Al-Amânah (Honesty and Trust)



Honesty is the symbol of happiness and the representative of the good and love. Allah commanded His slaves to adhere to it and made it an attribute of angels. It is one of the virtues and morals which results in guarding properties and honors as well as saving the society from corruption and chaos. Honesty and faith are completely linked to one another. Thus, when faith is found, honesty exists and vice versa. In addition, whatever is entrusted to human is considered a trust.

Students are trusts in the hands of teachers, daughters and sons are trusts under the custody of their parents. In addition, patients are trusts in the hands of the physicians and nurses. Moreover, the money of the husband is a trust in the hands of his wife. Furthermore, guarding the honor of the husband during his absence is fulfilling the trust. Allah Almighty says, {Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allâh and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allâh orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property).} [Sûat An-Nisâ': 34]


{فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ} النِّساء: 34


Transliteration: Fālşşāliĥātu Qānitātun Ĥāfižātun Lilghaybi Bimā Ĥafiža Allāhu

Whenever the heart is full of faith, honesty will be there and taking care of it will appear in every deed of the true believer. Allah Almighty says, {O you who believe! Betray not Allâh and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amânât (things entrusted to you, and all the duties which Allâh has ordained for you).} [Surat Al-Anfâl: 27]


{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَخُونُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوا أَمَانَاتِكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ} الآنفال: 27


Transliteration: Yā 'Ayyuhā Al-Ladhīna 'Āmanū Lā Takhūnū Allāha Wa Ar-Rasūla Wa Takhūnū 'Amānātikum Wa 'Antum Ta`lamūna

Trust is not necessarily a tangible thing such as money and books the owner of which is a real person. It may be in the form of religion or science; moreover, even your soul may be the owner of the trust. You should know that the trust of religion and knowledge is what you know about the permissible and the forbidden in the sight of Allah, and about the good and evil. Rendering back the trust is perfected by doing what you know. 
As for the trust of your soul, it means that you should choose what best suits it in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. The honest person is the one who does all his duties completely, whether these duties have been imposed by religion, knowledge, homeland, or the community. Trust is the backbone and essence of life that nothing can be upright without it.


The Definition of Honesty

Honesty (amânah in Arabic) is a noun like safety (amân), safety is driven from "feeling safe," and it is the opposite of fear. When the causes of fear do not exist, safety spreads in the souls. As the honest man is the one from whom people are safe and there is no fear that he transgresses the rights of others, his place is considered a safe one. At his yard, there is no need to have fear for money, honor, or one's life. 

That is why the trait of the man who is trustworthy of the rights of others is called honesty. Since this trait is included in the field of ethics, it is one of the moral branches. Since its foundation is the truth, it is one of the moral branches of the love and preference of the right.

The definition of honesty showed that it includes three elements: The first: The chastity of the honest as he avoids what is not his right. The second: The fulfillment of the honest for the right of other. The third: The care of the honest to preserve the rights entrusted to him by others and not neglecting them nor squandering them. (Quoted from the Book: 
the Islamic Manners, by Abdur-Rahmân Hebinka, with simple changes)


Honesty in the Holy Quran

Allah says, {Verily! Allâh commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allâh) gives you! Truly, Allâh is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.} [Surat An-Nisâ': 58]


{إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تُؤَدُّوا الأَمَانَاتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَنْ تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا} النِّساء: 58


Transliteration: 'Inna Allāha Ya'murukum 'An Tu'uaddū Al-'Amānāti 'Ilá 'Ahlihā Wa 'Idhā Ĥakamtum Bayna An-Nāsi 'An Taĥkumū Bil-`Adli 'Inna Allāha Ni`immā Ya`ižukum Bihi 'Inna Allāha Kāna Samī`āan Başīrāan

Allah tells us that He commands us to render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due. It is also narrated in the Hadith that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, "Abu Dharr, thou art weak and authority is a trust. and on the Day of judgment it is a cause of humiliation and repentance except for one who fulfils its obligations and (properly) discharges the duties attendant thereon." [Reported by Muslim]


«يا أبا ذرٍّ ! إنك ضعيفٌ. وإنها أمانةٌ. وإنها يومَ القيامةِ، خزيٌ وندامةٌ. إلا من أخذها بحقِّها وأدَّى الذي عليهِ فيها» مسلم


He means all the trusts which are due on man. These include the rights of Allah Exalted and Glorified which should be performed by His slaves such as prayer, almsgiving, fasting, expiations, vows and other things for which they are trusted and no one can know them [except Allah]. In addition, these include the rights of slaves towards one another such as trusts and other things for which they are entrusted without the knowledge of others.

