Qualities of the People of Jannah – Part 6: Keep Your Promises

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Amreen Rehman

Amreen Rehman is Freelance Writer and Coordinator of "Rising Youth Forum", Islamic workshops for girls.

 ayah 4-5

“Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts, etc.) and to their covenants (promises).”

The Arabic word Amanat is very comprehensive and includes all the trusts, which are placed in their charge by Allah (swt), society or individuals. Amanat is a trust that you leave with someone to be returned in full at a given time and place.Amanat is something that belongs to another person – he or she gives it to you for safekeeping, and you are bound to abide under the rules of the pact (covenant) he or she makes with you.

Likewise, Ahdincludes all those promises, which are made between Allah (swt) and man or man and man. Fulfilling our promises comes under the concept of Amanat.

Raa’oona is the plural of the Raa’in meaning ‘shepherd’. Just like shepherds, believers must watch over their oaths and everything they are entrusted with very carefully.

The Prophet (sa) himself used to emphasize the importance of fulfilling the pledges: “The one, who does not fulfill the terms of his trust, has no faith, and the one, who does not keep promises and pledges, has no Islam.” (Baihaqi)

According to another tradition (reported by Bukhari and Muslim), the Prophet (sa) said: “Four characteristics are such that if a person has all four in him, he is beyond any doubt a hypocrite, and the one, who has one of these, is a hypocrite to that extent:

  1. when something is placed in his trust, he commits breach of trust;
  2. when he speaks, he tells a lie;
  3. when he makes a promise, he breaks it;
  4. when he has a fight with someone, he exceeds all the limits (of decency and morality).”

Some types of Amanah include:

  • advice
  • authority
  • body and soul (our final destination to Allah (swt))
  • wealth
  • vote
  • children
  • office time
  • loans
  • meetings
  • deen (to convey Allah’s (swt) message)
  • inheritance

If two people are talking and one of them looks around (sort of to make sure no one else is listening, which indicates that he wants this conversation confidential, without actually saying so), their word becomes an Amanat, especially if someone is taking advice. If two people are talking in confidence softly, then to do eaves dropping on them becomes Khianat of the ears.

Even with children – going through their things secretly is also Khianat. If you have to investigate the possessions of your children, it should be done in their presence.

Kinds of Promises:

  • Yourself: intention of piety, repentance, etc.
  • The mankind: proper use of natural resources, etc.
  • Implied agreements: obligation to parents, neighbors, etc.
  • Written agreements: rent, employment, business, etc.
  • Allah (swt): lifetime obedience, which is fulfilling promise of creation made by all the souls.

“And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes! We testify,’ lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’” (Al-Araf 7:172)

Thus, a believer is the one, who is very cautious about his dealings, commitments and promises that he makes. At times, we ignore small commitments that we make with friends, for example, like giving class notes, showing upon time, etc. We need to be extremely careful about the words we say and commitments we make.

(Read the introductory article to the series here.)

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