Al-Amanah (The Trust) by @Bintul_Rasheed
The following post was written by @Bintul_Rasheed. A smart Muslimah that I have on numerous occasions sought her advice and suggestions on posts that have been published on this website. It is only right for her to guest write. I am glad she picked this topic because it applies to all facets of life (as do a lot of the posts published on here) and hopefully we learn from it and try to apply it in our day to day life. You can also follow her Instagram for islamic reminders.
In the Name of Allah, the entirely Merciful, the most Gracious.
The closest one can come to translating Al-Amanah is as the fulfilling or upholding of trusts. Al-Amanah as with a lot of Arabic words has a broader meaning (which will be more apparent further down), there is no English term that encompasses the full meaning of the word. Al-Amanah is said to be when a person fulfills his due obligations to Allah Almighty firstly and then to those around him. Anything that is entrusted upon you becomes a form of Al-Amanah. In the case of Deen, we have our salah, our fasts and charity to name a few; that are rewarded by Allah when we do them and punished when we ignore them.
“Truly, We did offer al-amaanah (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. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” - Q33:72
Looking at the verse above, the Quran clearly tells us that man is ignorant to what Al-Amanah really is and chose to burden himself with it. It is said that Allah created the heavens and the earth, along with the mountains with a sense of understanding - the kind only He can comprehend. This sense of understanding was what made them reject the offer of Al-Amanah. The purpose of this post is to enlighten us on Amanah and its importance.
“Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants; and those who strictly guard their prayers. These are indeed the inheritors who shall inherit Paradise.” - Q23:8-11
This tells us that a person is not a true believer until he can take care of his Amanah. The Prophet (SAW) has linked al-Amanah to belief;
According to Anas (RA), he said: Allah's Prophet (SAW) 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’."
Lets pick an example of what Amanah is from our surroundings and what we can easily relate and identify with:
- The position of leadership is one of the most serious and delicate forms of Amanah. Leadership positions would not be a thing to chase after if we understood the importance of just leadership. But as with a lot of things, man becomes ignorant and seeks after it. As a leader you are accountable to Allah and the slaves of Allah that have given you these obligations. You are responsible for everyone single individual under your authority. Those in leadership positions should strive to emulate is Umar ibn Khattab; who despite being a leader went about his daily business to fend for his family until the citizens approached him and offered to pay him so he will be able to oversee the affairs of the town without being distracted. He upheld this Amanah to the point that when he lost his child he returned the feeding allowance for that child! But these days, corruption is the general theme. We have leaders living lavishly while the citizens suffer, forgetting the day they will be held accountable.
- Another Amanah that is taken with levity and that man seeks is found in our immediate family. It starts with the Nikkah. Marriage as an institution is built on trust, the parents trusting you with their child and the woman trusting you to treat her right and fufill your obligations to her. This type of trust used to be respected and revered but today we have husbands maltreating their wives, denying them their rights and all other despicable acts forgetting that they will be held accountable. Then you encounter the Amanah of children, they are entrusted to us by Allah (SWT) and there are certain obligations to be carried out as the Quran tells us:
"Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world...” - Q18:46
“O you who believe, guard yourselves and your families from the Hell‑fire whose fuel is men and stones…” - Q66:6
The meaning of the above verse was reiterated by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when he said:
“All of you are shepherds and all of you will be asked about your wards. The man is responsible for his household and will be asked about his responsibilities. The wife will be asked about the house of her husband and her responsibilities.” - Muslim
Islam, therefore, fills man with appreciation for being blessed with a child while at the same time makes him realize that the child is a heavy responsibility. The parents must care for the child and bring the child up in the best possible manner, trying to protect the child from the Hellfire. Most Muslim scholars even consider that the rights of children appear long before they are even conceived, via the selection of a pious and righteous spouse. Picking the right partner is the first step in providing a good household and environment for the child. Around the time of the child’s birth, there are other important obligations, such as giving the child a good name and offering an animal sacrifice on the child’s behalf - Aqiqah.
- The last form of Amanah to be discussed is the Amanah given to us at our various places of work and business. We have duties assigned and entrusted to us but we fail to carry them out, some because its a government parastatal and we feel we wont be held accountable but Allah the All knowing, All seeing is aware and we will be held accountable. Or we run a business and we cheat our customers by weighing less grains than ought to be. These are acts of failed Amanah.
Finally, no matter what we do and where we find ourselves, let us always remember that The Quran and the Messenger of Allah (SAW) tells us:
“Verily, Allaah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due.” - Q4:58
"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” - Muslim, Bukhari
May Allah SWT help us uphold our various Amanah and make it easy for us. May Allah (SWT) forgive my shortcomings and errors in this post. Subhanaka Allahuma wa bihamdik Ashadu ala ilaaha ilaa anta Astaghfryka wa atoubu ilaehi. Ameen.