Allah Exalted and Glorified ordered us to render them back. If anyone does not do this in this world, it will be taken from him on the Day of Judgment. It was narrated in the authentic Hadith that the Messenger of Allah prayers and peace of Allah be upon him said, "Most definitely you will give back people their rights [on the day of Judgment] to such an extent that a sheep which had no horns [and was beaten in the world by a sheep which had horns] will take revenge from the sheep which had horns." [Muslim]


«لتُؤدُّنَّ الحقوقَ إلى أهلِها يومَ القيامةِ. حتَّى يُقادَ للشَّاةِ الجلْحاءِ من الشَّاةِ القرْناءِ» مسلم

On the authority of ibn Abû Hâtim, 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ûd, May Allah be pleased with both of them, said, "Martyrdom erases all sins except that concerning honesty. The man will be brought on the Day of Judgment even if he is killed in the way of Allah and it will be said to him, "render back the trust", he will say, 'How can I perform it and life has ended?' The trust will be represented to him at the bottom of Hell and he will fall towards it and carry it on his shoulder. It will fall again from his shoulder and he will fall to bring it. This will happen eternity." [Narrated by ibn Abû Hâtim, (untraceable tradition)] 

Allah says, {Truly, We did offer Al-Amânah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allâh 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 Allâh's Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).} [Surat Al-Ahzâb: 72].


{إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَنْ يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنْسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولا} الأحزاب: 72


Transliteration: 'Innā `Arađnā Al-'Amānata `Alá As-Samāwāti Wa Al-'Arđi Wa Al-Jibāli Fa'abayna 'An Yaĥmilnahā Wa 'Ashfaqna Minhā Wa Ĥamalahā Al-'Insānu 'Innahu Kāna Žalūmāan Jahūlāan



Ibn 'Abbas said, "Al-Amânah (the trust) means obedience. This was offered to them before it was offered to Adam, and they could not bear it. Then, Allah said to Adam, 'I have offered the trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, and they could not bear it. Will you take it on?' He said, 'O Lord, what does it involve?' He said, 'If you do good, you will be rewarded, and if you do evil, you will be punished.' Thus, Adam took the trust and bore it, and this is what is referred to in the verse in which Allah says, {But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).} [Surat Al-Ahzâb: 72].


{وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنْسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولا} الأحزاب: 72


Transliteration: Wa Ĥamalahā Al-'Insānu 'Innahu Kāna Žalūmāan Jahūlāan


(Quoted from "Mukhtasar Tafsir ibn Kathîr" with simple changes)



Honesty is one of the most prominent manners of Prophets, peace be upon them. 

It is noted that in the basis of the Islamic creed, honesty is one of the most prominent manners of the Prophets, peace be upon them. This is because it is a prerequisite in choosing them for the sake of the Message. Unless they were honest, Allah would not entrust them for His Messages to His creation. About Hûd, peace be upon him, Allah Almighty says, {And to 'Âd (people, We sent) their brother Hûd. He said: "O my people! Worship Allâh! You have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. (Lâ ilâha illallâh: none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh). Will you not fear (Allâh)?" [65]. The leaders of those who disbelieved among his people said: "Verily, we see you in foolishness, and verily, we think you are one of the liars." [66]. (Hûd) said: "O my people! There is no foolishness in me, but (I am) a Messenger from the Lord of the 'Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)! [67] "I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord, and I am a trustworthy adviser (or well-wisher) for you.} [Surat Al-A'râf: 65-68]


{وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلا تَتَّقُونَ (65) قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وَإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ (66) قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي سَفَاهَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (67) أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاتِ رَبِّي وَأَنَا لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ} الأعراف: 65-68


Transliteration: Wa 'Ilá `Ādin 'Akhāhum Hūdāan Qāla Yā Qawmi A`budū Allāha Mā Lakum Min 'Ilahin Ghayruhu 'Afalā Tattaqūna (65) Qāla Al-Mala'u Al-Ladhīna Kafarū Min Qawmihi 'Innā Lanarāka Fī Safāhatin Wa 'Innā Lanažunnuka Mina Al-Kādhibīna (66) Qāla Yā Qawmi Laysa Bī Safāhatun Wa Lakinnī Rasūlun Min Rabbi Al-`Ālamīna (67) 'Uballighukum Risālāti Rabbī Wa 'Anā Lakum Nāşiĥun 'Amīnun

Hûd mentioned to his people his honesty as one of his qualities. This characteristic is one that should have been known among them before being sent by Allah as a Messenger. The honest should be trustworthy in conveying news and proclaiming messages.

In Surat Ash-Shu'arâ', Allah Almighty relates unto us the stories of Nûh, Hûd, Sâlih and Shu'ayb, peace be upon them. He tells us that every one of those Messengers had said to his people, {"I am a trustworthy Messenger to you.} [Surat Ash-Shu'arâ': 107].


{إِنِّي لَكُمْ رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ} الشُّعراء: 107


Transliteration: 'Innī Lakum Rasūlun 'Amīnun



Our Prophet Muhammad, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, was known among his people as the trustworthy before and after the Message.

Honesty was one of his clear remarkable manners, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, to the extent that his people used to choose him for saving their trusts. When he, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, migrated, he assigned 'Ali ibn Abu Tâlib, may Allah be pleased with him, to render the trusts back to their owners.

