‘Don’t trust anyone’, this has unfortunately become one of the most sacred rules in our society. A sort of unofficial mantra, for every person, every endeavour, every situation, this seems to be the golden rule. Not without reason too, it seems the concept of trust is either dead or moribund. It is in slowly becoming extinct, with only deceit, treachery, hypocrisy filling its void.
Naturally, a believer should be a person who is trustworthy. Should. But there is an extensive list of traits a believer should have. But the reality is a much bitter one. If anyone was to say the word ‘Muslim’ then trustworthy would not be one of the first things which would come to mind. This is the fault of the Muslims, you and I, we are the problem.
Trustworthiness has very broad connotations. A few of its implications are mentioned below:
- If somebody entrusts one with safekeeping of an item, he should hand it over when demanded in the exact condition.
- If one has an obligation to another, fulfilling that would also be regarded as trustworthiness.
- If one were invited to a special meeting where confidential information was disseminated, it would be regarded as trustworthiness to keep that information secret.
- If somebody confided in one, one should also keep the information to himself.
- If a person is employed at a company or institution, he will also be regarded as trustworthy if he discharges his responsibilities diligently. (Siratun Nabi)
Firstly we must understand that for a believer being trustworthy is a distinguishing factor. As the Prophet (SAW) has stated, “There are three signs of a hypocrite; when he speaks he lies, when he promises, he goes against his word, and when entrusted with a trust, he breaches the trust” (Bukhari) These traits seem to be so common that it is shocking if a person is not actively carrying out one of them. How far have we strayed? The truly disgusting aspect to these traits is that many people deem them to be meritorious. They are requisites to attain success many expound, this is merely a justification for their depravity, nothing more.
Now, we are all aware of the severe consequences for the hypocrites, as Allah says, “Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire” (4:145) If we have any of these traits, then we should be very afraid. It is no use blaming other people, rather we look at own state first and better ourselves. To avoid this punishment we must cleanse ourselves of this filth.
If there is anything in our trust, be it wealth, people or even secrets, it is our duty to fulfill that trust. As Allah commands: “Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice.” (4:58) You cannot betray people, or harm their lives, wealth or honour these are all sanctified within the Religion. The disbelievers in the time of the Prophet (SAW) would hurt him in various ways, however, no disbeliever could deny the moral integrity of the blessed Messenger (SAW).
When people are no longer trustworthy, and have no moral compass then we should understand that the day of judgement is very close. The Prophet has said: “There will be some people after you, who will be dishonest and will not be trustworthy and will give witness (evidences) without being asked to give witness, and will vow but will not fulfill their vows, and fatness will appear among them.” (Bukhari) These signs are rampant, but the truly worrying development is that these traits are only on the rise. We should be very concerned and prepare ourselves for the Last hour.
The Prophet (SAW) has explained in various Ahadith about what traits a true Believer should possess. He has said, “A true believer is one whom people trust with their lives and their property.” (Tirmidhi) We must become a true believer if we wish to attain Paradise. Yet the way we behave, the sins we do it, the filth we say does it does not seem as though we want Paradise.
May Allah give us the ability to always be trustworthy. May He raise us with the trustworthy ones. May He forgive our shortcomings. Ameen.