good, they earn good money, they have houses and they are happily married. If this son, who promises to acquire the PHD, goes there and fails to acquire it, he will be deprived of everything, but if he goes there and acquires it, he will win everything. The same goes for man; when he accepts to bear the trust but fails to fulfill it, he will become unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of the value of the trust).

 Let me repeat again, this part of the Ayah has two different readings: It can be read as a confirmation of the fact that man is unjust and ignorant when he wastes the trust and breaks his promise (like the son in the previous example who fails to acquire the PHD), or it can be read as a question, and the answer is that the person who fulfills the trust is neither unjust nor ignorant, but rather he is prudent and ambitious (like that son if he succeeds in acquiring the PHD).

 Ustaz Bilal:
 Esteemed Ustaz Rateb, the second issue in our meeting today is the details of bearing the trust. We have discussed the brief definition of the trust, and now we would like to tackle this trust in details:

﴾ Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due﴿

[An-Nisa', 58]

 "Trusts" is plural, but what are the trusts?

There are different kinds of trust and they all should be fulfilled by man:

 Dr. Rateb:
 Each person has a trust to fulfill. For instance, the wife is her husband's trust, so does he get her acquainted with her Lord? Does he help her obey Allah? Does he rectify her course? Does he offer her advice? Does he give her the rights she is entitled to? Does he ask her to fulfill his rights properly? Hence, the wife is trust and the children are trust husband and the father are entrusted with, so does the father get his children acquainted with their Lord? Or is he only keen on their worldly success?

(('Abd Allah bin 'Amr reported the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) as saying: It is sufficient sin for a man that he neglects whom he maintains.))

[Abu Dawod by Abdullah bin Amr]

 He is so keen on feeding them, clothing them and striving to make them achieve their goals in the worldly life, but he overlooks their faith, their uprightness and their upbringing. Therefore, man will be called to account for his family. This Ayah tells us that since man accepted to bear the trust, he should fulfill it completely.

 Hence, the wife and the children are the trust of the father, and the students are the trust of the teacher. Does the teacher teach his students devotedly? Does he draw their attention to the special skills which they must attain? Does he follow up on their mistakes and rectify them? Is he honest in correcting their exam's papers? All of that are different aspects of the trust. The patients are the trusts of the doctor, so does the doctor prescribes the proper medication for the patient, or he accepts a fat commission from a different medical company and gives his patient their medication which is not effective? The engineer also has his own trust at work. Actually, every career puts the burden of the trust on the shoulder of its specialist, and when man fulfills his trust completely, he will enjoy a peace of mind.

The Shari'ah rulings are in harmony with Fitrah:

 The essential matter here is that Shari'ah (Islamic laws) is in harmony with Al-Fitrah. Allah says:

﴾ So set you (O Muhammad PBUH) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah's Fitrah (i.e. Allah's Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind.﴿

[Ar-Rum, 30]

 This means that every Divine Order imposed upon man is endeared to him in his Fitrah

﴾But Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger) hateful to you﴿

[Al-Hujuraat, 7]

 Accordingly, every Divine Order is endeared to man, and every Divine Ban is detestable by man. Thus, Al-Fitrah is in harmony with the Divine Method. We can deduce from this fact that when you are upright on the Path of Allah, and when you turn to Your Lord, you will live in indescribable comfort, simply because you reconcile with your Fitrah:  

﴾ So set you (O Muhammad PBUH) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone)﴿

[Ar-Rum, 30]

 "To set your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa" refers to the Fitrah which is installed in man. This Fitrah loves goodness, justice and honesty, but this does not entail that man will be honest. In other words, we are molded to love the Divine Method and Orders and to hate whatever we are forbidden from and this is Fitrah, but Sibghah is to be honest, given man is endeared to honesty in his Fitrah. Allah says:

﴾[Our Sibghah (religion) is] the Sibghah (Religion) of Allah (Islam) and which Sibghah (religion) can be better than Allah's?﴿

[Al-Baqarah, 138]

 When you are just and charitable, this is Sibghah Thus, the religion swings between the Fitrah and the Sibghah (in the sense that originally man's Fitrah loves good things, but Sibghah is to be good, given man owns the free will to be good [in harmony with Fitrah) or to be bad [going against Fitrah]).