In addition, Gabriel, the angel who is trustworthy of revelation prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, was described as "trustworthy" by Allah in the verse where He says, {And truly, this (the Qur'ân) is a revelation from the Lord of the 'Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists), [192]. Which the trustworthy Rûh [Jibrîl (Gabriel)] has brought down [193]. Upon your heart (O Muhammad) that you may be (one) of the warners,} [Surat Ash-Shu'arâ': 192-194]


{وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنْزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (192) نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الأَمِينُ (193) عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنْذِرِينَ} الشُّعراء: 192-194


Transliteration: Wa 'Innahu Latanzīlu Rabbi Al-`Ālamīna (192) Nazala Bihi Ar-Rūĥu Al-'Amīnu (193)`Alá Qalbika Litakūna Mina Al-Mundhirīna



But for being trustworthy, he would not be such trusted to proclaim the laws of Allah or chosen by Allah to bear His Messages to His Prophets from mankind. 

The same is for the Prophets; unless being honest, they would not be such trusted to proclaim the laws of their Lord or chosen by Allah to bear His Messages to people. (Quoted from the Book: 
the Islamic Manners, by Abdur-Rahmân Hebinka, with simple changes)


The fields of honesty 

The fields of honesty and dishonesty are so many; including the following:

1- Property: it is a kind of honesty to be chaste avoiding the money which is not your right, paying his debts for his family, and for those who have the right of what he owns. 
This includes selling, debts, inheritance, deposits, mortgages, loans, wills and all the major and minor guardianship.

2- Honors: the honesty of honors includes being chaste avoiding what one does not have the right to approach of them. In addition, it means stopping the self and the tongue from ill-speech about others behind their back such as defaming and backbiting.

3- Bodies and Souls: the honesty of bodies and souls includes stopping the self and the hand from causing harm to them such as killing, injuring, or causing any other kind of harm.

4- Knowledge and Sciences: the honesty of knowledge and sciences includes performing it without distortion or modification, and attributing the sayings to their real owners and not plagiarizing the sayings of others.

5- Guardianship: the honesty of guardianship includes giving the rights to their owners, entrusting jobs for the qualified ones who deserve them. In addition, it includes saving the money, bodies, souls, and brains of people, and protecting them from anything which may harm them.

6- Testimony: the honesty of testimony is bearing it as it is in reality, and giving it without distortion, modification, increase, or decrease.

7- Judgment: the honesty of judgment is through judging according to the rules of justice which are entrusted and authorized to the judge.

8- Writing down: the honesty of writing down is concerning writing according to what the narrator exactly dictates, and also according to the main copy without modification, replacement, increase or decrease. If it was authorized by its writer, its contents should be free from lying and manipulating facts…etc.

9- Secrets: the secrets which are entrusted to human should be kept and should not be revealed. Honesty in this field means hiding secrets.

10- Hearing, seeing and the other senses: the honesty of them all is by stopping them from attacking the owners of the rights, saving them from the disobedience of Allah and guiding them towards what they should do, as eavesdropping is dishonesty. (Quoted from the Book: the Islamic Manners, by Abdur-Rahmân Hebinka, with simple changes)


Assemblies without honesty

The first assembly: it is an assembly which witnessed the shedding of inviolable blood, as one should witness against it and it is not allowed to conceal its matters. This is because concealing such issue is considered public betrayal to the family of the murdered and the right of Allah. Such an assembly does not have inviolability and its trust should not be kept as its people have betrayed Allah in what He has trusted them. In addition, they betrayed their brother as they ended his life and were not honest with such trust. Thus, how can they have the right of keeping the secret of their assembly?

The second assembly: it is an assembly that witnessed aggression against inviolable honor. Such assembly has no sacredness nor trust on the condition that the witness brings three other witnesses so that he could not be condemned with defame. This is because the right of Allah is the one which deserves most to be perfected as Allah has commanded.

The third assembly: it is the assembly that witnessed plunder of the money [of others] without right. Such assembly has neither sacredness nor trust. (Quoted from the Book: 
the Islamic Manners, by Abdur-Rahmân Hebinka, with simple changes)


The stance of Islam towards the trait of honesty

Islam has commanded the Muslims to adhere to the trait of honesty, and has forbidden betrayal for them. The person who is honest will be obedient to his lord, while the dishonest person will be disobedient to his lord and may reach a condition in which his Islam and faith will be doubted.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, "By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!" It was said, "Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "That person whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil." [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]


«والله لا يؤمن، والله لا يؤمن، والله لا يؤمن»، قيل: ومن يا رسول الله؟ قال: «الَّذي لا يأمن جاره بوائقه» متفقٌ عليه

Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, "The Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe, and the immigrant is he who abandons what Allah forbids." [Reported by Al-Bukhari]


«المسلم من سلم المسلمون من لسانه ويده، والمهاجر من هجر ما نهى الله عنه» البخاري

The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has made betrayal and dishonesty a sign of hypocrisy. Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, "Three are the signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust. Even if he observes fasting, performs prayers and claims to be a Muslim." [Reported by Muslim 59]


«آية المنافق ثلاث: إذا حدث كذب، وإذا وعد أخلف، وإذا ائتمن خان، وإن صام وصلى وزعم أنَّه مسلم» رواه مسلم 59




 (Quoted from the Book: the Islamic Manners)


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