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THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE TRUST IN THE NOBLE QURAN

Allah Almighty says (what means): {O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment. Indeed, We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.} [Quran 33: 70-72]

This noble verse is a call to the believers, i.e. those who are pleased with Allah as their Lord, with Islam as their religion and with Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) as their Prophet and Messenger. They are commanded to fear Allah and then speak words of appropriate justice. This implies that saying words of appropriate justice is a sign of fearing Allah Almighty. The tongue expresses the content of the heart and indicates the righteousness of deeds, which entails the forgiveness of sins (by Allah, the Exalted). True success and the great attainment are represented in obedience to Allah Almighty and His Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ).

These great verses refer to the magnitude of the trust which was offered to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it although they are among the greatest of creatures. Although it is a very heavy burden, the weak man undertook to bear it because he did not realize the nature of the responsibility with which he burdened himself.

Man is really very ignorant about the burden he has obliged himself to bear and very unjust to himself because of the responsibility he has volunteered to undertake. It is a common responsibility that should be perceived and shared by everyone, each according to his position and status. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said:

Each of you is a caretaker and each of you is responsible for those under his care. The ruler is a caretaker and is responsible for his subjects. The man is a caretaker and is responsible for his family members. The woman is a caretaker of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them." [Al-Bukhari]

Fulfilling the trust is part of the perfection of faith. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: "There is no faith for whoever does not fulfill the trust. There is no religion for whoever does not keep his promises." [Ahmad]

Fulfilling the trust means to put everything in its proper place. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Tharr, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said:

I said, "O Messenger of Allah! Why do you not appoint me as a governor?" The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said, "O Abu Tharr, it is a trust and it will be a cause of disgrace and remorse on the Day of Judgment, except for the one who fulfills its obligations." [Muslim]

The Noble Quran commands us to render trusts to whom they are due. Allah says (what means): {Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due.} [Quran 4: 58]

Furthermore, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) threatened whoever betrays the trust. It was narrated that he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever is in charge of a group of Muslims and appoints an (improper) ruler out of favoritism incurs the curse of Allah." [Al-Hakim]

Even more, breaking a promise and betraying a trust are the characteristics of the hypocrites. It was narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: "The signs of the hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells lies; whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; and whenever he is entrusted with something, he betrays the trust."

Betraying the trust is considered betrayal of Allah and His Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ). Allah says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know [the consequence].} [Quran 8: 27]

Observing trusts and keeping promises is a sign of truthful faith. Allah says (what means): {And those who are to their trusts and promises attentive.} [Quran 70: 32]

Therefore, there is a great punishment on the Day of Judgment for the one who betrays the trust. It was narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said:

The servant of Allah will be brought on the Day of Judgment and it would be said to him, “Fulfill your trust.” He would say, “O Our Lord! How is it possible when the world has ended?”

Then it would be said, “Take him to the bottom of Hell.” Upon this, the trust will be presented for him (in the bottom of Hell) in the same form in which it was handed over to him in the world. He would see it and recognize it. He would seize it and carry it on his shoulders. He would then try to get out till he would be under the impression that he has come out, then the trust would slip from his shoulders. He would again fall after it, into Hell. This act would continue for ever.

We seek refuge in Allah from this! We are in dire need to sense the seriousness of the trust.

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