 Ustaz Bilal:
 May Allah bless you. Let me move to the last issue in this meeting which we usually dedicate to encourage people to turn our words into practice and to abide by what is mentioned in this meeting. I usually hear from you lots of stories which are based on facts and supported with all the proofs of its reality. Will you mention some stories about trustfulness and how rendering the trust back shall bring prosperity?

Stories about the trust and rendering it to its owner:

 Dr. Rateb:
  It is thousands times impossible that you obey Allah and lose, and it is thousands times impossible that you disobey Allah and win. I remember the story of a man who found a black sack in his taxi on the back seat, and upon opening it he found astronomical sum of money. That man spent four days trying to find the owner of the money, moving from place to place till he found him. The owner of the money was very generous, and he bought the taxi driver a new car because he gave him back his 20 millions. This is honesty. The Prophet PBUH said:

((Fulfilling the trust brings man prosperity))

[Al Jame' As-Sagheer by Anas]

 When you are honest you will become rich because you will earn the trust of people, and they will entrust you. A man did not tell his sons that he invested an astronomical sum of money which he owned. He died in an accident afterward, but the man who was investing his money searched for his children and gave them their father's money. This is the true practice of the religion.

 By Allah, an honest stance one takes equals the civilization of westerners, because it is a moral stance. There are a lot of stories about honesty. I remember that a taxi driver of Arab descent found 10.000 dollars in a suitcase left in his taxi, so he took the money to the closest police station. The unbelievable reaction of the police was that they brought the students of so many high schools to a big stadium, and they asked them, "If you find a suitcase with 10.000 dollars in it, what will you do?" All of them said, "We will take it?" Then they introduced that Moroccan man who worked as a taxi driver to them, and who searched for the owner of the money and rendered them back to him. There are so many exalted values in Islam which touches man's deepest feelings, and believe me, if we apply this religion as we should, we will reap its fruits in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.

 Ustaz Bilal:
 Westerners might not learn about Islam from its sources, but rather they might learn about it from an honest Muslim who fears Allah, and they might love Islam because of him. This is Da'wah (call to Allah) in the full sense of the word.

The true Muslim calls people to Islam by his exalted traits:

 Dr. Rateb:
 By Allah the only Deity, if only the members of the Islamic Community in Europe, America and Australia apply Islam properly, westerners will have a different stance towards Islam unlike the one they have now. This is because when the Muslim errs in his home country, he is blamed alone, but when he errs in the west, Islam will be blamed. Hence, this Ayah is very precise and important:

﴾"Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers﴿

[Al-Mumtahinah, 5]

 This means when a Muslim in the west gives a false statement, the other party will reject Islam, and they will even be convinced to disbelieve in Islam and to believe in their Kufr:

﴾"Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers﴿

[Al-Mumtahinah, 5]

 I repeat again, when the Muslim errs in his home country, he is the only one to be blamed, but when he errs in western countries, Islam will be blamed. The Prophet PBUH said:

((You are a corner among the many corners of Islam, so do not let Islam be attacked from your side!))


  Ustaz Bilal:
 May Allah bless you. Thank you Dr. Rateb, and may Allah help us benefit from what we have just heard about trustfulness, and inspire us to be honest. May Allah reward you with goodness.

 Dear viewers, at the end of this episode of your program Durar I want to thank you for bearing with us, and I ask Allah to grant you health. Till next episode I leave your faith, trust and the end of your deeds in the Providence of Allah.

As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatoh.

Translation  : Noura Sharabi
Edited by      : Kawthar Hajj Saleh