Personality Of Trustworthiness
Trustworthy implies being honest, fair in dealings and punctual (both in terms of regularity and timeliness) as well as honoring trusts and keeping promises and commitments. In other words, trustworthiness is the quality of honoring and fulfilling at any cost all commitments a person makes whether made formally or informally, verbally or in writing, and whether they are expressed or implied.
Also, they cover all sorts of material, moral, social, political, religious and legal obligations and commitments a person needs to observe and fulfill. When talking about trusts, it includes all forms of trusts entrusted to a person ranging from physical assets
or possessions to confidential matters of others, to providing expert input on the important issues of the society. Similarly, promises include all serious commitment and covenants as well as any impression of agreement given by a person tacitly, implicitly,
through quietness or by implication to a family member, subordinate, friend or colleague. Being known for trustworthiness is such an important personality trait for a Muslim that it cannot be overemphasized. Before our Rasulullah (SAW) was even appointed as a messenger by Allah, he was well known for these qualities. It had become one of his distinguishing characteristics/qualities so much so that he was called Al-Ameen (trustworthy) — mentioning `the trustworthy’ was enough to identify
Rasulullah (SAW). Thus, this quality was so important that Allah chose it to be the outstanding feature of His Last Messenger (SAW).
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَنْ تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا
“Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; And when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching which He giveth you! For Allah is He Who heareth and seeth all things.” (Surah An-Nisaa 4:58)
This verse is not only obligating us to honour, pay back and fulfill our trust, but also to ensure that they are given to whom they rightfully belong.
This quality is so important to Allah that when listing in the Quraan the qualities of the people who succeed in the eyes of Allah and the people who are steadfast worshippers of Allah, they have been mentioned as those:
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ
“Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants;.” (Surah Al Mu’minoon 23:8)
Similarly, one of the indications of people having Taqwa (piety) is that:
لَيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَنْ تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا ۖ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ ۗ أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ
“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing...” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:177)
On fulfilling the promises and fairness in business, Allah instructs:
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۚ وَأَوْفُوا بِالْعَهْدِ ۖ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْئُولًا
وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذَا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُوا بِالْقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
“Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfill (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning) Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination. ..” (Surah Al-Isrâ 17:34-35)
The criticality of a believer (Muslim) being trustworthy is well underscored by the report that there was hardly any address by the Messenger of Allah(SAW) that did not
include the following admonition:” The person who is not trustworthy is devoid of Iman and the one who does not keep promises is devoid of Deen” (Baihaqi in Shu’abul-eeman)
In the following Ahadith, he described the person who breaks promises and betrays trusts as a hypocrite: “There are four traits which whoever possesses is a pure hypocrite; and whoever has any one of them has a trait of hypocrisy, until he
gets rid of it: When entrusted, he embezzles (cheats); when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he reneges (breaks them); and, when he quarrels, he abuses (uses foul language).” (Abdullaah Ibn Umar in Al- Bukhari and Muslim)
“A hypocrite is known by three traits: When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he reneges; when he is entrusted, he cheats (embezzles).” (Abû Hurairah in Bukhari. The same hadith in Muslims mentions that he will be considered hypocrite: “even if he prays and fasts.” (Abû Hurairah in Muslim)
a person cannot claim to be a Muslim without being trustworthy. The strong language suggesting that not honoring trusts and covenants is totally unacceptable to and
completely at odds with Islamic faith continues in the following words of Rasulullah (SAW): “There can be no faith without Amaanah (trustworthiness, honesty),no Salaah without Taharah (cleanliness and wudhu), and no Deen without Salaah. Salaah has the same significance in Deen (religion) as head in human physique.” (Ibn Umar in Targheeb with reference to At- Tabarâni)
“A believer (Muslim) might have, being subject to the frailty of human nature, other bad traits but not dishonesty or lying.” (Ahmad and Baihaqi from Abû Umaamah)
On the other hand, the believers who sincerely practice their faith, are given the good news like the following: “You guarantee me consistent practice of six actions, I will
guarantee you Jannah (Paradise): Be truthful when you speak, fulfill promises when you commit, pay up when you are entrusted, protect your private parts, lower your gaze (turn away from inappropriate sights), withhold your hands (from doing improper things).” (Reported by Baihaqi in Shu’abul-eeman from `Ubadah Ibn Samit).
Situations that are completely out of a person’s control, Muslims have been suggested to append Insha’Allah when they make a promise. This is for three reasons:1st to
underscore that our circumstances are not totally in our control but in Allah’s control; 2nd, to reassure each of the parties that each intends sincerely to fulfill the promise except for the possibility of something unforeseen happening beyond each party’s control because of Allah’s will; and thirdly, it is an implied dua requesting Allah to help the parties by not letting anything happen that will hamper the fulfillment of their promise. UNFORTUNATELY, LIKE MANY OTHER BAD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED TO MUSLIMS, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MISUSING THE ‘INSHA ALLAH FOE CHEATING. THEY SAY IT WHEN THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF FULFULLING THE PROMISE. THAT IS OUTRIGHT CHEATING WHICH IS BEING CARRIED OUT BY INVOKING ALLAH’S NAME TO GIVE A FALSE PRETENCE OF PROMISING. THESE KIND OF PEOPLE WILL BE IN DEEP TROULBLE WHEN ALLAH HOLDS THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR 2 CRIMES 1) CHEATING, 2) BRREAKING PROMISES.
“May Allah truly help us become trustworthy.”