Episode 10: Al-Amanah (Fulfilling trusts)
[(Al-Amanah is an Arabic term that, in the closest literal English translation, means fulfilling or upholding trusts. However, al-Amanah has a broader meaning which will be more apparent further down in this discussion. And since there is no English term that encompasses the full meaning of al-Amanah, this Arabic term is maintained here in this translation.)]
Definition: It is when a person fulfills his obligations due to Allah Almighty and fulfills his obligations due to Allah's slaves [(other people)].
The place of al-Amanah in the Sharia'
al-Amanah is a religious obligation that, without fulfilling it, a person's faith is incomplete. It has been decreed by [Allah] Almighty in His saying: (Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due)(1). [Allah] (glory be to Him) has informed that all obligations He decreed, which are due to Him and those due to His slaves, are trusts that must be fulfilled. Glory be to Him said: (We did indeed offer al-Amanah to the Skies, the Earth and the Mountains; but they declined to bear it and were afraid thereof: but man undertook it; he was indeed unjust and foolish)(2). The prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has linked al-Amanah to belief; According to Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), he said: Allah's prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has never preached us without saying: (There is no faith to one who has no Amanah, and no religion to one who has no covenant)(3). The prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has considered betrayal [(which is the opposite of fulfilling trusts)] as a sign of hypocrisy; According to Abu Hurairah, he said: Allah's messenger said: (The sign of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is trusted he betrays)(4). Al-Amanah is a characteristic of the prophets (peace and blessings be upon them), each one of them has said to his people: (I am a trustworthy messenger for you)(5).
1) Translation of meaning: Holy Quran, chapter al-Nisaa, verse 58.
2) Translation of meaning: Holy Quran, chapter al-Ahzab, verse 72.
3) Produced by: Ahmad 3/135 and al-Bayhagi 6/288 & 9/231.
4) Produced by: al-Bukhari #33; Muslim #59.
5) Translation of meaning: Holy Quran, chapter al-Shua'raa, verses 125,107,143,162,178.